Panaji: This time last year the fire and emergency personnel doubly risked their lives in the line of duty as they battled the ravages of the Cyclone Tauktae knowing full well they were exposed to the risk of Covid-19, which at that time was at the peak of its second wave in the state and several thousands has succumbed to the virus. “Our fire station alone registered around 400 calls. People began queueing up and politicians began sitting in the office and pressuring us to send teams to their areas as trees had fallen on homes, roads and electrical infrastructure,” a fire station operator said. “We ourselves had power supply cut off for around three days. Our telephones and UPS backup went off and our wireless systems stopped and fire personnel used their personal numbers to communicate. It felt like war time. At the same time people were calling with requests to sanitise areas where there was an outbreak of Covid-19,” he added. The trees — mango, banyan, nilgiri, casuarina, gulmohar, tamarind, jackfruit — that the cyclone brought down were huge and took fire personnel two to three hours to cut. The cutter they handled itself weighed five kilograms. Fire personnel also took the assistance of private tree cutters. They worked closely with panchayats and municipalities as well as the electricity department, checking with them each time about live wires, etc. Such was the impact of the cyclone that the teams would set off to attend to a call but end up clearing the damage caused by several other fallen trees along their way to be able to reach their final destination. “We would be on our way to attend to calls when along the route people would stop our vehicle and ask for help. The difference between this and other cyclones was that we had to be on our toes all the time. We managed to tackle it because of team work. Without that nothing would have been possible,” firefighter Sairaj Naik said. Blocked roads meant that it took firefighter Richard Trindade two hours to reach the Mapusa fire station to report for duty from Pernem, which was otherwise a 45-minute journey for him. Fire personnel got injured on the job, requiring stitches and other treatment. Many said it was not possible to carry out the strenuous work of clearing trees off roads, houses and power infrastructure and rescuing people from inundated areas with their masks on continuously. In one incident, with the rains and winds continuing, the branch of a tree came crashing down on the head and shoulders of one of Trinidade’s colleagues knocking the fire personnel unconscious for a few minutes while they were attending to another tree fall case. “He didn’t know what had happened and was taken by surprise. If he wasn’t wearing a helmet he would have been seriously injured,” Trindade said. In rescue operations from flood hit areas, some seniors were not ready to leave their homes and needed lots of convincing, he added. The Mapusa fire station that looked after almost the entire North coastal belt, which was badly affected, was kept on its toes. Some firefighters like Shaylesh G Tari were on leave, but all leaves were cancelled as the damage was too much to handle and they were all asked to report on duty early morning. “We may have cut up and cleared around 200 fallen trees during that week. We had handled cyclones earlier, but this one caused widespread damage to people’s property and electrical equipment. In addition, we tackled rain, heavy wind and Covid while on the job,” he said. Fire personnel worked overtime and even stayed over at the fire station for days to be able to attend to all the calls. Leading firefighter Vishnu B Gawas said his family was left worried each time he returned home from duty and prayed he wouldn’t carry Covid into the home where there were elderly and children. “It was a big risk working during the second wave, but we had to take it. We didn’t know when we would be the next casualty of Covid, but we were proud to do our job and provide service to society. Our teams even crossed the Maharashtra border and went into Muneri from Dodamarg to help and we enjoyed our work,” he said. During rescue operations at flood hit areas in Revora and Pernem, firefighters also risked entering water bodies during the day and night to rescue stranded people even as the fear of encountering crocodiles loomed large. “Our families don’t always know the kind of risks we take and we don’t tell them. It’s only when we are felicitated or when our efforts are reported that they find out much later and gain new respect for their husbands, fathers, brothers,” Gawas said.
Panaji: A photograph of a pillion rider with a gun tucked into his trousers caused a stir on social media on Monday. Goa police inquired about the visual, which was reportedly taken at Mapusa, only to find that the weapon was a fake gun. “The two persons in the picture were identified. On verification, it was found that the gun is a lighter. In view of the sensitivity of the matter, necessary preventive action has been taken against the duo and the toy gun seized,” SP North Shobhit Saxena tweeted. The two-wheeler was a Karnataka registered vehicle. The post evoked sharp criticism. “So now in Goa guys tuck guns in their pants and show off. Is this a new trend,” said one post. Another post said, “Home minister is busy with the history of the state so the law and order is for?”
Staff ReporterMapusaThe Mapusa police on Sunday said that they have booked one Odisha native for attacking his roommate with a sharp weapon at Verla-Canca.The police said that the victim is undergoing treatment at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim and added that the accused is absconding.The police said that the incident took place on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday and added that the accused Suraj Tirtha Chandan attacked Manoj Bagh, also a native of Odisha with a sharp weapon on his head. The police said that they have registered an offence under Section 307 (murder attempt) of the IPC against the accused.
Panaji: IIT-Madras, which has been roped in by the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) to study the defects in the 5.1-km long cable-stayed Atal Setu, has requested for four additional core samples. GSIDC will extract the 100mm core samples from the bridge’s tarmac and send them to Chennai for analysis. The corporation’s officials expect IIT-Madras to submit the preliminary report by May-end. Unable to prevent the frequent potholes on the Atal Setu, the state government had turned to IIT-Madras in July last year for answers. Chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that the institute would study the reason why the bitumen fails to adhere with the span of the bridge, after which L&T — the company that constructed the bridge — will be asked to take corrective measures. While the GSIDC has started interim repairs on the bridge, a permanent solution will be possible only after IIT Madras submits its report and findings. Potholes have become a common occurrence on the bridge, which has been built at a cost of Rs 581 crore. Though inaugurated in January 2019, the Atal Setu remains incomplete and the GSIDC has yet to issue a completion certificate to L&T. With a five-year defect liability period mentioned in the contract, L&T has been repairing the Atal Setu without any cost to the exchequer. Recently, at least six vehicles were damaged in accidents on the Atal Setu because of the potholes that mar the bridge. Given the spate of accidents, it is no surprise that some motorists have decided to avoid the bridge. Panaji resident Arun Baba Naik recently took to social media to announce that he would no longer use the bridge for his commute to Mapusa. “Looking at two accidents in two days on Atal Setu, I have decided not to use this bridge to go or come back from Mapusa,” said Naik.
Staff ReporterMapusaTraders in the Mapusa municipal market on Tuesday objected to installation of barricades at the entry point and charging of fees for parking.They demanded that the municipality should take stakeholders into confidence before taking such decisions. Paying heed to the issues raised by the traders, the MMC removed the barricades.On Tuesday morning, the situation had turned chaotic as four-wheelers were not allowed inside the market due to the barricades that were installed.The traders also alleged that the contractor was charging people who were entering the market in the name of pay parking.Trader Ashish Shirodkar said that only pay parking contract has been given and it is wrong to charge entry fee from vehicle owners. Such a decision was taken without taking stakeholders into confidence by the MMC, he claimed.Following complaints from traders, chairman of the municipal market committee Viraj Phadke rushed to the market and asked the market inspectors to remove the barricades. He said that people will be charged only parking fees and notentry fee.Chief officer Sitaram Sawal said that after discussion with the contractor it was suggested to install barricades at entry points to control vehicular movement, however it was alleged that the contractor was charging. “After having a discussion with the merchant committee, we have decided to hold inspection of the market and then decide accordingly,” said Sawal.Meanwhile, the mango vendors conducting business in Mapusa market on Tuesday called on the municipal market committee chairman Phadke and requested him not to shift them to the fish market.These vendors conduct business in the market only during the mango season. They mostly occupy the lanes opposite the J K Wines Stores. This has been going on for several years, however this time the vendors were told that the municipality wants to shift them to the fish market area.Not pleased by this, the vendors approached Phadke and Ashirwad Khorjuvekar with a request to allow them to operate from theexisting space.They said they are in the market doing business only for two months given the seasonal nature of the fruit and that they do not cause trouble to anyone.Chairman of the municipal market committee Phadke said that outsiders come and do whatever they want. “We submitted our report to the chief officer to take action against these people as local vendors are getting affected,” he said.
Staff ReporterMapusaTwo thieves impersonated as police officers and stole gold ornaments of a Revora resident at Mapusa.According to police on Tuesday morning at around 7 a.m. one Simon D’Cruz, (66) resident of Mazilwaddo, Revora was riding his bike towards Parra. Police said that when the complainant reached near Gandhi Circle, Mapusa, the accused met him and was talking to him in Hindi. They told him that they are police officers and that theft cases have increased. The accused then asked the complainant to remove all his gold ornaments and wrapped them into a handkerchief, following which they fled from the spot. The complainant attempted to pursue the accused, but could not get to them on his scooter.Subsequently he rushed to the Mapusa police station and lodged a complaint against the two accused.Acting on the complaint, Mapusa police registered an offence under Section 170 and 379 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused.Further investigation is being conducted by PSI Vibha Volvoikar under the supervision of Mapusa police inspector.
Staff ReporterMapusaAnjuna police registered two unnatural death cases after two male bodies were found at Chapora and Vagator. Police suspect the cases as drowning.According to police on Tuesday morning a call was received from Chapora coastal police informing about a male body of around 30- 35 years near the Chapora jetty. Following which the Anjuna police team rushed to the spot and the body was fished out. Police conducted the panchanama and sent the body to Goa Medical College at Bambolim for preservation. Police have ruled out any foul play.Later in the afternoon, information was received about a body found near a rock at Vagator beach. Police rushed to the spot and found the body which was fully decomposed. The Mapusa fire station was also informed about the incident who rushed to the spot. Police said there were no external injuries found on the body.Anjuna police registered the offence and are investigating the case.Police have said that both the bodies are not identified.
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.
Calangute: A fire broke out at a scrapyard in Arpora late Saturday night. Pilerne fire station officials said they received a call at 11.50pm on Saturday, following which they rushed to the spot near the Hindu crematorium at Arpora and started operations to douse the blaze. A fire brigade from Mapusa also reached the spot to provide assistance. A four-wheeler rickshaw used in transporting scrap and a cycle were gutted. Scrap items like tyres and cardboard also also destroyed, while some empty gas cylinders were safely recovered, fire services officials said. The owner of the scrapyard, Gopi Naik was reportedly away at his native place in Karnataka at the time of the incident. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
The accused had targeted offices in MapusaMapusa: A trio released on bail from the Central jail at Colvale just three days back has been re-arrested by the Mapusa police for theft of three mobile phones and cash of `70,000 from an office located in a private building in Mapusa. Police have recovered the mobile phones and cash of Rs16,000 from Ramesh Wadar (37), Sanjay Bane (26), Mohammad Shaikh (28), all natives of Karnataka.Police will write to the concerned police station to cancel bails of the three who were earlier arrested in a theft case.It may be recalled that on Thursday, one Babal Dhargalkar had lodged a complaint about theft from his office and three other offices located on the second floor of a private building at Morod in Mapusa. Police had said that the accused had decamped with three mobile phones and cash of `25,000 all worth `70,000.In this connection, Mapusa police had registered an offence against an unknown person and had started investigation.During the course of investigation, a police team gained reliable information and apprehended the three accused at Mapusa.During interrogation, the trio admitted to their involvement in the theft and they were placed under arrest.Sources said that similar thefts were reported in a private building two years back which went unreported and there is possibility that the trio might have committed them. Mapusa police is further investigating the case.
PANAJI: The North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) on Monday filed a complaint against leader of the opposition Michael Lobo and his wife and Siolim MLA Delilah at Mapusa police station in connection with alleged land filling at Parra. Mapusa police inspector Paresh Naik said that they are conducting an inquiry into the complaint and no FIR has been registered yet. Earlier in the day town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane tweeted, “In violation of the Section 17A & 17B of the TCP Act, 1974, an FIR has been filed against Michael Lobo and his wife Delilah Lobo for landfilling and tree cutting in Parra. The Congress party’s vision for destruction of the state of Goa will never be a reality.” Later at night, Rane again tweeted, “An FIR has been filed against Michael Lobo & Delilah Lobo for violation of Section 17A & Section 17B. However, the FIR has been pending for registration with Paresh Naik, PI Mapusa.” Denying the charges, Lobo said, “This is nothing but politics of revenge.” NGPDA assistant engineer Vikram Tengse said, “The authority was in receipt of letter from deputy town planner, TCP department Mapusa, enclosing complaint received from Rama Ganesh Matondkar stating that his property bearing survey No. 10/8 of Parra village and access to his field bearing survey No. 10/15 and 10/20 blocked by Michael Lobo and Delilah Lobo.” “Accordingly the site was inspected by undersigned on September 7, 2021 and noticed that property bearing survey No 10/8 and 10/10 of Parra village is filled up to adjoining road level and mud filling is done of 4m width approximately in survey No. 10/9 of Parra village without taking permission under Section 17-A of Town & Country Planning Act 1974,” Tengse said. He said that Matondkar had filed writ petition before the high court against said land filling. “The high court directed to this authority to take action in terms of the law based on the prima facie material in the form of check list/inspection report of the flying squad,” Tengse said. The NGPDA said, “Requested to file FIR against Michael Lobo and Delilah resident of Bhatti Vaddo, Parra, Bardez, Goa for filling mud in low-lying paddy field bearing survey No. 10/8, 9, 10 of Parra village under Section 17-B of the Town & Country Planning Act 1974.”
NGPDA files police complaint against them over Parra propertyPanaji/Mapusa: The North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) on Monday filed a complaint with the Mapusa police against Opposition leader Michael Lobo and his MLA wife Delilah Lobo over the alleged land filling at Parra in Bardez taluka.However, Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane maintained that “in violation of the Section 17A and 17B of TCP Act, 1974, an FIR has been filed against Michael Lobo and his wife Delilah Lobo for land filling and tree-cutting at Parra”.The NGPDA asked the police to register an FIR against the Opposition leader and Delilah Lobo under Section 17-B of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1974 for illegally filling mud in a low-lying paddy field bearing survey number 10/8, 9, 10 at Parra.Michael Lobo is Congress’ Calangute MLA, while his wife represents Siolim constituency forthe Congress. Michael Lobo refuted the charges made in the letter claiming that the property shown in the photographs posted on the social media by the TCP Minister is not owned by them, and that Rane is trying to defame them.On March 17, 2022, the NGPDA issued a show-cause notice to the Lobo couple in this matter.Assistant engineer of the NGPDA Vikram Tengse in his letter to police inspector of Mapusa police station stated that the authority was in receipt of a letter on November 11, 2020 from deputy town planner of town and country planning department, Mapusa from Rama Matondkar, which stated that access to his property has been blocked by the Lobos.“Accordingly the site was inspected on September 7, 2021 and noticed that property bearing survey number 10/8 and 10/10 of Parra village is filled up to adjoining road level and mud filling is done of 4.00 mts width approximately in survey number 10/9 of Parra village without taking permission under section 17A of TCP act, 1974,” it stated.The letter further said that Matondkar had filed a writ petition before High Court against the said land filling upon which the court directed to the authority on March 2, 2022 to take action in terms of the law based on the prima facie material in the form of inspection report of a flying squad.“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to file (an) FIR against Michael Lobo and Delilah Lobo, residents of Bhatti Vaddo, Parra Bardez for filling mud in (a) low-lying paddy field bearing survey number 108, 9, and 10 of Parra village under Section 17B of TCP Act, 1974,” said the letter addressed to the police inspector.Reacting to the Michael Lobo’s statement, Rane tweeted, “Why is the term land mafia offensive to Lobo?”“I would like to draw the attention of the leader of Opposition to the fact – there are one PIL, 10 civil appeals, 3 PILs and 60 civil appeals in the court, of which 30 miscellaneous appeals have been dismissed,” Rane maintained.He also alleged that mangroves and saltpans have been converted, and a petition has been filed in this regard.The Opposition leader should not look upon the development as a political witch hunt, but rather as an act of cleansing of all illegalities committed in Calangute and Candolim, the TCP Minister said.“Experts will scrutinise all the matters and everything will be revealed in the next 60 days,” he added.Taking still yet another dig at the Lobos, Rane in his tweet asked: why would so many people petition the court if everything was in line? Isn’t it responsible governance to take cognisance and pause on sub judice matters?There is a similar case of 90,000 sq. mt. of land in survey number 92 of Marra village purchased by an influential person, Rane claimed.“The area is under natural cover and illegally converted as an ‘outline development plan’ for settlement. We will submit this to the committee for review. Such transgressions will not be tolerated,” he said.Addressing at a press conference at Parra, the Opposition leader said that he will meet the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant over the issue and will write a letter to him.He said the TCP Minister posted on social media wrong photographs over the issue of the alleged land filling and hill-cutting.“…My property is being developed as a farm after taking all permission from all authorities. We want to grow vegetables which will be used for our restaurant and hotels and not undertake any construction. It looks like we are being targeted for being in Opposition,” the Calangute MLA stated.“He (Rane) is trying to target me at the behest of someone. He wants to show somebody that he is a capable minister to handle the Opposition. This is political revenge. Rane wants to become holier than cow,” Opposition leader maintained.AICC incharge of Goa desk Dinesh Gundu Rao said the filing of the complaint against Michael Lobo and Delilah Lobo is an act of vindictive politics by the TCP Minister.“You have got an opportunity to govern Goa again for 5 more years; use that period judiciously; don’t use it to settle scores,” Rao tweeted.
NT BUZZA fortnight after Easter, Mapusa celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Milagres (Miracles). Always celebrated on a Monday the feast is celebrated at St Jerome’s Church after nine days of novenas. On May 2, the city of Mapusa came alive for the festivities of Milagres Saibinn who was originally known as Nossa Senhora de Todos os Bens (Our Lady of All Blessings)People from across the state, especially Hindus, also come to venerate and pay obeisance to Milagres Saibinn, who is known from grantingmiracles.While praying to Our Lady, people offer candles, oil, money, parts of human body made out of wax, and even sarees. There are two statues kept for veneration for 15 days, to allow those who wish to pay their obeisance to visit them, before they are moved inside the church.There are people who also vow to beg for alms, with a coconut shell ‘kotti’ in their hands on the feast day. The money collected is used to buy oil, candles or whatever vowed by the devotee- “Hanv borim zalim zalear, bhik magon Tuji angonn farik kortellim”-is the promise made. Oil is also poured on the statue of Our Lady that is kept for veneration, generally by Hindus.According to folklore, Milagres is one of the seven sisters who converted to the Catholic religion. Another sister who was converted is the patron of the chapel of Our Lady of Remedios in Cansaulim. The other sisters are worshipped in different temples. These are Lairai at Shirgao, Mhamai at Mayem, Kelbai at Mulgao, Monai at Morjim, Mahalsa at Mardol. The youngest sister apparently committed Sati.Another interesting tradition of the past would be the ‘ojem’, gifts sent by the two sisters, Lairai and Milagres, to each other. While Lairai would send one pot of oil, Milagres would send a basket of flowers (mogrim). These gifts were sent on the day of the feast and the zatra respectively. This time the zatra of Lairai will begin on Thursday.Despite the heat, people were seen thronging for mass on Monday in the Church premises. The last two years, due to the pandemic, saw the feast being celebrated on a very low scale withoutmuch pomp.
Mapusa: Dempo Sports Club tasted success after more than a decade as they emerged champions in the Goa Pro League to win their 16th state league title. Dempo defeated Sesa FA 2-1 to top the league stages of the GFA President’s Super League at the Duler Football Stadium in Mapusa, on Sunday. One of the country's most successful clubs with five national titles, Dempo were last crowned the state league champions in 2011 when they were India’s best football team. “I am very happy and humbled that Dempo SC has won the Goa Pro League after some years. This is all due to the efforts of our players, support staff and especially our chief coach Samir Naik,” said chairman Shrinivas Dempo. Dempo won the I-League in the 2011-12 season which was their fifth national crown. The club, however, opted out of the I-League in 2016 in protest against the All India Football Federation’s roadmap for Indian football that saw ISL being made the top-tier league, while I-League was relegated to the second tier. Other Goan clubs like Salgaocar FC and Sporting Club de Goa also pulled out. Since then, Dempo have gone on to focus entirely on youth development and set up their very own residential academy in Old Goa in 2017. They are now reaping the rewards. “It is satisfying that we had six players from our academy in the team this season,” said Dempo. Dempo scored two goals in the first half through Klusner Pereira’s well executed curling 30-yard free kick in the fourth minute and a simple tap-in by Aman Govekar (41’) after a defensive error was enough for the league leaders to see off Sesa. Dempo gathered 33 points from 15 matches and have one game in hand against Sporting Clube de Goa. In another match, Salgaocar defeated FC Goa’s developmental side 2-1 at Salvador do Mundo panchayat ground. They now have 28 points, while Sesa have 25 points from 15 matches.
Saligao: Following numerous complaints regarding the accident-prone junction at Peddem in Mapusa, Aldona MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreira, Mapusa MLA and Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) vice-chairman Joshua D’Souza along with other government authorities conducted a joint inspection of the area on Thursday The Mapusa MLA said that temporary installation of traffic signals has been proposed for the area, and that the Mapusa municipality will install the same after seeking permission from the National Highways Authority of India. “It is a dangerous junction. Residents of Acoi, Camarcazan and Peddem face quite a lot of problem while crossing over to Mapusa town. We need a long-term solution,” Ferreira said.
Panaji: Several suggestions, including keeping a watch on the Mapusa municipal market and undertaking ward-wise mapping of high-risk areas in village panchayats and municipal jurisdictions, were discussed at a meeting of the Bardez block committee held to control vector-borne diseases. At the meeting, chaired by deputy collector Sneha Gitte at the government office complex in Mapusa, the committee called for intersectoral coordination and strengthening the network of nodal teachers/officers and their effectiveness to prevent and control vector-borne diseases. The labour department was asked to inform of new labourers entering the state. Listing of registered labour contractors and data management of healthcards issued to migrant construction workers, along with review of compliance of licence/NOC display boards at all construction sites were also discussed. It was decided to put up posters and paintings educating people about vector-borne diseases at the Mapusa market. The committee also called for activating water and sanitation, garbage management committees as well as village health and sanitation, and nutrition committees. Meanwhile, dengue cases that surfaced in Dattagad, Bethora a few weeks ago are on the decline, and there are no new clusters in the state, the health department has stated. In view of the pre-monsoon showers, the department is appealing to the public to prevent any kind of water stagnationin the vicinity of their homes as well as inside the houses. “Even 5 ml of water is sufficient for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue, to breed,” the department stated. Dengue cases in Dattagad, that began emerging in the beginning of April, were caused as residents began storing water in open containers due to restricted supply, thereby leading to breeding of mosquitoes.
Panaji: The churn in TMC continued with state party president Kiran Kandolkar quitting the party on Wednesday. Kandolkar blamed poll strategist Prashant Kishor and the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) for the party’s debacle in the state assembly elections. TMC’s candidates for Mapusa, Siolim and Porvorim also quit the party along with Kandolkar, saying that they saw no hope for the party in Goa. All of them said that their supporters and workers had asked them to ditch the TMC. TMC’s Mapusa candidate Tarak Arolkar, Porvorim candidate Sandeep Vazarkar, Siolim candidate Leo Dias Aldona panch member Rajesh Pirankar and former Aldona sarpanch Deepak Naik quit the TMC along with their supporters. Three days earlier, 32 TMC members quit. Kandolkar challenged Kishor’s claim that he was not involved in the state legislative assembly elections and said that Kishor’s main objective was to defeat Congress and permit BJP to win. “I feel that Kishor came to Goa only to blackmail Congress and to divide the opposition vote,” Kandolkar said. “He wanted to show Congress that they should not take him lightly. He was using Goa to show Congress the kind of damage he can do. If he came to Goa, he came to help BJP win not to defeat them. Kishor distanced himself from Goa’s polls well before the elections and claimed that he was in Goa just for a holiday. However, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro clearly stated that Kishor played an instrumental role in convincing him to leave Congress and join TMC. Kandolkar said that he has held 17-18 meetings with Kishor about election strategy. “If anybody has failed, it is not TMC or the candidates, it is I-PAC. And I-PAC was steered by Prashant Kishor and he is the one who misled Goa, the voters and everyone. I am making an allegation against Prashant Kishor, let him clarify,” Kandolkar said. Despite a media blitz and grand promises, TMC failed to win a single seat. Kandolkar said that in hindsight he realised that he and other party workers made a mistake. “We were quiet for many days but we have finally made our decision because we know that there is no future for TMC in Goa. I spoke to AITC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. It was a one-hour-long meeting and I realised that TMC does not have any clear plans for Goa.”
Staff ReporterMapusaAll India Trinamool Congress’ Goa unit president Kiran Kandolkar along with the party’s three candidates in the recent state assembly polls and workers on Wednesday resigned from the party.Kandolkar held political strategist Prashant Kishor responsible for the defeat of the party in Goa and said that instead he helped BJP to win the elections.Addressing media persons, Kandolkar, in the presence of the party’s Mapusa, Siolim and Porvorim candidates Tarak Arolkar, Leo Dias, and Sandip Vazarkar respectively, panchayat members and other party workers, announced about his exit from TMC as he had resigned from its primary membership along with others in Mapusa. Kandolkar said that the decision was taken after consulting his supporters.Stating that the TMC has no future in Goa, Kandolkar said, “I don’t blame TMC but hold Prashant Kishor responsible for the humiliating defeat in Goa as the party had given responsibility to him. He may be the biggest political strategist but he has failed in Goa.”He further said, “Prashant Kishor’s entire strategy has failed. First Aleixo Reginaldo had joined but he failed to retain him in the party which was a loss for us. Secondly, he failed to bring Mamata Banerjee to Goa during the last leg of election while another party’s national leader had come and campaigned in Goa.”Kandolkar further said that Kishor came to Goa to blackmail the Congress party and Sonia Gandhi adding, “He wanted to show that if he is not taken then he would reduce the Congress vote share.The opposition was divided so BJP is ruling with 33% of vote share while 67% vote share was divided for which the opposition and Prashant Kishor is responsible. He eventually ended up helping BJP to form government again in Goa.”Replying to a question whether he had made a mistake, Kandolkar said, “We did what we felt was right at that time. It’s human to commit a mistake. We did commit a mistake.”Kandolkar also accused IPAC Company of cheating Goans and said, “Huge bills of taxi drivers, volunteers who were employed during polls, printers, hoarding and others were not paid.”Kandolkar further said that the opposition parties have failed to unite which has resulted in victory of BJP.Commenting about his future plans, Kandolkar said that he would work for people as an independent and not float a new party.It may be recalled that on Tuesday, Colvale ZP and Tivim candidate Kavita Kandolkar, who is Kiran’s wife, along with 32 supporters, had resigned from the party.
Party to restructure Goa state committeePanaji: On a day when Colvale Zilla Panchayat member Kavita Kandolkar, a member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party and wife of Goa TMC president Kiran Kandolkar, quit the party along with all her supporters from the Thivim constituency, the All India Trinamool Congress announced on Monday that it has decided to restructure the entire Goa state committee with immediate effect.Kavita Kandolkar was also a candidate of the TMC party during the recently-held Goa Assembly polls. She has resigned from the primary membership of TMC, along with sarpanchas, panchayat members and her supporters. She has submitted her resignation letter to the Goa TMC president.Kandolkar said she took the step following pressure from her supporters, as the Mamata Banerjee-led party was not accepted by the people of Goa at the Assembly polls.She also said that I-PAC and its then mentor Prashant Kishor had failed to fulfill the promises made before the elections on behalf of TMC.“People who have not been paid their money for various services during the elections were coming to my residence asking for the pending dues. This is also one of the reasons why I quit the party,” she said.Meanwhile, the TMC has said that it has decided to restructure the Goa state executive committee with immediate effect. “A newly-constituted ad hoc committee will be announced shortly,” the party tweeted. “We take this opportunity to reiterate our solemn commitment towards working for the people of Goa and their well-being,” the party said.
Staff ReporterMapusaCobblers in Mapusa market have alleged that they are being harassed by the Mapusa Municipal Council over display of their tools and other items and warned that if the harassment continues they would be compelled to resort to a protest.Raising their issue, one of the cobblers said that they have been operating in Mapusa market for many decades.“However, now many illegal cobblers have also started operating in the market. While they are conveniently overlooked, traditional cobblers like us are being targeted. We demand that the chief officer and chairperson of the municipality should look into the issue and address it at the earliest,” the cobbler said.Deepak Shirodkar said that “due to pandemic and lockdowns our livelihood has suffered in the last two years and our financial situation is bad. However, now our business has started falling back on track, but we are being targeted.”He further said that “if we do not display our tools then how will customers get to know what we have and what we are doing.”
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday reviewed ongoing projects taken up by the Goa Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), and directed that they be completed on time. He also asked GSIDC to complete the Paikul bridge in Valpoi, which was washed out due to floods, on priority. Sawant held a board meeting and reviewed a total of 51 projects, each of which costs a minimum of Rs 5 crore. The total cost of the projects he reviewed is around Rs 300 crore.The projects include construction of the district court in Merces, Tar bridge in Mapusa, Kala Bhavan in Sancoale, Ravindra Bhavans in Curchorem and Canacona, Paikul bridge in Valpoi, the terminal building of the captain of ports in Panaji, the pedestrian bridge at Patto and Bhoma market complex, among others. “We have not taken up any new projects, but ongoing projects, including those related to health and schools, will be completed. I have issued instructions to make financial provisions to complete the projects,” Sawant said.
Special CorrespondencePanajiChief Minister Pramod Sawant, who held the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), on Tuesday decided to review all the ongoing projects and those taken up under the GSIDC, in order to complete them as per the schedule.In all, 51 projects were reviewed at the meeting, with every project having a minimum cost of ` 5 crore. The collective cost of these projects is approximately ` 300 crore.Some of the important projects reviewed at the meeting were the construction of the district court at Merces, the Tar bridge in Mapusa, Kala Bhavan in Sancoale, Ravindra Bhavans in Curchorem and Canacona, Paikul bridge in Valpoi that was damaged due to the floods, the terminal building of the Captain of Ports in the city, the pedestrian bridge at Patto and Bhoma market complex.It was decided at the meeting to complete the Paikul bridge on priority. This bridge over the Ragada river in Sattari taluka was washed away in the unprecedented floods witnessed on July 23, 2021, and was subsequently replaced by a temporary footbridge.“New major projects have not yet been taken up, while the ongoing projects including those related to health, bridges, schools, and so on will be completed fast,” the Chief Minister stated, pointing out, “Due financial provision has been made for the same.”Later replying to a question, the Chief Minister told the pressmen that the Mapusa MLA Joshua D’Souza is not upset with the post of the GSIDC vice-chairman given to him. “D’Souza will take charge of the post soon,” headded.Incidentally, D’Souza has not taken charge of the post and was absent at themeeting.
Staff ReporterPanajiEven thoughpre-monsoon works are being undertaken by the electricity department to avoid any inconvenience during the rains, Goans had to struggle on Monday night after a thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds and heavy rain hit parts of the state, leading to the snapping ofelectricity lines.The thunderstorm was witnessed in Mandrem in Pernem, while other parts of the state received light rain. However, this led to major power outages across the North Goa district. Residents of Porvorim said they suffered for nearly six hours, with power that was cut around 10 p.m. on Monday being restored only around 3.30 a.m. on Tuesday. Mapusa residents said power was restored at 4.30 a.m.In Pernem taluka, which witnessed the thunderstorm, people said electricity is yet to be restored. Until Tuesday evening, many households in the taluka complained they had no electricity.Residents of Sankhali and Bicholim said power was disrupted from 10 p.m on Monday to 12.30 a.m. on Tuesday, while in the interior area of Nanoda, many complained of spending the night without power supply.According to the electricity department, the gusty winds uprooted trees, which brought down a few electricity poles.Chief electrical engineer of the electricity department Stephen Fernandes said, “Power cables snapped mainly in Valpoi, Bicholim, Varca, Benaulim and Sankhali, resulting in damage to the 11 KV and 33 KV lines.” He said the repair work could not be carried out on Monday night due to safety issues. “Work commenced on a war-footing since morning. Engineers worked through the night to restore 50% power supply,” claimed Fernandes.On Tuesday evening, the department tweeted that 95% of the power has been restored in the jurisdiction of sub-division 3, Mapusa and work on erection of one electricity pole at Tambudki was in progress.The India Meteorological Department has predicted rain accompanied with gusty winds and lightning over Goa till Thursday, putting to test the electricity department’s pre-monsoon works.It may be noted that power is in short supply in the state presently due to the soaring summer temperatures and the sudden spike in demand from the industrial units.Fernandes said the state has already started purchasing additional power from the open market. “The department is buying anything between 90 MW and 100 MW per day presently to meet the demand,” he said.Meanwhile, a feed put out by the electricity department on its Twitter handle saying that the department itself has no lights was quickly removed after it went viral.
PANAJI: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday reviewed the ongoing projects taken up by the Goa Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), and directed that they be completed on time. Sawant held a board meeting and reviewed a total of 51 projects, each of which costs a minimum of Rs 5 crore. The total cost of the projects he reviewed is around Rs 300 crore. The projects including the construction of the district court in Merces, Tar bridge in Mapusa, Kala Bhavan in Sancoale, Ravindra Bhavans in Curchorem and Canacona, Piakul bridge in Valpoi (which was washed out due to floods), the terminal building of the captain of ports in Panaji, the pedestrian bridge at Patto and Bhoma market complex, among others. Sawant asked GSIDC to complete the Piakul bridge on priority. “We have decided to complete the ongoing projects as soon as possible,” he said. “We have not taken up any new projects, but ongoing projects, including related to health and schools, will be completed. I have issued instructions to make financial provisions to complete the projects.”
Panaji: A non-functional lift at the office of the civil registrar cum sub registrar in Morod, Mapusa has been made operational after a Siolim resident complained and a notice was issued by the office of the state commissioner for persons with disabilities. The state disabilities’ office issued a notice on March 16 directing the government to ensure the lift is working for use by persons with disabilities within 10 days. The commission also asked for a report before March 31 and stated that in case of a default, the commission could proceed with action under the Rights of Persons with Disability (RPwD) Act 2016. The Siolim resident had complained that the elevator in Essar trade centre has been “out of service for a long time causing inconvenience to visitors”, especially persons with disabilities who visit the sub registrar’s office on the second floor.
Crescendo Children’s Choir is organising Mercy Concert 2022 on April 24 and May 4 at St Xavier’s Basketball Court, Mapusa and Bom Jesus Basilica, Old Goa respectively. NT KURIOCITY learns moreRAMANDEEP KAUR | NT KURIOCITYThe Crescendo Children’s Choir was born out of the Crescendo Music School at St Xavier’s College, Mapusa.“We started this choir because we felt that it was incomplete with only instruments playing and no voices. We held auditions inviting young voices from Mapusa and around, and got a very good response,” shares choir director Fr Ramiro Luis.While joining the choir was free of cost, there was a clause – if the participants failed to be present for three sessions, they were asked to leave. “The children have improved their vocal range, confidence, and stage presence since they began training in November,” says Fr Luis.And now the choir is all set to have its first concert on April 24 and May 4 at St Xavier’s Basketball Court, Mapusa and Bom Jesus Basilica, Old Goa at 6:30 p.m., respectively.“The concert is about children rendering praises to God and since we are staging it on the day of the Feast of Divine Mercy we have titled it as Mercy Concert. We are having one of the performances at Old Goa as part of the celebration of 400th anniversary of St Francis Xavier’s canonisation,” says Fr Luis, who is also concept director for the concert. He adds that the choir will be singing tunes infive languages (Latin, English, Italian, Hindi ,and Konkani).The concert will have 67 children aged four to 16 who will be led by Raj Fernandes D’pietro, an ex army man who is currently an art teacher at St Michael’s Convent High School, Anjuna. Sharing his experience of training the children, D’pietro describes it as fun but challenging. “Kids are like soft clay. One can mould them the way it’s needed to make a masterpiece. They believe in you. This made me very comfortable in training them. Patience and spending time with them was key to train them,” says D’pietro, adding that the hope and confidence he saw in each child’s eyes boosted his morale. “The concert has a lot of variety. Some of the songs are common but I’ve tried to make it sound unique. So one has to witness it to experience it,” he adds. (The concert is free and open to all)
Panaji: In a major reshuffle in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department, 11 town planners and deputy town planners were transferred on Wednesday. The transfers come after TCP minister Vishwajit Rane promised to shake up the functioning of the department to make it more transparent and citizen friendly. Rane has appointed S M Bayakod, who retires on April 30, as the chief town planner (land use) at headquarters, Panaji. Town planner Vinod Kumar Chandra has been appointed as the member secretary, South Goa Planning and Development Authority. Deputy town planner Sampurna Bhagat has been deputed to the Goa Industrial Development Corporation and Goa RERA. Town planner R M Borkar has been appointed as the senior town planner at South Goa district office, Vertika Dagur has been appointed as the senior town planner at Mapusa with additional charge at the headquarters.