Margao: PWD minister Nilesh Cabral said that the Indian Constitution has maintained the ethos of secularism and equality in society even as he urged the people to contribute towards the development of the nation.Speaking after unfurling the national flag on the occasion of the Republic Day at the South Goa collectorate, Margao, Cabral said, “If we want to build and strengthen the nation, all have to contribute towards the process, may it be by following traffic rules, abiding civic duties, cleanliness and so on.”The Curchorem MLA lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to strengthen democracy. He said that under Modi’s leadership, India has achieved higher goals in various fields.Cabral in his address also appreciated the “tireless efforts and very good initiatives” of the Pramod Sawant-led government “for strengthening and shaping the development of the state”. He added that Sawant was making strenuous efforts to safeguard the interests of the state.On the occasion various members of the Child Welfare Committee for North and South Goa were felicitated for their extraordinary contribution in child welfare. Also security guards of South Goa Collectorate were felicitated for delivering honest service to people.
MARGAO: Twenty-five cases of murders were registered at various police stations across South Goa in 2022. The figure was 16 in 2021, police records reveal. Of the 25 cases, police have been able to crack 23 by arresting the accused. In 2021, police had succeeded in cracking 14 of the 16 cases.In 2022, seven cases of attempt to murder were registered by South Goa police, a significant decline from 18 in 2021. All the accused involved in the seven cases were arrested.Among the two unresolved cases of murder of 2022 is that of an unidentified woman whose skeletal remains were found at an isolated place at Ambeghat, Sanguem. The postmortem examination had revealed that the woman was pregnant at the time of her death and that she was in the age group of 18-22. The cause of death was stated to be strangulation. Citizens have voiced their concern over the rise in the cases of murder and the frequent occurrences of street violence.
MARGAO: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday that he is the first graduate in his family. “Many of your parents will be graduates, and you have their support. You don’t have the tension of passing the SSC exam like we had,” he said.“Treat examinations like a festival, and go laughing to answer them,” he said.He was addressing students of Classes IX to XII at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, who participated in the Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023 art and painting competition (exam warriors), an initiative of PM Narendra Modi.Sawant spoke of students who had taken the extreme step of suicide when they weren’t able to cope with exams, and advised students not to get tense while answering exams.Two students and one teacher will travel to New Delhi to participate in the interaction with Modi on Friday, he said. Other students, teachers, and even parents will watch the interactions live, he said, adding that the PM will use the session to motivate students.Over 400 students from Classes IX to XII participated in the art and painting competition on various themes of ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’, which is aimed at giving students more confidence to face examinations and equipping them with tools.
MARGAO: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday reiterated that the IIT campus will be set up in South Goa. “Search for the land is ongoing. The IIT campus will be set up in South Goa,” he said. However, he declined to comment whether it would still come up in Sanguem. Protesters in Sanguem had rejoiced after the Union education ministry said in November 2022 that the land identified by the state government at Cortali, Sanguem, will no longer be considered to set up the IIT campus.The Union ministry had informed Goa that the land identified in Sanguem was not suitable for IIT and that it had decided not to send a site selection committee to inspect the same. The 7 lakh sqm land was found to be insufficient.Following this, Sanguem MLA Subhash Phal Dessai had said more land adjoining the identified site would be added to the property to make it suitable for a permanent campus for IIT. IIT Goa became operational in 2016 and ever since the Goa government has been trying to find suitable land for a permanent campus for the institute.It is presently operating from its temporary campus at the Goa Engineering College, Farmagudi.
Search for the land is going on, he said. (File photo)Panaji: A campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will come up in South Goa and efforts are on to identify a suitable land for it, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said.The state government had earlier identified a land for setting up the IIT campus at Shel-Melaulim village in Sattari taluka of North Goa district, but the project was then scrapped following violent protests by locals in 2021.Later, another piece of land was identified at Cotarli in Sanguem taluka of South Goa district but as it was insufficient, the project was dropped last year.The issue was discussed during the recently held winter session of the Goa Assembly.Talking to reporters on Monday, Mr Sawant said, "The IIT campus would be set up in South Goa. Search for the land is going on." The CM had earlier said in the state Assembly that some people were going around opposing the land acquisition for the IIT Goa campus.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe had refused to reveal the area where the land was being identified, fearing “unnecessary protest". During a discussion in the House on the issue, Congress MLA Altone D'Costa, who represents Quepem Assembly segment in South Goa, had asked the state government to set up the IIT campus in his constituency.He had said land was available at Betul in Quepem constituency to set up the institute campus.Featured Video Of The DaySonu Sood Sings 'Dil Chori', Soldiers Love His Desi Swag
Margao: A number of tourism development projects are in the works in Quepem constituency.Development of Datta temple at Quepem and the promenade by the Kushawati river is among the major projects that are planned by the tourism department. This was stated in a written reply tabled in the House by tourism minister Rohan Khaunte to a legislative assembly question by Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa. The project is estimated to cost Rs 61 lakh.Beautification and Illumination of Holy Cross and viewpoint at hill top at Quepem costing an estimated Rs 1.2 crore is also among the works planned, the reply added. The proposal for beautification of Canaguinim beach with benches and toilet block is also being processed, the reply further stated. As the access road passes through a private property, the NOC from the stakeholder concerned is being obtained, Khaunte further said in the reply.Besides, infrastructure development works estimated at over Rs 4 crore are under way in Balli, Morpirla and Barcem villages of Quepem constituency, which are in various stages of completion, the reply added.
Margao: Minister for tourism Rohan Khaunte in his reply to a legislative assembly question said that the government plans to make select beaches in the state disabled-accessible.“Ramps will be provided for disabled/physically challenged people at select beaches with the belief that beaches are for all,” Khaunte said in his written reply tabled in the House to the question asked by Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco about the government’s plans for providing infrastructural facilities on the beaches. Khaunte said mechanical/semi-mechanised cleaning machines will be deployed to ensure speedy and more efficient cleaning of beaches, while road sweeping machines will be deployed to sweep approach roads.“Surveillance systems, CCTV cameras, etc will be installed on approach roads, beach entries and parking areas in order to assist the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order and ensure reduction in crime rates,” the reply added. Khaunte said the tourism department has been undertaking comprehensive cleanliness of the beaches since the last couple of decades.
Margao: Six months after the government stated in the legislative assembly that it was “exploring the possibility” of taking up the construction of Margao’s bus stand through PPP mode, state transport minister Mauvin Godinho on Thursday told the House that the government has petitioned the Centre to bail it out in developing bus stand properties. “The government has requested the Union minister for his intervention to develop bus stand properties,” read the written reply tabled by Godinho to a question by Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai over the fate of Margao bus terminus as also about any redevelopment plan for Panaji bus stand. The reply, however, contains no details about the nature of intervention the state government has sought from the Centre. Sardesai had specifically asked the government to disclose the status of its PPP-mode exploration in view of the “dilapidated condition” of both the facilities.
PORVORIM: Amid strong demands from opposition MLAs seeking its withdrawal, the state assembly passed the Goa Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023, paving the way for the election of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons by show of hands. Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai said that if the government withdraws the Bill, he assured not to pull down the Margao Municipal Council. “Let the Bill be referred to a select committee. We will not allow this Bill to pass in assembly. If the Bill is passed then it would be a murder of democracy and local self-governing bodies,” Sardesai said.Sardesai said that if the Bill is passed then it would cause irreparable damage to democracy in Goa. Urging the government not to pass the Bill for the benefit of Margao MLA Digambar Kamat who recently joined BJP, Sardesai said, “When he can speak to God, why should the government change the law? Tell him to speak to God,” Sardesai said.Opposition leader Yuri Alemao said that the Bill is like a virus, and it will spread all over. “Withdraw the Bill as it will kill freedom of speech and right to secrecy,” he said.While speaking at the passing of the Bill, urban development minister Vishwajit Rane mentioned Congress and Bofors, prompting Alemao to rush to the well of the House demanding the speaker to expunge both the words. While the opposition was demanding a division of vote while passing the Bill, speaker Ramesh Tawadkar placed the Bill before the House, which was subsequently passed with a voice vote.The assembly also passed the Goa Private Universities (Amendment) Bill 2023 for effective and smooth implementation of the Goa Private Universities Act 2020 within the state. The Bill allows universities to lease a land instead of owning the same and reduction is fees. The state government also passed the Goa Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2023 empowering BDOs to hear appeals.
Margao: In 2022, not a single case under the Arms Act was booked at any police station across South Goa, police records reveal. Police sources acknowledge that several people are in possession of guns without procuring a licence, an offence under the Arms Act. Following a couple of incidents involving crimes using guns, TOI had in 2020 run a series on how procurement of guns through illegal means is not a big deal if one has access to the right contacts in the illegal arms trade. “There could be many among the migrant workforce who may have a criminal background, and could have found Goa to be a safe escape route. To defend themselves from their enemies back home, there’s every possibility that they possess a gun, and of course, an unlicensed one,” a senior police officer said.The porous India-Nepal border also facilitates smuggling of arms, some of which invariably land in Goa, sources said.
Margao: Crime statistics obtained from the South Goa police reveal that there has been a rise in incidents of rape and kidnapping in the district over the last few years. In 2022, 34 cases of rape were registered in South Goa. The highest number of cases, seven, were booked at Verna police station, followed closely by Vasco with six. Maina Curtorim and Colva police stations registered four cases of rape each in 2022, while Cuncolim and Fatorda police stations booked three cases each. Canacona and Ponda police stations booked two cases each of rape in 2022, while one rape case each was booked at Margao, Quepem and Sanguem police stations.What’s significant however is that the police have succeeded in arresting the accused in each of the 34 cases.Thirty incidents of kidnapping were booked in South Goa in 2022. Police have been able to crack 27 of these, while investigation is underway in the remaining three cases. Vasco and Verna police stations booked the highest number of cases, each booking seven offences. Maina Curtorim police station booked five cases of kidnapping followed by Colva police station with three. Two cases each were booked by Fatorda, Quepem and Ponda police stations.
Margao: Goyche Fudle Pilge Khatir, an organisation of environment activists, has demanded that the draft Outline Development Plan (ODP) 2031 for Margao be scrapped on the grounds that the document was in breach of procedural requirements and contained cartographical errors. Pointing to the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and lmplementation (URDPFI) Guidelines published by Union ministry of urban development, the organisation in its objections submitted to the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) said, “These 2015 guidelines require preparation and finalisation of Perspective Plan, Regional Plan, Development Plan and Land Use Policy for the state before getting Into micro-city level planning like this draft ODP. This procedural breach is a serious procedural blunder committed by your office. ”Pointing to some cartographic errors in the plan, the organisation said, “It is clear that the private company has no cartographic competence and allowing such a company to prepare Margao draft ODP is another major blunder.”Stating that there was no public consultation while preparing the plan, it pointed out that the draft ODP has “done away with projection of heritage sites in Margao instead of promoting and protecting them”.“The draft ODP signals reduced green lungs of the town, filling up of low-lying areas and comunidade paddy fields for the vested interests of real estate lobby,” the letter further adds.“Paddy fields behind MLA Vijai Sardesai’s residence in Fatorda is shown as settlement zone, defying yet another recognition for green and cultivable land,” states the letter further, adding that part of Rajendra Prasad stadium is shown as commercial (C2) with 150 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) while paddy fields at many places are marked as commercial zones.
Margao: The South Goa district magistrate has directed the public to refrain from flying kites or any such objects in the vicinity of Goa International Airport at Dabolim. The collector said, “Instances of kites/objects being flown near or within the airport boundary have serious implications on flight safety. When the aircraft is in the critical phase of landing or take-off, presence of objects is considered detrimental.”
Margao: ‘Serving in the Army is not just about a career, it’s about the way of life’, is how a high ranking army officer chose to describe an Indian soldier’s life as he gave a guided tour to reporters of the training being imparted to new recruits under the Agnipath scheme at 3 Military Training Regiment (MTR), Ravanfond, Margao. “The training, the focus, and the discipline, that a fouzi (soldier) learns on the drill square shapes his inner and outward personality that stays with him through his life.”Currently, over a 1,000 cadets selected through a rigorous recruitment process and allotted the Corps of Signals are learning the rudiments of Army training that will eventually become their way of life. After the Agnipath scheme for recruitment of youths in the Indian Armed Forces was unveiled on June 14, 2022, Agniveers were selected by various Army Recruitment Offices (AROs) and regimental centres across the country. The first batch of Agniveers for the Corps of Signals reported at 3 MTR, Margao, on December 24, 2022, for the pre-training formalities. The Agniveers then underwent the process of documentation, medical examination, military kit issue, orientation and familiarisation sessions to prepare them for the military training.Specially tailored to ensure early availability of trained soldiers to the field formations, Agniveer training requires a recruit to go through the basic military training and the advance military training as part of the curriculum.“The Agniveer training schedule starts early in the day with physical training, drill and weapons training, followed by academic and military subject classes. Night training is also a part of the programme,” a handout read.After successful completion of their training, the cadets will be attested as Agniveers in the Indian Army.
Margao: Goa Forward Party’s (GFP) Vijai Sardesai on Sunday strongly advocated the need for galvanizing mass support over the Mhadei issue even as he accused both the major national parties of being complicit in the row.“Both Congress and BJP are involved in the issue,” Sardesai said, speaking to reporters. “BJP has conspired with Karnataka over the issue. And it was Congress which started it. Congress is taking credit over the formation of the Mhadei tribunal that gave its order in favour of Karnataka. And it’s a fact, as it was when Digambar Kamat was chief minister when Congress was in office that the Mhadei tribunal was formed though we could have won the case in the Supreme court.”Sardesai said that only a mass agitation by the people of Goa could save the Mhadei. “Only people of Goa can wage a battle over Mhadei. BJP has devised this plot – approving Karnataka’s project and asking Goa to move the Supreme court. The case will never come up. The ploy is to kill Goans by depriving them of water,” he alleged.
Margao: Railway Protection Force (RPF) Margao on Sunday raided the office of a travel agency located near the Margao railway station and confiscated 62 forged identity documents used for generating user identification for booking tickets for passengers. Two persons were arrested and were being interrogated, RPF sources said.The value of tickets that have been confiscated is over Rs 3 lakh. RPF disclosed the names of the two accused arrested as Thajauddin Khadar and Hanshraj Waghela. RPF inspector Vinod Mishra told reporters that they acted on a complaint about black marketing of tickets by Fatima Tours and Travels located near the ESI hospital at Margao. “A large number of tickets worth over several lakhs of rupees have been confiscated. Tickets whose journey is yet to be commenced will be blocked. The search is underway for more such tickets which may have been sold to passengers,” Mishra said. The premises of the travel agency have been sealed.Mishra said that the travel agency would use forged identity documents to generate user identification for booking e-tickets which would be then sold to passengers at a premium.He said that the current action was a part of the RPF’s persistent drive against unauthorised booking of tickets by travel agencies.
Margao: Quepem police on Friday booked an offence against the postmaster of Xeldem post office for misappropriation of funds by failing to deposit the money collected from various customers meant to be credited into their postal accounts.Police said that the accused had collected an amount of Rs 2.9 lakh altogether between August 29 and September 7 from a number of customers and the money was allegedly siphoned off. Acting on a complaint lodged by the sub divisional inspector of posts, Ponda, Quepem police registered the case against the postmaster on charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds. tnn
Margao: The special meeting of the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) held on Friday over the Mhadei river issue took an amusing turn midway through the proceedings as councillors from both sides of the political divide engaged in mudslinging, each trying to outdo the other in proving one’s political allegiance. Peace was restored only after chairperson Damodar Shirodkar warned of concluding the meeting if the councillors failed to maintain decorum.Trouble began when BJP councillor Camilo Barreto stood up to speak on the issue and began congratulating chief minister Pramod Sawant for the “various steps he has taken to protect Goa’s interests” over the Mhadei issue. When GFP councillor Pooja Naik interrupted him and claimed that it was GFP alone that had consistently raised the Mhadei issue, Barreto accused the regional outfit of doing nothing about the Mhadei when it was a part of the government. As a war of words ensued, other GFP councillors joined in as barbs and innuendos were freely exchanged. After normalcy was restored, rest of the councillors, even those who are usually reticent, spoke passionately about the need to prevent the Mhadei’s diversion by Karnataka.Ghanashyam Shirodkar sounded caution that South Goa could also face prospects of rationed water if the Mhadei was diverted.Sadananad Naik urged the Kannadigas staying in Goa to join Goans in their battle to save the Mhadei.Sagun Naik advocated the need for all to rise as one by sinking all political differences for this cause. Shirodkar later told reporters that the resolution pledging the council’s support to the state govern-ment in its fight over the Mhadei issue was passed unanimously and would be sent to the chief minister, Prime Minister, home minister, and union minister for water resources.
MARGAO: Governor P S Shreedharan Pillai said that universities of Cochin and Mangalore have accepted his suggestion to introduce Konkani in their academic curriculum in principle. "Konkani is one of the beautiful ancient languages of India, it is not confined only to the state of Goa but is spoken in Karnataka and Maharashtra too. In my native state of Kerala, it is a mother tongue of more than two lakh people. Being a chancellor of Goa University, I suggested to the universities of Cochin and Mangalore to introduce Konkani, which they accepted, in principle," Pillai told a gathering of Guardian Angel Higher Secondary School, Curchorem, on the occasion of the establishment's Golden Jubilee celebration, recently.The governor also lauded efforts of the Pilar fathers in establishing Xaverian Education Society to promote education in remote parts of Goa. "The Christian missionaries have given the greatest, most important contribution in the field of education. If one can analyse, they prepared around 80 dictionaries, including in my own original Malayalam, besides encyclopedias and grammar books," he said.Retired teachers Martin Barbosa and Suneela Phadke and some toppers of the institution at the Goa Board examination were felicitated and the school magazine 'The Guardian' and specially-designed 50 years logo was released at the hands of the governor and PWD minister Nilesh Cabral.
Margao: Governor P S Shreedharan Pillai said that universities of Cochin and Mangalore have accepted his suggestion to introduce Konkani in their academic curriculum in principle. “Konkani is one of the beautiful ancient languages of India, it is not confined only to the state of Goa but is spoken in Karnataka and Maharashtra too. In my native state of Kerala, it is a mother tongue of more than two lakh people. Being a chancellor of Goa University, I suggested to the universities of Cochin and Mangalore to introduce Konkani, which they accepted, in principle,” Pillai told a gathering of Guardian Angel Higher Secondary School, Curchorem, on the occasion of the establishment’s Golden Jubilee celebration, recently.The governor also lauded efforts of the Pilar fathers in establishing Xaverian Education Society to promote education in remote parts of Goa. “The Christian missionaries have given the greatest, most important contribution in the field of education. If one can analyse, they prepared around 80 dictionaries, including in my own original Malayalam, besides encyclopedias and grammar books,” he said.Retired teachers Martin Barbosa and Suneela Phadke and some toppers of the institution at the Goa Board examination were felicitated and the school magazine ‘The Guardian’ and specially-designed 50 years logo was released at the hands of the governor and PWD minister Nilesh Cabral.
Margao: The annual jatra of Shree Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya, Avedem, Quepem, got underway on Wednesday. The three-day event will conclude on Friday with the deity being carried in a procession in a silver palkhi.“A large number of mahajans and kulavis of the deity are settled across Goa’s borders, particularly in Maharashtra, Karnataka and also in Kerala,” a functionary of the temple management said on the devotees visiting the temple.The history of the temple dates back to several hundreds of years. Temple records reveal that the temple was originally located in Curtorim, established in 1560, in a locality then known as Sandiwal or Sandel. Faced with the threat of religious conversion during Portuguese rule, the deity was shifted to Shelvon in what was then known as Chandrawadi region, and subsequently relocated to Ghudo ward of Avedem village in Quepem where it currently stands. The temple management committee said adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the devotees visiting the temple during the jatra get a “pleasant and sublime” experience.
Margao: If bodies piled one over the other in the cabinets of the morgue owing to space crunch was an all too common situation at the old Hospicio hospital, Margao, frequent breakdowns of storage cabinets leading to decomposition of bodies, and staff shortage in the forensic department necessitating shifting of bodies to Goa Medical College for post mortem, were the other major issues the premier hospital was saddled with – until a year ago that is.All these issues became a thing of the past when the forensic department was shifted to the new South Goa District Hospital, Margao, in December 2021.The hospital’s morgue has a storage capacity of 72 bodies, four times more than what the old Hospicio hospital had.“We are now in a position to conduct three autopsies simultaneously,” Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar, associate professor, forensic medicine, and in-charge of the mortuary complex, said. By conducting nearly 600 postmortem examinations in the last calendar year, the hospital has thus handled nearly a fourth of the bodies of medical legal cases in the state.“What stands out from the facts and figures,” Ghodkirekar says, “is the 73 sudden death cases, most of which were of people below 50 years. Such cases have risen sharply in the post-Covid period and that’s a cause of concern. We have had cases of young people dying of severe heart attacks and brain hemorrhage.”
PANAJI: The long wait for Goa’s second international airport to start operations ends on Thursday, as the first commercial flight is all set to touch down at the Manohar International Airport, bringing passengers from Hyderabad. The Indigo flight 6E 6145 will land at 9am, followed by flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Chennai. Go First will also commence flights on Thursday, bringing in passengers from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai.The first flight will be welcomed with a traditional water gun salute to mark the historic occasion. However, taxi operators from Pernem could mar the aviation milestone. Developed at a cost of around Rs 2,870 crore, the GMR Group will operate the Mopa airport through its subsidiary, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL).“We are fully prepared to commence domestic operations at the Manohar International Airport and Indigo and Go First will be commencing flights on the first day. We are fully geared up to welcome the passengers that are coming and those who will be departing from here,” said Ranganathan Venkata Sheshan, the president and chief executive officer of GGIAL.GGIAL plans to roll out the red carpet on the first day, offering live music and a tour of the airport to the first fliers. “As an airport operator, we have done all that is required to ensure that the passengers have a pleasant experience. Besides this, our airline partners, Indigo and Go First, are making sure that all requisite things are in place to give the passengers a good experience,” said Sheshan. Low-cost carrier IndiGo was the first to announce flights from Mopa, with 12 daily and a total of 168 weekly flights to eight major cities in the country. Mopa will be IndiGo’s largest ever new station launch, a move that aims to cater to the increasing demand for flights to Goa. The existing Goa International Airport at Dabolim will continue to operate, and IndiGo said it will continue to offer flights to Dabolim. Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on December 11, Mopa will provide direct connectivity to North Goa’s tourist belt and the state’s buzzing nightlife. However, concerns about connectivity with the airport, which is at least an hour away from Calangute, Panaji, and even more from Margao, persist. Taxi operators from Pernem have been protesting for the past few days, demanding a yellow-black taxi counter and objecting to the Goa taxi app introduced by the Pramod Sawant government.Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) has said that it will operate electric buses to ferry passengers from Mopa (GOX) to Margao via Panaji. Starting from 8am, a 49-seater electric bus will depart from the new airport, while buses to the airport will commence as early as 4am from Margao. KTCL will also operate buses from Sinquerim and Calangute to ferry tourists to the airport. “All the arriving passengers will be given a red carpet welcome on arrival with music and band. All passengers who are about to board and who are arriving will be given an opportunity to see the airport and will then be given connecting transport,” said Sheshan.Flights to Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Chandigarh will start from Friday.Centre nod to airport name:The Union cabinet has given a ex-post facto approval for naming of Goa’s second International Airport at Mopa, as ‘Manohar International Airport – Mopa, Goa’, as a mark of tribute to late Manohar Parrikar, former defence minister and four-time Goa chief minister.
Panaji: Goa’s second international airport, the Manohar International Airport at Mopa, is all set to commence operations on Thursday with an IndiGo flight from Hyderabad. It will be the first commercial flight to touch down at the airport.While domestic operations will start from January 5, international flights will commence in the following month, said officials of the airport, which is operated by GMR Goa International Airport Ltd (GGIAL). However, GGIAL said it will announce details about international flights “in due course of time.” Thursday will see 11 domestic flights land at Mopa. “Indigo Flight 6E 6145 from Hyderabad is the first flight scheduled to arrive at Manohar International Airport at 9am,” said a GGIAL official. IndiGo will also operate three flights from Delhi the same day.IndiGo, Go First, Vistara and Akasa Air are expected to operate flights from the greenfield airport that is spread over 2,133 acres and which can handle 44 lakh passengers in the current phase I.The GGIAL spokesperson said, “IndiGo, Go First, Vistara and Akasa Air are in the process of setting up ticketing counters at the passenger terminal building.” The terminal is currently capable of handling 1,000 passengers per hour.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the greenfield airport on December 11, which is expected to relieve pressure on the existing Goa International Airport at Dabolim.
Margao: CM Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the government will deal with an iron hand in cases of encroachments on government lands, and strict action, including suspension, will be taken against mamlatdars found guilty of inaction in such cases. “If anybody encroaches on government land henceforth, the mamlatdar concerned will be held responsible for it. Mamlatdars are custodians of government lands. If there is illegal mining happening in government land or somebody building a house on government land, the mamlatdar should monitor such cases through his talathi and take immediate action. Else, the government will take action against the mamlatdar,” Sawant said after chairing a meeting with revenue officials.Pending cases of regularisation of houses, however, will be fast tracked, he said. To address issues concerning storage of matriz records and archeological documents, Sawant said that steps will be taken for centralization and digitization of the documents.
Margao: Senior citizens visiting the Margao municipality premises can look forward to some relief as a dedicated counter has been opened for them on the ground floor a few days ago. With this move, the elderly have been spared the trouble of shuttling between various sections of the municipality building like the general public is subjected to.“With the opening of this dedicated counter for senior citizens, we hope to provide prompt services to them. A large number of senior citizens visit the municipality everyday. They will now be saved from all hassles. They can visit the counter and will be attended to immediately,” chairperson of Margao Municipal Council (MMC), Damodar Shirodkar, said.Senior citizens have expressed their thanks over the development. Setting up a dedicated counter for the elderly citizens has been a long-pending demand of the senior citizens’ forum of Margao.At the inaugural function, the MMC said that it would also provide reserved parking space for senior citizens visiting the offices.Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, who inaugurated the counter, said it will be his endeavor to solve the grievances of elderly citizens. President of the senior citizens’ forum, Margao, Diago D’Costa highlighted a number of issues of the senior citizens that need attention of the authorities.MMC officials said that once the multi-storied parking project becomes functional, work of which will begin soon, parking woes in the business town will also come to an end.
Margao: Thousands thronged the Shree Shantadurga Kunkalikarin Devasthan at Fatorpa, Quepem, as the four-day annual jatra came to an end with the ‘maharath’ held in the early hours of Sunday. Various religious and cultural activities marked the annual event that began from December 27. A large number of devotees from across Goa, as also a significant number from Karnataka and Maharashtra, visited the temple during the jatra.In a bid to avoid stampede, arrangements for screening the rituals was made outside the temple. This also enabled people standing in the queue for darshan to witness the rituals on the large screens. Volunteers helped the elderly take darshan through alternative gateways to avoid standing in long queues.Besides, the temple complex was placed under CCTV surveillance as a part of the safety measures put in place by the temple authorities. ‘Shibikotsav’ on December 27, ‘ambari rath’ procession on December 28, flower chariot on December 29 and ‘vijay rath’ procession on December 30 concluding with the maharath on Sunday were the highlights of the event. Auction of the ornaments, clothes and other items offered to the deity will be held between January 2 and January 6.
Margao: With Margao MLA Digambar Kamat switching over to BJP three months ago, political math in the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has since gone topsy turvy. With the BJP camp divided into two factions — eight councillors affiliated to Kamat and nine from the ‘original’ BJP panel — a sense of disenchantment is palpable among the ‘original’ BJP councillors which is likely to find an expression in the demand for a change of guard in the post of the vice chairperson.With Kamat succeeding in installing his trusted lieutenant Damodar Shirodkar as the chairperson, the original BJP faction of councillors have since been hoping that the post of the vice chairperson would, as a matter of propriety, be held by a Fatorda BJP councillor. However, with no signs of changeover of the vice chairperson, aspirants for the post have begun giving vent to their resentment. The Fatorda BJP camp’s claim to the post rests on the “rotation of posts” formula worked out after the civic polls of April 2021, when it was agreed that for the first 15 months Goa Forward’s Lyndon Pereira would head the council as chairperson, while Dipali Sawal affiliated to Kamat (then in Congress) would be the vice-chairperson. With Sawal’s tenure having ended long ago, aspirants from BJP camp have been eyeing the post, notwithstanding the rotation formula having gone for a toss following Kamat’s switchover to BJP.Sources said that in a bid to facilitate Shirodkar’s installation as the chairperson after Kamat joined BJP, the original BJP councillors who had reservations extending their support to Shirodkar, were assured of a changeover of deputy chairperson to accommodate their aspirations. Their patience, sources said, is now wearing thin.