Panaji News

Goa: TCP minister Vishwajit Rane scraps plans that paved the way for golf courses, race tracks and film cities
Times of India | 10 hours ago | |
Times of India
10 hours ago | |

PANAJI: In a significant victory for environmental activists and citizens, Town and Country Planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane buckled under pressure on Monday and scrapped the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. Rane, who initially announced that he would keep the contentious norms in abeyance, appears to have backed down in the face of street protests and an admonition by the BJP. Rane also announced that the TCP department has decided to scrap all approvals granted to applicants under Section 16B of the TCP Act. Rane said that the department will file an affidavit before the Bombay High Court at Goa informing the court about the policy decision. “Keeping the TCP amendments in abeyance will create more doubt so I have decided to scrap the amendments,” said Rane. “The expert committee and the TCP board will discuss these amendments.” Earlier in the day, environmentalists and concerned citizens held a peaceful protest against the draft Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations outside the TCP building. The protest was organised by the Federation of Rainbow Warriors and other activists. The activists said that the Town and Country Planning department has shown no scientific basis while framing the amendments to Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations. Over the last two weeks, several villages have also organised gram sabha meetings where locals have panned the TCP department’s move to encourage golf courses, film cities, farm houses and other mega projects in the state.

Goa: TCP minister Vishwajit Rane scraps plans that paved the way for golf courses, race tracks and film cities
Goa: RG wants September 28 deadline for new land norms to be extended
Times of India | 20 hours ago | |
Times of India
20 hours ago | |

PANAJI: Revolutionary Goans (RG) hit out at town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane after the latter accused political parties of submitting repetitive objections against the Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. RG chief Manoj Parab said that the draft regulations apply to the entire state and all Goans had the same concerns. He said that Rane will be forced to apologise for introducing the draft norms. “He claims that the objections are cut and paste but I want to remind him that he has framed rules for the entire state not different rules for each village. If he has the ability to do, make plans for each village and then we will submit separate objections,” said Parab. Further, RG has demanded that Rane should translate the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations into Konkani and increase the time frame to submit objections and suggestions. The last day to submit objections and suggestions is September 28. On Rane’s recent dismissive reference to the nativist party, Parab said, “I want to remind him that we have one MLA in the assembly.”

Goa: RG wants September 28 deadline for new land norms to be extended
  • RG wants Sept 27 deadline for new land norms to be extended
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Revolutionary Goans (RG) hit out at town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane after the latter accused political parties of submitting repetitive objections against the Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations.RG chief Manoj Parab said that the draft regulations apply to the entire state and all Goans had the same concerns. He said that Rane will be forced to apologise for introducing the draft norms.“He claims that the objections are cut and paste but I want to remind him that he has framed rules for the entire state not different rules for each village. If he has the ability to do, make plans for each village and then we will submit separate objections,” said Parab. Further, RG has demanded that Rane should translate the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations into Konkani and increase the time frame to submit objections and suggestions.The last day to submit objections and suggestions is September 27.On Rane’s recent dismissive reference to the nativist party, Parab said, “I want to remind him that we have one MLA in the assembly.”

CBI conducts search in Goa in 2 cases linked to child sexual abuse material
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

Panaji: The CBI on Saturday conducted a search at one location in Goa in connection with two cases related to downloading and circulation of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The search, part of the nationwide crackdown at around 59 locations, continued till late night. CBI registered two cases under the IT Act based on information from Crime Against Children (CAC), a unit of Interpol, Singapore which had received inputs from New Zealand police.CBI said that it was alleged that a number of Indian citizens were involved in circulation, downloading, and transmission of CSAM using cloud-based storage.They said that information received in Interpol from law enforcement authorities of New Zealand was analysed and developed by CBI, and suspected persons were identified to locate and disrupt further distribution.CBI said that the crackdown was a follow-up of the massive operation (Operation Carbon) carried out by CBI last year against Online Child Sexual Abuse MaterialDuring the searches, electronic devices, including mobiles and laptops belonging to more than 50 suspects have been recovered by CBI.

CBI conducts search in Goa in 2 cases linked to child sexual abuse material
  • Five years after rape in London pub, Portuguese national arrested in Goa
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Five years after he allegedly raped a woman at a London pub, Goa police’s crime branch on Tuesday arrested Betalbatim resident and Portuguese citizen Jose Inacio Cota, who is facing extradition proceedings in a Delhi court. Crime branch SP Nidhin Valsan said that Cota was arrested in connection with the UK rape case. The CBI requested Goa police to execute the arrest warrant and produce Cota before the extradition court in Delhi. Police said that Cota allegedly committed the crime in May 2017. The month after that, he returned to India. Cota was subsequently charged with rape under Sec 1(1) of the UK’s Sexual Offences Act, 2003. In June 2019, the magistrate’s court in the UK issued an arrest warrant against him, and consequently, an extradition request from the UK government was received by the ministry of external affairs. Pursuant to the receipt of the request, an application under Section 5 of the Extradition Act was moved on behalf of the MEA to the court to inquire into the extradition request. In July 2021, a non-bailable warrant (NBWs) was ordered to be issued against Cota through CBI-Interpol, which was received back unexecuted, with a report that he left his home in Goa in May 2021. “NBWs be issued against the accused to be executed through superintendent of police, crime, Goa,” said Nabeela Wali of the Patiala house courts in Delhi. The next hearing is likely to take place in November. Police said that there is an extradition treaty between India and the UK. (The victim's identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault)

  • Goa: After 9 years, CBI arrests man for rape, only to find fingerprints don’t match
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: After over nine years, the CBI had managed to identify and arrest a person as a suspect in the Mormugao minor girl rape case, but his fingerprints did not match the ones picked from the crime scene. Later, he was granted bail by a local court. On January 14, 2013, a seven-year-old girl was raped in her school toilet in Mormugao taluka. After the suspect, based on a sketch, was not traceable, a CBI team went to West Bengal and arrested him. The suspect was a native of Murshidabad, West Bengal, and was living in Goa. Sources said that the arrested suspect's fingerprints did not match that of the accused. Earlier, Goa police and the CBI released three different sketches of the accused, but could not trace him. After no breakthrough, the CBI had approached the judicial magistrate first class (JFMC), Vasco, in 2017 seeking permission to close the case. But the survivor's parents objected to the closure and the CBI had to restart the investigations. The CBI had carried out DNA tests on over 14 suspects and put eight suspects through the lie detection test. It also did fingerprint matching of nine suspects, but did not get favourable results, and had filed the closure report. It was transferred to Goa police’s crime branch on the same day. In May 2013, an NGO demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI, as the local crime branch had failed to make any detection. Agreeing to the demand, the state government accorded consent and after the Union home ministry issued a notification transferring the case, the CBI took over the case in September 2013. In its closure report, the CBI had said that the culprit was not traceable despite all efforts. The CBI had conducted polygraph tests on two persons suspected to have known the accused in the rape case. The CBI officials especially flew down from Delhi and conducted the lie detection test on these two persons at the CBI’s Bambolim office. (The victim's identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)

Still early to forecast monsoon withdrawal from Goa, says India meteorological department
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

PANAJI: With barely a week left for the four-month monsoon season to end, and an increase in rainfall activity likely next week, its early withdrawal cannot be forecast despite a phase of weak precipitation, an India meteorological department (IMD) source said. While the southwest monsoon has started withdrawing from the northwest region six days late, for Goa, the normal withdrawal date is October 14. At present, the withdrawal line is passing through Khajuwala, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Naliya. “With westerly winds still prevailing over Goa and likelihood of comparatively an increase in rainfall activity on next week, it is too early to forecast the monsoon withdrawal from Goa region,” said IMD scientist, Rahul M. The monsoon is currently weak over Goa with very light to light rainfall having occurred at most places over the state. During the last 24 hours till Friday morning, Panaji recorded the highest quantum of 7.9mm of rainfall, Pernem 5.8mm, Canacona 4.2mm and other rain gauge stations across the state on a lesser scale. The figures of Quepem were not available. The deficit in monsoon rainfall for the state has touched 8.5 %, though it is within normal range. There were five active monsoon conditions and two breaks in monsoon conditions. Also, there were six depressions during this season with one during the month of July, four during August and one during September. This means that barring a long wet spell during part of September, the monsoon has currently been weak since July 17. The subcontinent on the other hand has received an excess of 7% of the normal rainfall. There are only seven meteorological subdivisions which have deficit rainfall. “The monsoon has started withdrawing from the northwest region, with a delay of six days with the normal withdrawal date being 17 September,” said M R Ramesh Kumar, meteorologist and former chief scientist from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula.

Still early to forecast monsoon withdrawal from Goa, says India meteorological department
  • Overall seasonal rainfall likely to be 7-10% less than normal in Goa: IMD
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: The state average rainfall is 7% less than normal, which compared to 2021 during this time of the year was 5% higher than normal. With only two weeks of the season left, the India meteorological department (IMD) said that the overall monsoon season is therefore expected to be slightly lesser than normal this year. "This August, the rainfall has been 50% lesser than the normal rainfall in Goa owing to which rainfall activity on the whole has been lower compared to the past three to four years. In 2019 and 2020, a huge quantum of rainfall was recorded in August and September," the IMD said. This season, in August, there were many systems over the Bay of Bengal, which enhanced rainfall activity over other parts of the country, but the location of those systems were not particularly ideal for rainfall in the Goa region. As a result, August saw less rainfall in Goa. It is, however, not for the first time that such low numbers were recorded. In 2018, the total state average rainfall was minus 19% and this year, so far, it has been minus 7%, which may become minus 10% by the end of this season. "We are not expecting any increased rainfall activity in the coming two weeks or back-to-back heavy rainfall days. There is a good probability that even in this season as a whole, monsoon rainfall will be within the normal ranges, but probably around 7-10% less than normal," IMD said.

  • Overall seasonal rainfall likely to be 7-10% less than normal: IMD
  • Times of India

    Panaji: The state average rainfall is 7% less than normal, which compared to 2021 during this time of the year was 5% higher than normal. With only two weeks of the season left, the India meteorological department (IMD) said that the overall monsoon season is therefore expected to be slightly lesser than normal this year.“This August, the rainfall has been 50% lesser than the normal rainfall in Goa owing to which rainfall activity on the whole has been lower compared to the past three to four years. In 2019 and 2020, a huge quantum of rainfall was recorded in August and September,” the IMD said.This season, in August, there were many systems over the Bay of Bengal, which enhanced rainfall activity over other parts of the country, but the location of those systems were not particularly ideal for rainfall in the Goa region. As a result, August saw less rainfall in Goa.It is, however, not for the first time that such low numbers were recorded. In 2018, the total state average rainfall was minus 19% and this year, so far, it has been minus 7%, which may become minus 10% by the end of this season.“We are not expecting any increased rainfall activity in the coming two weeks or back-to-back heavy rainfall days. There is a good probability that even in this season as a whole, monsoon rainfall will be within the normal ranges, but probably around 7-10% less than normal,” IMD said.

Soon, mobility plan for state, parking mgmt for Panaji
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday directed government departments and other agencies to come up with an action plan to implement a comprehensive mobility plan for the state to help facilitate smooth and hassle-free transport. The state government will also implement a parking masterplan for Panaji city.The comprehensive mobility plan will include proper strategies for jetty connectivity, airport connectivity, multimodal transport integration, mobility hubs, network of bus stops, freight corridors and freight timings for movement of trucks and improvement of footpaths.The government intends to implement this plan which would ensure better connectivity and environment-friendly transport infrastructure in the state.At a meeting held to discuss the two issues, the consultant agency, Urban Mass Transit Company, made a detailed presentation of its plan for the state on both the issues. The agency aims to set up a proper network of routes across Goa which would facilitate smooth and hassle-free transport while also working on trunk routes and feeder routes, thus strengthening better connectivity.The chief minister then directed all stakeholder departments — transport, river navigation, caption of ports, Kadamba Transport Corporation and other agencies — to come up with an action plan to implement the comprehensive mobility plan designed by the agency.Various aspects of parking management for Panaji under the Imagine Panaji Smart City mission were also discussed.Sawant was informed about various provisions made in the masterplan for improvement of junctions, parking spaces and zones which will help execute scientific management of parking and city planning. A senior officer said that the implementation of a parking management plan is likely to resolve parking issues in the state’s capital.

Soon, mobility plan for state, parking mgmt for Panaji
Dempo appointed prez of All India Mgmt Association
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Panaji: Chairman of the Dempo Group of Companies Shrinivas Dempo has been appointed as the president of the All India Management Association (AIMA). AIMA is the apex body of management with over 30,000 individual members and 3,000 institutional members. As his appointment drew applause from various corners, Dempo said he is humbled to hear about his appointment and that he looked forward to further the cause of management education in India. “Heartiest congratulations to Shrinivas Dempo, on being elected as the chairman of AIMA. It is a proud moment for Goa. My best wishes for a successful tenure,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said.Dempo oversees the Dempo Group’s business that covers calcined petroleum coke production, shipbuilding, media, food processing, real estate, sports and renewable energy generation. “Congratulations to my dear friend, Shrinivas Dempo for being appointed as the president of the All India Management Association. With your extensive knowledge, I am confident that you will contribute to the advancement of the management profession in India,” TCP minister Vishwajit Rane said.“It is a moment of pride for Goa as Shrinivas Dempo is appointed president of the prestigious All India Management Association (AIMA),” said tourism and IT minister Rohan Khaunte. Prior to this, Dempo has held the presidency of the western region of the Confederation of Indian Industry, India’s biggest industry lobby, and was also the elected president of the Goa Football Association. He has been a member of the executive council of the Goa University for six years, a member of the Goa State Planning Board, and chairman of the state’s Planning and Development Authority.

Dempo appointed prez of All India Mgmt Association
Goa: Govt is firmly against drugs, says tourism minister Rohan Khaunte
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

PANAJI: Tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said that the government has taken a clear stand against drugs and police have conducted several raids over the last few days. “Whether drugs or other illegalities linked to the tourism sector, we are dealing with those issues seriously. The chief minister has shown through his actions that the drug issue is not being taken lightly,” the tourism minister said. “In the days to come, we will see more action to curb illegalities. Goa is safe and secure,” Khaunte further said. The proposed jetty policy, he said, has been introduced to mandate certain regulations and bring in transparency bring in transparency, when pointed out that some stakeholders are against it. “Meetings will be held with stakeholders, but people should not oppose just for the sake of opposing,” he said, responding to objections by some panchayats to the policy.

Goa: Govt is firmly against drugs, says tourism minister Rohan Khaunte
  • Govt is firmly against drugs, says Khaunte
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said that the government has taken a clear stand against drugs and police have conducted several raids over the last few days.“Whether drugs or other illegalities linked to the tourism sector, we are dealing with those issues seriously. The chief minister has shown through his actions that the drug issue is not being taken lightly,” the tourism minister said. “In the days to come, we will see more action to curb illegalities. Goa is safe and secure,” Khaunte further said.The proposed jetty policy, he said, has been introduced to mandate certain regulations and bring in transparency bring in transparency, when pointed out that some stakeholders are against it.“Meetings will be held with stakeholders, but people should not oppose just for the sake of opposing,” he said, responding to objections by some panchayats to the policy.

Goa: Forest department to survey butterflies in Bondla over this weekend
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

PANAJI: As part of a long-term butterfly monitoring programme in protected areas of Goa, the state forest department will begin conducting surveys in these areas with help from citizen volunteers. The first survey of this programme will be held at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary on September 24 and 25. The survey is being conducted by the forest department in collaboration with the Arannya Environment Research Organisation. “A unique opportunity for everyone in Goa. Come be part of an initiative that shapes conservation management strategies in Goa and be a stakeholder for wildlife conservation. Please note, that there are limited slots for volunteering, which shall be confirmed only through a confirmatory email,” the forest department said in its call for volunteers. Interested citizens can fill an online form or call 9022174196 / 9545326415 to participate. With the Western Ghats running through Goa, the state sees a good butterfly diversity. The world’s largest moth, the Atlas moth, and Asia’s largest butterfly, the Southern Birdwing, are among some that can be spotted in Goa. Goa has a lone state-run butterfly park at its Cotigao wildlife sanctuary at present, and earlier this year the state forest department has proposed a second government-run butterfly park at Mollem with central funds provided under the compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority (CAMPA).

Goa: Forest department to survey butterflies in Bondla over this weekend
  • Forest dept to survey butterflies in Bondla over this weekend
  • Times of India

    Panaji: As part of a long-term butterfly monitoring programme in protected areas of Goa, the state forest department will begin conducting surveys in these areas with help from citizen volunteers. The first survey of this programme will be held at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary on September 24 and 25.The survey is being conducted by the forest department in collaboration with the Arannya Environment Research Organisation.“A unique opportunity for everyone in Goa. Come be part of an initiative that shapes conservation management strategies in Goa and be a stakeholder for wildlife conservation. Please note, that there are limited slots for volunteering, which shall be confirmed only through a confirmatory email,” the forest department said in its call for volunteers. Interested citizens can fill an online form or call 9022174196 / 9545326415 to participate.With the Western Ghats running through Goa, the state sees a good butterfly diversity. The world’s largest moth, the Atlas moth, and Asia’s largest butterfly, the Southern Birdwing, are among some that can be spotted in Goa.Goa has a lone state-run butterfly park at its Cotigao wildlife sanctuary at present, and earlier this year the state forest department has proposed a second government-run butterfly park at Mollem with central funds provided under the compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority (CAMPA).