Mapusa News

2 foreigners jailed for living illegally in Goa, 1 released
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Two foreigners staying in India without valid documents have been sentenced to imprisonment. In the first case, a Mapusa court sentenced a 30-year-old Nigerian national to simple imprisonment of one year, one month and 24 days and fine of Rs 5,000 for illegally staying in India without a visa and travel documents.The court directed that the one year, one month and 24 days Okoro Chimeucheya has already spent in custody be set off against the sentence imposed.“The accused is directed to leave the country within 15 days from the disposal of the case. The police inspector of Anjuna police station is directed to ensure that the accused leaves and to report to the court accordingly,” stated JMFC, Mapusa, Reina S Fernandes.The accused was charged in an NDPS case before the additional sessions court, Mapusa, and granted bail in December 2020. He was found illegally staying without a passport, visa and any travel documents in November 2021 when he was apprehended by Anjuna police at Siolim.In the second case, a Mapusa court sentenced Faith Akankwas, 25, to 10 months simple imprisonment and fined her Rs 10,000 for illegally staying in India. “The accused is directed to leave the country if not required in any other crime...The accused will make necessary arrangements to leave the country within 30 days from today,” stated JMFC, Mapusa, Teisy Mascarenhas.The court directed Anjuna police station to follow up with the foreign regional registration office and report to the court on her being deported from India.Police said they were patrolling when they received information that some Nigerian nationals are residing illegally at a guesthouse at Muddi Waddo and found six women from different African countries, including the accused. They failed to produce documents and were arrested.In the first case, the accused has been directed to leave the country within 15 days from the disposal of the case No.NDPS/13/2020 and the Anjuna police inspector has been directed to ensure that the accused leaves and to report to the court accordingly. In the second case, the accused has been directed to leave the country if not required in any other crime. He has also been asked to make necessary arrangements to leave the country within 30 days

2 foreigners jailed for living illegally in Goa, 1 released
State’s ‘biggest-ever fire’ blackens skies across North Goa
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Pilerne: A massive fire erupted at the Pilerne Industrial Estate on Tuesday, sending a pillar of dense smoke high up into the sky. Authorities deployed around 20 fire engines, including 11 from the fire department, to battle the blaze at the Berger Becker Coatings Pvt Ltd factory, one of the biggest industrial fires in the state’s history.For Berger, this is the second time in as many decades that a massive fire has broken out at one of its production plants. In April 2006, the Berger paint factory at Kundaim Industrial Estate was engulfed in a major fire, which resulted in losses to the tune of crores of rupees.“The factory contained a large quantity of paint and chemicals, due to which the fire escalated and engulfed the entire factory. The water tenders were put to task to curtail the spread of fire to adjacent buildings,” said director for fire and emergency services Nitin Raiker.Till midnight, the fire was still raging in one wing of the factory where two tanks are located. “Now, the fire is billowing almost 13-14 metres high,” a fire services official said. North Goa collector Mamu Hage said that the disaster management plan was put into action to contain the fire. Hage said that nobody was injured in the fire and neither was any public property damaged.The fire broke out at the factory at around 2.30pm, with the fire force control room getting a call at 2.57 pm. Fire engines from the Pilerne and Mapusa fire stations, and the fire force headquarters, were quickly rushed to battle the fire, while other fire stations were put on standby.The factory is located in the industrial estate on top of a hill, and firefighters have yet to ascertain the source of the fire.“Five fire tenders were initially sent to put out the blaze, but after that, more fire tenders were tasked for firefighting,” said an official at the Goa directorate of fire and emergency services headquarters. Goa’s fire department asked fire engines and fire fighters from Kundaim, Curchorem, Mapusa, Bicholim, Ponda, and Porvorim to join the firefighting effort.Despite the blaze, nearby industrial units and residential homes in the vicinity of the industrial estate were unaffected.The Pilerne Industrial Estate has around 80 operating units, most of which deal in pharmaceuticals, diamond-studded gold jewellery, optical lenses, perfumes, packaging material, niche composite fibre glass products, modular furniture, and garments. The zone also plays host to at least 20 marble and granite dealers.“Fortunately, the Berger unit is situated at the end of the estate, with the valley dropping down on one site and a marble unit on the other side. Industrial activity at the other units was not affected,” said Mayur Dhume, president, Pilerne Industries Association.Berger Becker’s Pilerne plant began operations in 2004 and the unit manufactures paints, heat-resistant oil coatings, and other products that require solvents and chemicals that are highly inflammable.Given the quantum of the fire, the fire department used foam to fight it. The foam helps coat the source of the fire to prevent contact with oxygen and reduce combustion.The fire, which engulfed chemicals used in the manufacture of paints, generated huge clouds of suspected toxic smoke and gas, which painted a large swathe of Goa’s sky grey. The toxic smoke cloud was visible from as far as Old Goa and Bambolim, giving rise to fears of a major disaster.All senior government officials rushed to the site, including chief minister Pramod Sawant, to take stock of the situation. High ranking officials from the police department and the fire department were camping at the factory, which remained ablaze.Talking to reporters at Pilerne, Hage said that the fire continues to reignite as it consumes the chemicals and solvents in the factory. Minute blasts at the factory continued well into the night, but fire fighters said that the blaze is under control.As a precautionary measure, authorities evacuated people in a 200m radius around the factory. “We are trying to ascertain what kind of chemicals were there. We have asked the health department to ascertain what type of gases are there in the air. Till such time, we’re advising people to wear masks,” Hage said.Chairman of the Goa state pollution control board Mahesh Patil said that two vehicles — one in the Pilerne Industrial Estate and another in the village below — had been stationed on Tuesday to monitor the air quality.“By late Tuesday night, the fire was completely controlled and all gases in the air were within permissible limits. The vehicles to monitor air quality were rushed immediately to the spot. No risk to health is seen as of now. There will be continuous monitoring on Wednesday as well. If any risk is seen, the district administration will be alerted immediately,” said Patil.Given the severity of the fire, the government requested assistance from Mormugao Port Authority, Indian Navy and the Indian Army. Military personnel brought in specialised firefighting equipment and foam to fight the fire.“The firefighters on site are doing a tremendous, good work in fighting the fire,” said Raiker.Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) chairman Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco also rushed to the spot. Lourenco claimed that the fire started due to a short circuit. “One truck with paint which was inside is burnt. We couldn’t take it out. It was too risky,” he said.

State’s ‘biggest-ever fire’ blackens skies across North Goa
Activist gets 1-yr sentence for insulting modesty
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Panaji: A Mapusa court has sentenced activist and advocate Aires Rodrigues to one year’s imprisonment for doing an act intended to insult the modesty of a woman for posting her photo on social media for involvement in a sex scandal.For sexual harassment, he has been sentenced to sixmonths, and for causing the disappearance of evidence, he has been sentenced to three months. The woman had complained that Rodrigues had posted various posts on Facebook and Whatsapp regarding an alleged sex scandal involving a former state minister and also posted her photograph on Whatsapp linking her to the scandal due to which her modesty was outraged and insulted. A case was registered by the Anjuna police station.Besides the principal offence of sexual harassment and insult to modesty of the women, the court found that the prosecution successfully proved that he gave false information by deliberately producing the wrong mobile phone, one that was not used for posting the messages and photos.“The aggravating factors herein include that the accused has shown no remorse as seen from his line of cross examination, where his whole endeavour was to establish that the complainant is a characterless woman and has no modesty,” stated JMFC, Mapusa, Pooja S Desai.“The mitigating factor may be that the accused has no criminal antecedents. I have also taken into account that the accused is a senior citizen. Thus, although the accused has an opportunity to reform, deterrence need not be overlooked. The sentencing process ought to be stern wherever required,” the court added.Rodrigues stated that the court has granted a stay on the order, allowing him to appeal.

Activist gets 1-yr sentence for insulting modesty
Over 90 mobiles recovered, 60 thieves held in North beach belt
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

PANAJI/CALANGUTE: As revellers thronged to the North Goa beach belt to ring in the New Year, almost 90 stolen mobile handsets — some worth over Rs 1 lakh each — were recovered by police. North Goa SP Nidhin Valsan said that around 60 thieves in all have been arrested over three days in the run-up to the New Year.A doctor’s phone worth Rs 1.40 lakh was also stolen while he attended a concert at Bambolim.The gang of thieves were found largely prowling on unsuspecting tourists in the crowded Calangute and Anjuna beach areas. Valsan said that besides the thefts, the New Year’s eve was largely free of any major incidents, and no loss of lives due to drunk driving were also reported.On the night of December 31, Chandrakant Narvekar, 27, from Durbhat, Ponda, was injured after his bike was hit at Parra by an unknown driver, driving in a rash and negligent manner. The driver fled from the scene.In another accident, on the Chogm Road, a vehicle from Karnataka was involved in a self-accident, after the driver lost control of the car and hit it against an electric pole.Mapusa SDPO Jivba Dalvi said that many mobiles were also stolen from the EDM venue at Vagator.As the complainants were mostly tourists, they did not wish to register FIRs. The tourists only took missing certificates so they could obtain new SIM cards and left the police stations with a request to recover their mobile phones.“The Anjuna police therefore registered an FIR on the behalf of the state, saying that from December 28 onwards at the Sunburn festival venue at Vagator unknown accused committed theft of mobile phones belonging to event attendees. During investigation, it was learnt that gangs of thieves were operating at Sunburn. Accordingly, various teams were formed under PI Prashal Dessai,” Dalvi said.Siraj Ahmed Shaikh, 38, from, Thana, Mumbai, was arrested and nine mobile phones of different brands were recovered from him.The accused confessed that he had purchased tickets to enter Sunburn venue to carry out thefts.This took the total number of mobile phones recovered from Anjuna ahead of the New Year to 40. Earlier, a mobile theft gang of 18 were arrested and are presently in police custody.“We will contact the mobile phone owners and return the handsets,” Dalvi said.Similarly, at Calangute, 12 persons suspected of having stolen mobile phones from tourists and others were arrested on New Year’s night, and 55 mobile phones worth around Rs 15 lakh were recovered from them.This brings to 29 the total number of mobile thieves arrested by Calangute police in the last few days.Calangute PI Dattaguru Sawant said that the 12 persons were found moving suspiciously on New Year’s night and were rounded up. “On questioning, they could not give satisfactory answers regarding their presence in the vicinity and also they could not justify the possession of mobile phones with them. They were placed under arrest and further inquiry is in progress,” he said. The suspects have been identified as Adil Malik Kazim, 30, and Mohammad Shabaz Manjuri, 27, both from Delhi, Arvind Gaikwad, 37, Ajay Jadhav, 40, Mumbai, Rehman Jalauddin Ansari, 21, Nasir Shaikh, 34, all from Mumbai, Murli Singh, 19, from Uttar Pradesh, Rashid Mulla, 21, a resident of Assagao, Mazid Miah, 29, Meneraf Mulla, 19, Kharijun Islam Mulla, 34, Santu Mulla, 22, all residents of Calangute, and natives of West Bengal.Earlier, on Friday five persons from Karnataka had been arrested by Calangute police and mobile phones worth Rs 5 lakh recovered from them, one day after a 12-member gang from Maharashtra had been busted and phones and two cars worth Rs 45 lakh recovered from them.Also, scooter thefts on December 29 and 30 were reported in Canacona, Margao, Mapusa and Pernem.

Over 90 mobiles recovered, 60 thieves held in North beach belt
Markets cheerful as Xmas tree sales rise
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Christmas celebrations is not complete without the beautifully decorated Christmas tree which donned by sparkly ornament. Gone are the days when people would plant the Christmas trees or they would cut branches of casuarina trees which were found in abundance have ben sadly replaced by plastic ones. We talk to people, shop owner and decoration sellers and find out what the Christmas tree scene is like.Snow covered trees and pine trees most sold outPraveen, who has put up a shop just for the Christmas season, sells a variety of trees, mostly imported he says. “This year we got a lot of people who were interested in buying snow covered trees and pine trees. They cost based on the type and the height of the tree. We have an 18 feet snow covered tree which costs around RS 40,000. Since the trees mostly imported, we know that if its cared and stored well, they will last for years.”The pine trees are also in vogue this year. “There are around three different types of trees that are available – shaded pine Christmas tree, plain pine Christmas tree and the ones which are covered with pines and cherries. They all start with Rs 6,000 till Rs 8,000 based on the type for a 6 feet tall tree. We have sold out on the pine-cherries Christmas trees and the shaded ones. We are only left with few plain trees.”Deepak who has a shop dealing with Christmas items as well as a gift store says that last few years ago the trend was to buy electric Christmas trees. “These trees have LEDs and the end of the branches, and they glow, which looks beautiful at night. They cost around Rs 12,000 for a 6 feet tall tree. But the sales are low this year, as people have realised that they don’t last for more than a year.”Guru who collects trash from Gogol area says, “By beginning of November and mid- January, we get garbage mostly which is Christmas related. Mostly plastic ornaments and among them are pieces of Christmas trees. If by November we see some trees which can be saved we keep it near the garbage area.”‘Sales gone up by 20 %, but not as high as pre-pandemic,’Says the salesmen from Margao and Mapusa. “The sales are still very good, but we are not still back to the pre pandemic time, when people would buy a lot of Christmas stuff. The sales are going on but not much, it is better than last year but not as good from what the pre-pandemic was,” says Praveen. Deepak says, “People are very cautious about what they buy now, we have seen a 20 % rise from last year. But those who buy are people who want to buy new things. They will buy the least but they are looking for quality. Before most people would want to buy quantity.”Lloyd Fernandes, from Vasco who has returned from the UK to celebrate with his family, has purchased a 7 feet tall Christmas tree this year. “I wanted to buy a Christmas tree as, the one we had has completely given way. We couldn’t come to Goa for almost 2 years due to the pandemic. So the tree wasn’t opened and is spoilt. We had to throw it away. This tree looks steady and strong and will be able to last some years. Quality is important,” says Lloyd.Older trees disposed off after 3 years/ donatedDamodar Borkar, who has a store in Margao Municipal Market says that this year the sales are less, and that most people try to dispose off the trees by either donating it or trying to reuse them for at least 3 years. “These trees last for a minimum of three years and after that they completely wither off – the branches break and the leaves start to fall off. People also donate their trees to the less fortunate and buy new ones.” Praveen says, “We recently got a customer who told us that she had purchased a tree from us and after 20 odd years decided to donate it. Sometimes the trees are still in good condition, but people want to look at ways to upgrade the product.”Manoj Desai who helps his friend at his shop in Mapusa says, “We see people buying new trendy ones, everyone wants to be as updated as possible. We get customers who spend as much as RS 8,000 -10,000 on trees and buy a new tree the next year.”

Markets cheerful as Xmas tree sales rise
Goa CM Pramod Sawant, Subhash Phal Dessai launch logo of Purple Fest
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant along with social welfare minister Subhash Phal Dessai on Thursday launched the logo for the Purple Fest and pledged support to the first-of-its-kind inclusive festival to be held in the state from January 6 to 8. The festival, which promotes inclusion and participation of all citizens at a common platform, has so far, received as many as 4,000 delegate registrations which includes members of the disabled community as well as other citizens from across the country.“This is the first time that such a festival is being held on such a large scale. Through this event, we intend to give out aids, appliances and instruments to members of the disabled community for free,” the social welfare minister said. “Hotels in Panaji, Porvorim and Mapusa have been booked. Field assistants are also making efforts to create awareness about the event in the interior areas of the state and are doing offline registrations,” he said.He further added that infrastructure to make a few beaches accessible are underway with ramps and special chairs being installed at select locations.The event is aimed at helping people overcome personal prejudices and discomfort and to foster an environment that not only educates everyone about the disabled community and their potential but also respects and celebrates diversity and inclusion.

Goa CM Pramod Sawant, Subhash Phal Dessai launch logo of Purple Fest
  • CM, Phal Dessai launch logo of Purple Fest
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant along with social welfare minister Subhash Phal Dessai on Thursday launched the logo for the Purple Fest and pledged support to the first-of-its-kind inclusive festival to be held in the state from January 6 to 8. The festival, which promotes inclusion and participation of all citizens at a common platform, has so far, received as many as 4,000 delegate registrations which includes members of the disabled community as well as other citizens from across the country.“This is the first time that such a festival is being held on such a large scale. Through this event, we intend to give out aids, appliances and instruments to members of the disabled community for free,” the social welfare minister said. “Hotels in Panaji, Porvorim and Mapusa have been booked. Field assistants are also making efforts to create awareness about the event in the interior areas of the state and are doing offline registrations,” he said.He further added that infrastructure to make a few beaches accessible are underway with ramps and special chairs being installed at select locations.The event is aimed at helping people overcome personal prejudices and discomfort and to foster an environment that not only educates everyone about the disabled community and their potential but also respects and celebrates diversity and inclusion.

Blaze at illegal scrapyard at Colvale, one worker injured
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: A major fire broke out at an illegal scrapyard in Colvale on Wednesday morning, leaving one worker inside injured. The fire also became a massive nuisance for locals, as the heavy smoke that emanated polluted the vicinity all through Wednesday.The fire occurred when work was on at the scrapyard, even though the local panchayat had ordered it to shut down in 2021.The fire began around 10am on December 28, and despite efforts by the large number of firefighters called in, it could not be doused fully,, and firefighting operations were on until late Wednesday evening. They, however, managed to bring the fire under control, and houses located nearby were saved from any damage.“A native of Uttar Pradesh, Yasin Shaikh, has been injured in the incident. He has suffered quite a few burns, but his condition is stable. The panchayat had ordered the scrapyard to shut down in 2021 and issued demolition orders. Yet, on Wednesday, welding was going on in efforts to build a shed there. The sparks from the welding caused the plastic lying below to catch fire,” said Colvale PI Somnath Majik. He said that the scrapyard is being run by one Rizwan, a resident of Mapusa.Due to the heavy smoke still emanating till late Wednesday evening, the actual damages could not be ascertained.Six fire tenders were called from Mapusa, Porvorim, Pilerne and Panaji to douse the fire. Around 35 tankers of water were used, and still more were being called on Wednesday evening. A pharmaceutical company also assisted with providing the water for the operations.Large crowds gathered at the site to watch as explosions were heard from the scrapyard after the air-conditioner compressors stored there caught fire. To not risk the lives of firefighters, operations could only be carried out from outside. Officials said that the scrapyard did not have clearance from the fire and emergency services.

Blaze at illegal scrapyard at Colvale, one worker injured
Police seize 11 bikes in Bardez after minors found riding in Goa
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: Mapusa sub-division police on Thursday seized 11 two-wheelers after minors were found to be riding them. Police issued challans to parents and vehicle owners for allowing minors to ride the vehicles.The drive was conducted by Mapusa, Anjuna and Colvale police stations near various schools and colleges. Most of the vehicles were seized by Colvale police. Police said that the drive was conducted to create fear in the minds of the parents that they should not provide vehicles to their minor.The parents of the minors and the bike owners were called to the police stations and counselling was done.“As this is the first time, they are being given warning and a report will be submitted to the education department and other authorities,” police said.The parents and vehicle owners have been issued challans under Section 4 (Allowing minor to ride/drive motor vehicle) and Section 5 (Allowing unauthorised persons to ride/drive motor vehicles and for contravention of Section 3 and 4 and contravention of rules under Section 181 of M V Act).“Our drive will continue and stringent action will be initiated henceforth against the minors, their parents and vehicle owners,” police said.Following the recent deaths of two women in road accidents involving an underage rider and driver, superintendent of police (SP), traffic cell, Bossuet Silva on Thursday directed strict enforcement of rules against traffic violators.The underage driver or rider will be fined Rs 5,000, and the vehicle owners will be fined an additional Rs 5,000 for allowing an unauthorised person to drive or ride their vehicles.The traffic cell of Goa police has booked 326 cases of underage driving/riding so far this year.

Police seize 11 bikes in Bardez after minors found riding in Goa
Fight over pet dog gets ugly in ​​M​apusa, 2 neighbours file assault, molestation complaints against each other
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

PANAJI: A petty fight over a pet dog resulted in two neighbours turning rivals at Mapusa and lodging assault and molestation complaints against each other. Mapusa police registered a case of molestation against one of the neighbours, a 40-year-old man while the other neighbour, a 35 year-old-woman, has been booked for assaulting the man. Police said that the incident occurred a few days ago when the woman had taken her pet dog for a walk. According to the woman, the neighbour, who was on his two-wheeler, hit her dog. The two got into a verbal spat which later turned into a fight. Police said that according to the man, he was crossing the woman and her pet on his two-wheeler when the dog attacked him. When he questioned the woman, he said she assaulted him. Later, both arrived at the Mapusa police station and filed complaints against each other. Police said the man has denied all allegations of molestation. Police said that the neighbours have been fighting over the pet for many months now and that several times earlier too, they have complained against each other. This is the first time, however, that both have been booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). As per the state government policy for keeping pets, owners are advised to ensure that their pets are healthy and clean. Adequate health care and regular vaccination must be ensured. For dog owners, sterilization is also advised. Owners are advised to leash their pets in public spaces and within an area controlled by a residents welfare association (RWA) and to clean up any defecation so as to maintain hygiene. Pet owners are also advised to muzzle aggressive pets in public areas controlled by RWAs. The policy says that RWAs may require proper control of pets (use of leash, etc) in common areas and gardens, but cannot arbitrarily ban pet owners from using such areas. Barking of dogs, and other natural functions of such pets cannot be grounds for any action against owners. However, incessant barking can disturb neighbours and pet owners are advised to make every effort to keep their dogs quiet, particularly at night.

Fight over pet dog gets ugly in ​​M​apusa, 2 neighbours file assault, molestation complaints against each other
Reworking of Panaji, Mapusa ODPs kicks off
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

Panaji: Three months after scrapping the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA) , the Town and Country Planning department has kickstarted the process to rework the outline development plans (ODPs) for Panaji, Taleigao, Bambolim and Mapusa. TCP minister Vishwajit Rane made the announcement on Friday, adding that the ODPs will be prepared based on the inputs of town planners and consultants.Rane said that he has directed the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) to prepare the ODPs within a fixed time-frame.“The Panaji, Bambolim, Taleigao, and Mapusa ODPs are being opened. Now, NGPDA will appoint consultants from among the ones that the board has shortlisted and these ODPs will be opened (for revision),” said Rane. “Once the draft is done, there will be time for objections and suggestions.”Soon after being appointed as the TCP minister, Rane suspended all the ODPs in Goa, both notified and draft plans, claiming that he wanted to remove discrepancies. In August, the TCP board decided to scrap the GPPDA and merge it with NGPDA. In the same month, the TCP board granted permission to open and frame ODPs for Panaji, Taleigao, Mapusa, Ponda and Margao.“We held a board meeting and the decisions have been taken for Goa’s benefit and development. We want the ODPs prepared and finalised within a time-frame. Development is an ongoing process and that is why overall we need to incorporate people’s demands and concerns,” said Rane.Officials said that the draft ODPs should be ready in three months. Rane said that the NGPDAwill appoint a consultant to steer the ODP revision process.

Reworking of Panaji, Mapusa ODPs kicks off