Ponda: Residents of the entire Cumbharjua constituency and parts of Priol and St Andre constituencies will get restricted water supply on Saturday as a pipeline supplying potable water to these areas burst at Curti in Ponda. Staff of public work department’s (PWD) water division has been working on a war footing to replace the broken pipe despite the incessant rain. Supply is expected to reach the affected areas by Saturday afternoon, said executive engineer of PWD’s water division, Nivruti Parsekar, who has been supervising the work along with the Ponda sub-division staff. The 40-year-old 750-mm cast iron pipeline has turned fragile and developed a crack at Curti. “In the morning, we received an automated message from a sophisticated pressure meter installed at Banastarim that the pressure has declined below 50%. We immediately stopped the water supply and launched a search for the problem along the line. At 2pm, our staff spotted the rupture at Curti,” Parsekar said, adding, “After ascertaining the fault site, work was taken up immediately to replace the entire piece of around 5.5m of the pipeline.” “The ruptured pipe was surrounded by bushes and water was pouring into an adjacent nullah. We had to create a temporary approach road for the machinery to reach the fault site. Also, since the pipeline is underground, it took time to dig the ground to locate the rupture,” he said. The pipeline carries water from Opa water treatment plant to the entire Cumbharjua constituency and Tivrem-Orgao and Betki-Khandola panchayats in Priol and Neura panchayat of St Andre constituencies.
Panaji: Rainfall and overcast skies offered much-needed respite from the sweltering May heat as maximum temperatures dropped by 5.6C in just 24 hours. The IMD Goa, recorded a maximum temperature of a pleasant 25.2C on Friday when compared to the 30.8C logged a day prior. “The maximum temperature recorded on May 17 was 34C. As such, there has been a fall of 8.8C over the past three days,” IMD scientist Rahul M said. He said that as rainfall activity begins reducing from Saturday, the maximum temperature will gradually rise by about 2C in the following two days. On Friday, the highest amount of rainfall recorded by the IMD was at the Pernem and Valpoi rain gauge stations, with 7cm each. This was followed by Sanguem and Margao with 6cm each, Canacona with 5cm, Quepem, Sanquelim and Ela (Old Goa) with 4cm each, and Mormugao, Ponda, Dabolim, Mapusa and Panaji with 3cm each. Light to moderate rainfall and thundershowers are very likely at many places over Goa on Saturday, at a few places on Sunday and Monday, and at isolated places on Tuesday. Squally weather with wind speeds reaching 40-50 kmph and gusting to 60 kmph is likely to prevail along and off the south Maharashtra-Goa coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea during this period.
Panaji: In continuation of the previous forecast, the Indian Meteorological department (IMD) on Tuesday issued an alert for five continuous days forecasting light to moderate rainfall accompanied by lightning and gusty winds.There was a cloud build-up late on Tuesday evening with very light to moderate rainfall at isolated places.The IMD attributed the rains to the presence of a trough in the lower levels that will pass through Karnataka on Thursday and Friday and, possible moisture incursion in the middle troposphere due to a circulation in south Goa.According to the IMD, heavy rainfall (7-11 cms in 24hrs) is very likely to occur at isolated places and light to moderate rain at most places over the state on Thursday.The maximum temperature during the 24-hour period ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday was 34 degree Celsius, according to the IMD.Fishermen are requested not to venture along Kerala-Karnataka coast on Wednesday and Goa-South Maharashtra coast on Thursday due to squally weather conditions.
Ponda: Ponda police arrested Bilal Mohammad Shaikh, a native of Kumta, Karnataka, for kidnapping a one-year-old child from Banastarim in Ponda. The infant has also been rescued. Complainant Suntakki, also a Karnataka native, and Shaikh were residing at Karapur Tisk in Sanquelim. Suntakki’s wife was residing at Banastarim with their kids. Suntakki in his complaint stated that Shaikh took his one-year-old child and went to his native place on Tuesday. Acting on the complaint, the Ponda police rushed to Karnataka and arrested Shaikh and rescued the child. Ponda PI Vijaykumar Chodankar said a case of kidnapping has been registered under the provisions of the IPC and the Goa Children’s Act.
Ponda: Terming the hike in trade licence fee by Ponda Municipal Council as exorbitant, Ponda merchants have demanded that it be rolled back. They also want the decision to impose sanitation fees to be reviewed. A delegation of Ponda Businessmen and Professionals’ Forum, led by its president Manoj Gaonkar met PMC chief officer Yogiraj Gosavi on Thursday. “We only get assurances of taking up this issue in the council meeting, but nothing has happened till date”, Gaonkar said.
Centre gives Rs 15 crore for projectPanaji: The central government has sanctioned a fund of `15 crore for setting up a tribal museum in Ponda.The project cost of `15 crore will be borne by the tribal welfare ministry.In all, 10 museums of this kind will be set up across the country, in the states where tribal movements took place against the colonial rule.“To commemorate the long-overdue sacrifices of the valiant tribal freedom fighters and exhibit their traditional heritage, the ministry is establishing ten tribal freedom fighters museums across the length and breadth of India,” it stated.The ten museums will come up in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Mizoram and Goa.The ministry maintained that the tribal museum in Ponda will be established to showcase the contribution of tribal heroes during the Indian freedom struggle in Goa.These museums will further preserve and promote songs, music, art skills, handicraft and crafts passed down from generation to generation.The tribal museums will help educate the younger generation about India’s tribal history and will also boost tourism in the respective regions.The announcement as regards the ten tribal museums were made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year after inaugurating a museum in Ranchi dedicated to Birsa Munda, the folk hero and freedom fighter.
PANAJI: Taking cue from the devastation and flash floods that hit the state during the monsoon over the past three years, the state has revamped its strategy for natural calamities and put in place a detailed disaster plan with clearly specified responsibilities. Aside from standard operating procedures for response agencies, the state has also mapped the areas that are vulnerable to landslides and floods. With the monsoons less than a fortnight, the Goa state disaster management authority has activated the district disaster management cells and also set up control rooms in each district to coordinate disaster mitigation and disaster response measures, said state government officials. Water resources department (WRD) officials also pointed out that unlike earlier years, when cyclone relief shelters remained on paper, three of the five cyclone shelters in North Goa are complete, while over 120 relief shelters have been identified in South Goa. Two more cyclone shelters are being constructed at Altinho-Panaji and Marna-Siolim. Speaking to TOI, South Goa collector Jyoti Kumari said that the disaster management cell has identified vulnerable areas and also identified emergency response providers. “An exercise was conducted in early May where the various stakeholders deliberated in detail on the mitigation measures, vulnerability assessment, damage caused in the last few years and the role of the various emergency responders,” said Kumari. The trail of devastation left behind by cyclone Tauktae in May has not been forgotten. The tropical cyclone lashed Goa with fierce winds, heavy rain and gusts up to 100kmph. Tautkae destroyed over 200 homes, uprooted hundreds of trees and plunged the state into darkness as power lines and communication lines were snapped. The state government estimated that the value of the losses stood at Rs 146 crore. The surge in water levels also caused some low-lying areas to be cut-off from the rest of the state. The sea level rise saw many beaches being taken over with water entering shacks and houses. With this in mind, the government has identified low-lying areas and vulnerable areas such as Bicholim, Sanquelim, Divar, Chorao, Ponda, Paroda, Khareband-Margao, Canacona, Bogmalo, Vasco. In Ponda itself, the state has estimated that around 600 dwelling units are vulnerable to flooding. “The state disaster management authority directed all stakeholders to take up pre-monsoon activities such as de-silting of drains, trimming of trees, identification of dangerous structures. As per directions, the panchayats and the towns have started the normal monsoon work,” said an official who was present for the meeting. Aside from the regular pre-monsoon work, Kumari also said that an SOP is being drafted specifically for flood-prone zones. “There have been directions to the deputy collectors and the WRD to put up signages at flood-prone areas and places where drowning deaths occur,” said Kumari. The 5,000-odd residents of Sal, Ibrampur and neighbouring areas along the river Chapora have yet to forget the horrors of the inky black floods of August 2019. The residents of Usgao and Ganjem in Ponda have their own vivid nightmare, the havoc created by incessant rain and flooding in July 2021. “One of the key challenges that we noticed was that some areas were completely cut off and given the large number of emergency calls, first responders had their hands full,” said a Central government official who had assisted the state with rescue efforts. In 2019 and 2021, the state government had roped in the Navy, Coast Guard and Army to assist the Goa fire and emergency department. In preparation for the coming monsoon, the state disaster management authority has already formed the different teams for rescue operations. Additional teams have been formed to restore power supply, provide medical aid, shelter and food. The departments have also identified agencies who have cranes, trucks and boats which could be requisitioned in case of an emergency. In addition, the state has also appointed 350 ‘aapada mitras’ and ‘aapada sakhis’ who will be trained and deployed for disaster response.
Ponda: Shubham Bhople, 21, a labourer from Maharashtra, died on the way to hospital after he was pulled out of an under-construction sewage manhole that flooded at Daag-Kapileshwari in Ponda on Thursday evening. Bhople and Shahbuddin, 18, were de-watering an eight-metre deep manhole of a government sewerage plant around 6.30pm when the water level suddenly rose as the pump used for pumping out water malfunctioned. Shahbuddin managed to climb out, but Bhople could not as he slipped and fell inside. “Bhople slipped into the manhole while trying to come out. His colleagues though managed to bring him out alive, he was declared dead when brought to the hospital,” PI Vijaykumar Chodankar said. Shahbhudin though did not suffer bodily injuries, he is in trauma and undergoing treatment at the sub district hospital (SDH), Ponda. A source from Sewerage Infrastructure Development Corporation of Goa said the workers were engaged by the contractor hired to work till late evening to meet the May-end deadline. While construction of the sewage treatment plant situated at a walkable distance from the manhole was completed a while ago, its trial is pending as four manholes are not ready. PSI Rashmi Bhaidkar is investigating the case.
Staff ReporterPondaIn a tragic road accident reported at Baytakhol, Borim, a 36-year-old tipper truck driver was crushed to death after his vehicle crashed into a roadside valley on the downhill stretch of the Ponda-Margao highway on Tuesday evening. The deceased is identified as Vinayak Chari, resident of Sanguem, who is also the owner of the tipper truck.According to Ponda police, the incident occurred at around 3.30 p.m. when the truck was proceeding towards Sanguem from the Khorlim depo with empty soft drink bottles made of glass loaded in it. The tipper truck owner, who is an occasional driver,was alone in the vehicle, which he had chosen to drive as his driver was on leave. As the vehicle reached Baytakhol, Borim the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the roadside valley.In this accident the driver got trapped in the vehicle, and was crushed inside due to the impact. Fire personnel rushed to the site and tried to rescue the trapped driver by cutting the door of the vehicle, but he was declared dead on arrival by the doctors at the hospital.In this matter an unnatural death case is registered and further investigation is in progress. Police have also informed that the deceased is survived by his wife and two 8-month old twins.
Panaji: Agriculture minister Ravi Naik said the price of water has risen and will continue to rise. When home minister Amit Shah visited some time ago, “a bottle of water provided to him cost Rs 850, and it was bought from Mapusa”, Naik said at a function in Ponda on Tuesday. Citing a news report, he said that the time is not far when the price of water will be at par with that of gold, and hence, a state like Goa which receives ample rainfall must conserve water.
Ponda: Vinayak Chari, 44, a resident of Uguem, Sanguem died after his goods carrying tempo fell into a roadside ravine at Baithakhol-Borim in Ponda on Tuesday afternoon. Chari had come to deliver a consignment as his driver was on leave. The Baithakhol-Borim road stretch on Ponda-Karnataka national highway has been accident prone zone and needs permanent barricades to prevent vehicles moving out of the road. The accident occurred at around 3pm when there was less traffic. However, a passerby informed the police, who later summoned the firemen as the tempo was fallen into the deep valley, and needed metal cutting equipment to extricate the occupant trapped inside the vehicle. Collem PI Sanjay Dalvi said that the driver may have failed to judge the road alignment while negotiating a turn and fell into the ravine. “The impact of the mishap was high as the Chari was trapped inside the wrecked cabin of the tempo. Fire fighters removed him by cutting the cabin door. He was declared brought dead at the hospital,” Dalvi said. The deceased is survived by his wife and eight-month-old twins.
NT BUZZKrishnadas Shama Goa State Central Library and the Directorate of Art and Culture presented awards for Goa State ‘Best Library’ and ‘Best Librarian’ on May 10, at Sanskruti Bhavan, Panaji.The award for ‘Best Library’ was presented to Goa College of Engineering Library, Ponda. The ‘Best Librarian’ was conferred upon Maria Ana Paiva and Vikrant P Malwankar. Paiva has to her credit various contributions as a senior librarian at the Central Library since 1987.She has also presented a paper on ‘Digital Archiving and Preservation at Goa Central Library: A study’.As a library subject expert, Malwankar has received awards from various institutions towards contributions in the field of library movement and reading culture.He has eight years of teaching in Library and Information Science Department, and has also guided students for completion of Master in Library Science. He has 10 publications to his credit and has attended various workshops on library software.The opening of the ceremony began with a bhajan recital. The chief guest, Minister for Art and Culture, Govind Gaude congratulated the winners and spoke about the importance of books and how it impacted his political career this far.Secretary of Art and Culture, Sanjay Gihar, deputy director and curator, Ashok Parab and State librarian, Sulaksha Kolmule spoke on the occasion.Principal of Goa College of Engineering, Ponda, Rajesh Lohani promised that the present collection of books at 97,166, will cross one lakh by the next award ceremony. The college library also has 100 journals of national and international acclaim.Sandesh Dessai handed over his PhD thesis on the topic ‘Resources and Facilities of the Public Library in Fulfilling the Educational Needs of Goan Public Library and Analytical Study’.
Ponda: Emphasising on the need for Goa to become a self-reliant state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said he was not happy with the quality of vegetables supplied by the other states and urged people to take up vegetable cultivation for a better yield and profits.“Government spends around `20 crore on subsidy for procuring vegetables from other states and you all know what type of vegetables we get. I don’t want to speak about the quality of vegetables we get. If I speak, the newspapers will publish it,” Sawant said adding that if farmers in the state can produce these vegetables, the `20 crore subsidy can be availed by them.The Chief Minister said this during a state-level livelihood mission programme ‘Stree Shakti’held in Ponda.He said Goa is importing most of the commodities like fruits, vegetables, food grains and flowers and is hence dependent on the other states. “Unless and until we try to produce these things here, our state will not become self-reliant,” Sawant said urging farmers to venture into farming, especially vegetable cultivation, which, he said, has a huge demand and involves profit too.He said the government has set a target of making 1 lakh people self-reliant in the state in five years. “We will be able to achieve this if the self-help groups and village organisations take active part in the initiative,” Sawant said.At the event held, the Rural Development Agency disbursed around `2.30 crore to women entrepreneurs from self-help groups and village organisations to support them financially. Rural Development Agency Minister Govind Gaude, project director Meena Goltekar and other officials of the department were present during the programme.The Chief Minister assured women to provide rent-free premises in the Handicraft Department mall proposed at Patto in Panaji where he said the women groups can display and sell their products. Project work has already commenced at an estimated cost of `16 crore, he said.
MARGAO/PONDA: When Kadamba Transport Corporation’s (KTC’s) Ponda-Savoi Verem-Volvoi bus came to a grinding halt at the Savoi Verem market Friday morning, the 20-odd passengers, used as they are to frequent mid-journey breakdowns of Kadamba buses, thought it was yet another of such mechanical malfunction that caused the bus to stop in its tracks. Beyond cursing the government under their breath, the passengers could do little else but stay stranded as public transport in this remote village is scarce. The driver of the bus – who is a regular on this route – got down and went about the usual trouble-shooting exercise. “Diesel asa mure? (Hope the bus hasn’t run out of diesel?)” shouted a passenger at the driver from the back seat of the bus. The driver initially dismissed the query, secure in his belief that the fuel in the tank was sufficient. But, as an afterthought, When he checked the fuel gauge, he found, to his as well as the passengers’ astonishment, the fuel tank contained not a drop of diesel. The bus had indeed run out of fuel. Though the passengers made their alternative arrangements to reach their destination, the driver earned the wrath of the KTC’s chairperson, Ulhas Tuenkar, who has taken charge of the corporation only recently. Taking cognizance of the video clip that immediately went viral on social media, he spoke to the KTC administration and made sure the driver was issued a memo asking for an explanation. “This is a case of clear negligence on the part of the driver and such callous behaviour will not be brooked,” Tuenkar told TOI. “There is a petrol pump in every depot of KTC, and it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the bus is filled with sufficient fuel before he takes charge of the bus journey. Kadamba buses serve as a crucial, and sometimes the only, means of transport for people from remote areas and, therefore, it should be our endeavor to provide the people reliable service.” The incident happened at around 8.30 am and most of the passengers were heading home to Volvoi and surrounding areas. In the return trip, the bus departs from Volvoi at 9 am and the passengers comprise mostly office goers. Had the incident happened during this trip, the passengers would have been greatly inconvenienced as an alternative means of transport is difficult to be arranged on this rural route. Explaining the significance of Kadamba buses to the common man, Tuenkar gave an instance of a person from Ibrampur, Pernem, who travelled everyday to Farmagudi, Ponda by the early morning Kadamba bus to pursue his engineering studies at Goa Engineering College. “This young man, who is now a well-placed engineer, acknowledges that had KTC not catered to that remote route, his dream of becoming an engineer would have remained just that, a pipe dream. I urge the drivers and conductors of the Kadamba buses to realize the yeoman service they are providing to the society and to discharge their duties in the most responsible manner.”
PONDA: Despite the price hike for full cream milk since May 1, Goa Dairy has failed to supply this variant in the market and cooperation minister Subhash Shirodkar has now assured to intervene to regularise supply. Shirodkar told TOI that he would summon the administration panel members and discuss dairy development as well as ensuring smooth supply of the variant. Goa Dairy had hiked the rate of full cream (buffalo - high fat) milk by Rs5 a litre from May 1. Meanwhile, customers have expressed their displeasure. A customer said that the dairy had no right to announce a price hike when it was not capable of ensuring supply. “Since a government agency has declared that full cream milk from Goa Dairy is the purest, quality and health conscious people have started preferring it but the dairy is not serious about the supply,” Ramdas Naik, a Ponda resident said. Madhav Sahakari, former chairman of the dairy said that such attitude would harm the dairy’s credibility and affect its future as well as that of its staff. “The dairy needs people with thorough knowledge of the dairy for its progress,” Sahakari said. Sources at Goa Dairy said that they have currently halted production of full cream milk.
Panaji: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the director general of police to submit an affidavit explaining the compliance status of his standing order to curb illegal sand mining. The court has sought details of the daily patrolling record and information of sand extraction at four hotspots — Amona-Virdi Bridge, Kankan (Ponda), Volvoi (Ponda), and Camurlim (Bardez). The court has also asked the DGP to inform it whether action is proposed to be taken against police officials in Pernem, where illegal sand extraction was taking place. It was submitted to the high court that sand extraction at least in Terekhol has now stopped, and some action has been taken against those involved. Advocate general Devidas Pangam told the court that Terekhol was not styled as one of the hotspots, and therefore, there was no 24x7 police vigilance. “The learned advocate general may be right in his submission,” the HC said. “Nevertheless, we feel that if an operation of this scale goes on in a small village, it is difficult to accept that law enforcement agencies like police officials, mamlatdars, coastal guards, and RTO (road transport office) were completely unaware of the incidents.” “There is no proper explanation why complaints filed by concerned citizens, perhaps a significant danger to them, were ignored. In any case, this is a matter that is required to be inquired into with seriousness, as indicated by the DGP himself in his standing order dated March 17, 2022,” added the division bench comprising justices M S Sonak and R N Laddha. “There is virtually a game of hide and seek that is going on. If that has to be tackled with seriousness, we feel that it is high time some action is necessary against those who failed to prevent such instances,” the high court stated.
Ponda: A month after the registrar of cooperative societies termed his appointment as illegal, Goa Dairy’s officer on special duty (OSD) Kashi D Naik resigned on Monday. The three-member administrative committee had appointed him as OSD on February 23. In its letter sent to the Goa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union popularly known as Goa Dairy, assistant registrar of cooperative societies, Pandurang Sawant, had sought clarification from the administrative panel on April 1 over Naik’s appointment and had sought for a response within seven days. He had also intimated the dairy that such appointments are against the Cooperative Societies Act. Since the committee of administrators was appointed by the registrar of cooperative societies, such appointments need the approval of the registrar, but the committee had not asked for permission regarding Naik’s appointment, Sawant had said.
Ponda: A Delhi registration car injured a policeman and dashed against a road side tree while attempting to flee after a hit-and-run accident to avert arrest on Monday forenoon. The car has been gutted fully after hitting the tree. Police constable Sagar Patekar suffered fracture to his leg bone, and the car driver Akshit Agarwal, 30, a native of Delhi has been arrested for hurting a public servant to avert him from lawful duty. Ponda PI Vijaykumar Chodankar said Agarwal was working in Bengaluru. After visiting Goa, he was proceeding to Bengaluru via Anmod Ghat. On Monday morning while returning to Karnataka, his car had hit another car at Curti-Ponda. However, he escaped from the scene before police staff could reach the spot to avoid being booked for the accident. The police alerted patrolling vans to intercept the car moving towards Mollem-Dharbandora. Following the instruction, police patrolling van driver Sainath Dessai and Patekar spotted the car near Dharbandora’s old RTO Office and tried to intercept it. “But Agarwal knocked down Patekar to avert him from arresting him and accelerated the car. However, he could not handle the high speed and dashed the vehicle against a roadside tree. With the impact, the car engine created spark and fire engulfed the vehicle,” said Chodankar. An offence under Section 333 of IPC has been registered against Agarwal.
Ponda: In the backdrop of statement made on LordParshuram by the former Goa unit chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Subhash Velingkar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Goa in-charge Mohan Amshekar on Monday said that there is no problem in discussing atrocities committed by the Portuguese rulers on Goans, and Christians should not get offended by it.While briefing the media in Ponda, Amshekar said, “Hindus in Goa worship Lord Parshurama as their lord and will continue to do so. Secondly, there is no harm in discussing atrocities committed by the Portuguese rulers on Goans as it is a fact and people have suffered because of it. Christians in Goa should not forget that our ancestors are one, as Goan Christians were Hindus before inquisition.No Hindus have done such a cruelty to the people on the basis of religion like that done by the Portuguese rulers, and will never do so in the future too. So, Christians in the state should not worry.”
Panaji: Sakshi Kale didn’t look out of place at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Having travelled 40km from Usgao alone, walking through a dirt road to catch a bus and then changing it twice to reach the stadium, the 17-year-old was ready to test herself against the rest of the athletes for the 100m sprint at the SAG/GAA Mini State Athletic Championship. There was nothing unusual for the naked eye. Only that Sakshi was visually impaired and 100m sprint wasn’t her first choice. The first blind athlete to win a medal for Goa at the Para Athletics National Championship in Bhubaneswar last month—a gold in long jump in the T12 blind category with a jump of 4.6m—Sakshi was forced to opt out from her pet event as “it becomes difficult to compete in regular long jump events”. “At the para nationals, the arrangements are different. The markings are thicker and in white, here it’s red. I won’t be able to see the markings when I run (to take the jump),” she told TOI after the event. At the para running events, the blind runners (T11) always have a guide, but those categorised as T12—who have some sight—can opt to either have a guide or run alone. Sakshi, who has 75% blind disability, ran without a guide, while every other visually impaired female runner partnered with male guides. She picked up a silver medal in the 200m and finished fourth in 100m, running alone at the nationals. “I had trained alone, so a guide would have been an impediment,” Sakshi said. Training to run without a guide, despite her blindness, helped Sakshi take part in the state championship last week. The 100m event was relatively easy. “It’s running in a straight line as fast as you can,” she said, after finishing a creditable fifth from among seven finalists. Sakshi took to athletics only in January after Sudesh Gaude, formerly with the directorate of social welfare, put her in touch with the Goa Paralympics Association, led by Sudesh Thakur. Growing up, Sakshi took an instant liking for sports. She played football with the boys, even captained her U-14 school team at MIBK at Khandepar but has now decided to focus solely on athletics with an aim of making it big on the international stage. “We realised about her blindness only when she was about four years old and by that time it was too late. Despite the handicap, she handles everything by herself. Sports is now her life and I have no doubt she will go far” said mother Milan. It’s not been easy for the Class 11 student of GVM’s SNJA Higher Secondary School in Farmagudi. It does not help that she stays in Kumbea Koden in Tisk Usgao, where buses don’t even ply. She has to walk through the dirt road covered by bushes on either side, before she can catch a bus. That’s only one part of her struggle. Covid-19 has also dealt a blow. Her father—a driver by profession—works just twice a week with a local builder, while her mother lost her job as peon at a school in Ponda. “We have to overcome the difficulties,” Sakshi said. The Ponda sports complex, where she trains under coach Snehal More, does not have jump pit, so she has to travel all the way to Bambolim to practice her jumps with former state champion Devi Gaonkar keeping a close eye. “I asked my sister to show me how to travel to Bambolim by bus on the first day. She came with me. Since then, I have been travelling alone on three buses (Usgao-Ponda-Panaji-Bambolim). If you are determined enough, you’ll always find your way,” she said. Her gold at the para nationals means Sakshi now stands a chance to represent India in international events. Her father has applied for a passport. Soon enough, she will have one too.
Panaji: It was an unusual day at police stations across Goa on Saturday, as the Samadhan public outreach initiative kicked off. From neighbourhood fights to cheating and minor property disputes, Goa police witnessed over 100 ‘petty’ complaints, in which citizens got a sympathetic and patient ear, as well as advice, from the men in uniform. The initiative was launched by director general of police Jaspal Singh, and the DGP himself visited two police stations — Porvorim and Mapusa — to hear complaints. At Porvorim, for instance, two neighbours approached the police over some sewage release. After hearing them out, Singh directed personnel to inspect the site and resolve the issue, and asked for a detailed report in two days. The initiative mainly involves minor cases that police try to resolve before they reach the stage of registration of offence. Police personnel try to counsel the factions to amicably resolve issues at the primary stage itself, so that they do not end up going to court. Henceforth, every Saturday, SDPOs (sub-divisional police officers, at the level of deputy SP) will be present at police stations to give citizens a patient hearing. Singh said that in around 70% of the cases, the complaints didn’t require case registration, but were resolved through positive intervention. SP Shobhit Saxena said that all police stations will maintain a register and through alternate dispute resolution, matters will be resolved. In Ponda, two neighbours approached police over a money-lending issue. One man said that he had given money to his neighbour and he failed to return it. He said the neighbour returned the money in the form of a cheque which bounced. He said that he has filed a case in court. Ponda police advised him to get necessary directions from court, and that they would help him recover the money. A person approached Margao police station to complain that his wife took his two children to the US. Police heard the aggrieved person and advised him to approach the appropriate court.
Staff ReporterPanajiIn a major decision, Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Vishwajit Rane on Fridaydirected the town planners and the Planning and Development Authorities(PDAs) of the TCP Department to ensure that the eco-sensitive areas in the state are protected at all costs.Rane told this daily that the government will not allow anybody to disturb the eco-sensitive areas located in the Western Ghat region.“As per the Regional Plan 2021, I have directed the town planners and the PDAsof the TCP Department to ensure that the eco-sensitive areas are protected at all costs,” he said.The Minister further said that a strict vigil will be kept to ensure that the eco-sensitive areas are not converted. “The department will be closely monitoring any changes in these areas,” he said. Rane, who also holds the Forest portfolio, said that it is important to protect the eco-sensitive areas in the state to preserve the ecology and the environment. After taking over as the TCP Minister, Rane has taken several decisions including reviewing cases under 16B of the TCP Act and suspension of the outline development plans of cities like Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Ponda.In an attempt to streamline various processes in the department, Rane has alsodirected the Member Secretary of the PDAs to clear files on afast-track basis.“No files seeking permission for construction will be kept pending beyond 21 days,” he said.Moreover, Rane has also announced that for constructions involving up to 500 square metres of area, attestation can now be done directly with architect. “Architects will be empanelled with the TCP Department and they will do the self-attestation. Payment for the same can be made online and visiting the TCP Department or the PDA offices will not be necessary,” he said.
Staff ReporterPondaAfter making several unsuccessful attempts to complete its signature project for nearly 11 years and spending around `2 crore out of `4.40 crore fund received from the government, Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) has finally given up on the project and has decided to hand it over to the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) for its completion.PMC chairperson Ritesh Naik recently announced that due to lack of funds the signature project will be handed over to the GSUDA for completion.Thesignatureproject, which comprises two theatres, halls, library and other facilities, was sanctioned in 2011 during the Congress government regime to commemorate the golden jubilee year of Goa’s Liberation.The then home minister and Ponda MLA Ravi Naik had laid the foundation stone for theprojecton December 19, 2011.Interestingly, theprojecthad witnessed laying of another foundation stone in May 2014 at the hands of the then PWD minister Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar.Following whichthe PMC had cleared the plan of theprojectin 2015 with estimated cost of around `2 crore and the construction work had started in June 2015.The projectwas supposed to be completed by the year 2016. But a few months after commencement of the work, the contractor stopped it for unknown reasons. According to sources, inflation and rise in cost estimate of theprojectwere the reasons for halting the work.The PMC then prepared another estimate of theprojectand demanded an additional funding of `2.40 crore from the government and the contractor resumed its work in the year 2017-18. But a few months later, it was stopped yet again.Troubled by it, the PMC decided to terminate the contract. Although the initial process for the same was started, considering the legal aspect and time that it would consume, the PMC has now planned to do a settlement with the contractor asking him to leave the project, informed sources from PMC.And after that the PMC will hand over the project to the GSUDA with additional fund of `2.40 crore received from the government to them. In case of more funds, it would be borne by the GSUDA, a PMC official stated.
Margao: Vasco MLA Krishna ‘Daji’ Salkar took charge as chairperson of the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) on Thursday. Speaking to reporters on the occasion, Salkar said that it would be his endeavour to provide a transparent and people-friendly administration in SGPDA. “I have been the chairman of Mormugao PDA in the past and I had given transparent administration, which was appreciated by the people. In a similar way, I will ensure that SGPDA is transparent in its dealings and strives to provide people-friendly administration,” Salkar said. Stating that he was yet to become acquainted with the working of the SGPDA, Salkar said he would first discuss the proposals and projects of the SGPDA with the officials before spelling out his plans and priorities. He, however, said that resolving issues concerning the wholesale and retail markets of the SGPDA and proposal of construction of a commercial complex would be among his focus areas. Salkar, who had contested the last assembly elections as a BJP candidate from Vasco, had defeated Congress candidate Carlos Almeida. Salkar succeeds Wilfred D’Sa. The former Nuvem MLA was rewarded with the post in 2019 for moving to BJP, thus ending the dominion of Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai on SGPDA. During D’Sa’s tenure, SGPDA had decided to prepare a new Outline Development Plan (ODP) for Margao and Ponda planning areas on the grounds that the earlier plans contained errors and thus needed to be rectified. The government by an order dated March 15, 2021, had accorded approval for the preparation of the ODP of Margao and Ponda Planning Area. Earlier this week, the town and country planning (TCP) minister announced that all ODPs in the state, both notified and draft plans, have been suspended “in order to weed out discrepancies.”
Panaji: The recently-inaugurated bus terminus at Marcel will soon boast an added facility—a public library containing over 20,000 books. The state cabinet has granted approval to waive rent for 99 years for the premises belonging to the Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd (KTC). The library will be set up by the directorate of art and culture on an area measuring 243 sqm. The cabinet note stated that there was a long-pending demand from senior citizens, the reading community and students, among others, from Marcel and surrounding areas for a well-equipped, modern library. Accordingly, the department of art and culture had approached various government departments, corporates and private organisations for space. When the new terminus at Marcel was inaugurated, the department approached KTC and the government, requesting them for space for a library on a rent-free basis. A senior government official said that among others, the library would also greatly benefit people who have to wait for buses to arrive. Art and culture minister Govind Gaude said that all types of books would be made available at the library. “We plan to get nearly 20,000 books, including e-books,” he said. Gaude said that the department also has plans to start libraries on wheels in every taluka. Further, he said that the department has begun upgrading the Ponda public library and it would soon be a facility where youth can prepare themselves for competitive exams, including UPSC and GPSC.
Ponda: Prathamesh Chandrasekhar Gaude, 14, a class seven student from Nanus-Usgao in Ponda taluka, drowned in the river located around 200 m from his home. Gaude, a student of Government High School, Ganjem, was swimming with his friends in the water body on Wednesday. Ponda PI Vijaykumar Chodankar said the body has been retrieved. tnn