Panaji: The heads of Goa Medical College (GMC) and the directorate of health services met at the Valpoi health centre to discuss a collaboration for which the health centre in Valpoi, the health minister’s constituency, will be a pilot project. “This is a pilot project that will take off at CHC Valpoi and will be replicated throughout Goa. In this model, we will cater to consultation with specialists as well as therapeutic intervention,” health minister Vishwajit Rane said. Under the project, specialist doctors from GMC will visit health centres for consultation, beginning with the Valpoi CHC. There will be integration between the directorate of health services and GMC and both the institutions will collaborate to provide a robust and integrated healthcare model by utilising resources and personnel from both institutions. A preliminary meeting to this effect was held at Valpoi health centre led by GMC dean Dr S Bandekar along with director of health services Dr Geeta Kakodkar and other health department officials, including officer on special duty to health minister, Dr Rajnanda Desai. “Patients that require bigger intervention will be referred to GMC. Only consultation will take place at the health centre,” a health official said.
Commissioner says 60% of pre-monsoon works have been completedPanaji: All efforts are being made by the Corporation of the City of Panaji to provide flood free city to the residents of Panaji this year and we have initiated several corrective steps in this direction, revealed the Commissioner, Agnelo Fernandes.Speaking to this daily, Fernandes said, “You can’t even imagine what our workers have recovered from these drainages during the course of cleaning: there are water pipes, electricity cables, sarees and oil tins besides plastic bags, bottles, plastic glasses and plastic wrappers.”Fernandes said that despite collecting door-to-door garbage in the city people are still in the habit of throwing garbage in the market drains or releasing sewage in the gutters near Cardozo building or dumping plastic waste in the water that finds it way directly into the drainages and chokes them giving rise to flooding.He said since the beginning of the year 2022 the Corporation has been taking all steps to rid the capital city of traditional flooding spots from Miramar Circle to Ambedkar Garden near Kadamba Bus Terminus and have completed 60% of the monsoon works.“During the course of initiating major measures CCP in collaboration with PWD, Smart City, GSUDA, GSIDC, WRD have reached a conclusion that there are many factors contributing to the flooding in the city,’’ he added.Factors contributing to flooding are like high tide, bad road geometry, construction on land level difference, choking of old Portuguese drainages below ground level, dumping of garbage by market vendors, buildings directly releasing sewage into the gutters, he informed. “After 36 years the Corporation has undertaken dredging of St Inez nullah and extracted five tones of silt and muck along with plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, plastic bags, pipes, debris and others. We also demolished temporary sheds constructed by the residents along the nullah,’’ he pointed out.
Panaji: Goa Medical College on Wednesday rusticated four MBBS students from the boys’ hostel for three months for assaulting another inmate of the hostel. The rustication order was passed by GMC dean Dr S M Bandekar following an inquiry into the incident. The four-member committee constituted by the dean inquired into the incident that took place on April 28. The panel gave the boys an opportunity to be heard, and the committee unanimously found them guilty based on circumstantial evidence of assaulting the student and causing him grievous injuries. On the basis of the committee’s recommendation, the dean rusticated them with immediate effect for three months from the boys’ hostel. Three of the students are from the third MBBS part-I (batch 2018-19) and one from the second MBBS (batch 2020-21). “Further, based on the recommendation of the inquiry committee, you are directed to submit a written undertaking that you will not repeat such an incident in the future,” read the rustication order. “You are also directed to note that if you are found within the campus of the boys’ hostel during the period of your rustication, the period of rustication shall be further extended as decided by the competent authority. The keys of the vacated hostel room shall be handed over to the hostel housekeeper after proper handover of the hostel inventory,” it said.
Panaji: The state government on Tuesday extended the Preferential Purchase Incentives for micro and small industries for till July. Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had written to the government and had recommended that the scheme, which was introduced in 2008, should be extended for an additional three years. GCCI said the scheme would help small scale industries, which are struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, to grow and participate in government contracts. “The validity of the government orders (for the Preferential Purchase Scheme – purchase of products manufactured by locals SSI units) is extended for further period from February 1 to July 31 or till finalisation or new preferential purchase scheme at the earliest,” said under secretary for Industries Amelia Pinto in the order. The scheme gives micro and small enterprises special treatment in government contracts, allowing smaller firms to match to lowest tender prices quoted by larger companies while meeting quality standards stipulated by the state government. Preferential Purchase Incentives lapsed in March 2021.
Panaji: Few parts of Goa received light to brisk rainfall for some time, accompanied by lightning and thunder, bringing relief from the sultry and humid weather at the peak of summer. Rainfall activity had been isolated during the 24 hours till Tuesday morning, as a few centres recorded light rainfall. Margao recorded the highest quantum of 6.2mm, Dabolim 3.8mm, Sanguem and Canacona just over 1mm each and Panaji 0.2mm. Figures for Ponda were not available while other centres did not record any rainfall. A trough extending from Vidarbha to Kerala is presently influencing the weather pattern in Goa. Another system, a cyclonic circulation over Kerala and its neighbouring region, is also playing a role in inducing movement of convective clouds from Karnataka to Goa, IMD sources said. The cyclonic circulation over Kerala will have a bigger impact on state weather from Thursday morning. A few conditions have made it conducive for an early onset of the southwest monsoon this year. On Tuesday, the northern limit of the monsoon had reached Andaman and Nicobar islands. As per the normal schedule, the onset of monsoons in this region is on May 22. While conditions are favourable for its further advance over nearby regions during next 28 hours, the southwest monsoon is expected to reach Kerala by May 27. “During the last three years – 2019, 2020 and 2021– the monsoon onset over Kerala has been on time. In 2019 and 2021, it was on June 1 and in 2021, it was on June 3,” M R Ramesh Kumar, meteorologist and former chief scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula, said. Further movement of the monsoon to Goa, though it takes about a week, depends on factors ranging from local conditions and intensity of monsoon current.
Panaji: Traditional saree weaves from across India were on display at a unique exhibition at the garment technology department of the Government Polytechnic, Altinho, Panaji, on Tuesday. The exhibition had on display specimens which are 50 to 60 years old and a Kanchipuram silk saree from the 1920s. First year students of the garment technology diploma programme sourced the sarees and textiles themselves through friends, family, artisans and weavers. The display was also a mix of traditional and contemporary sarees and the idea was to introduce students and visitors to the textile heritage of India. “The sarees sourced by students for the exhibition included sarees with geographical indication (GI) tags like Kanchipuram, Baranasi, Pochampally, Ilkal, Chanderi, Kanta and textiles breathtaking in their artistry like Gond, Madhubani, Ajrakh and Varli,” said Vanali Ballikar, a faculty member of the garment technology programme. She added that of the contemporary fabrics on display were Brasso, linen and modern Paithani. The three-year diploma in garment technology programme is the only such AICTE and government recognised course in Goa. The programme at the Government Polytechnic is more than two decades old.
Panaji: The Niti Aayog supported Atal Incubation Centre at Goa Institute of Management (AIC-GIM) at Sanquelim has invited ideas of innovations as replacement for single-use plastic. The AIC-GIM Foundation said that consumption of single-use plastic grew at a 2.5-fold rate in the food and beverage industry during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Centre said it has thrown up the single-use plastics challenge to innovators with the aim of reducing the use of such plastic in Goa’s F&B industry. “Solutions for single-use plastics will enable Goa to build a sustainable tourism model. Goa can be a model state for these solutions and then this model can be replicated at different locations,” AIC-GIM Foundation CEO Rajesh Joshi said. He said AIC-GIM has partnered with Climate Collective Foundation and IHCL’s Taj Hospitality and the selected solutions will get the opportunity to test their ideas in Goa with the partner hotel network. Insights derived from the pilots will contribute to a study around understanding the environmental impacts of alternatives to single-use plastic packaging, Joshi said.
Panaji: The Town and Country Planning Board on Tuesday decided to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) for hotels to 30% from the existing FAR of 20%.A Board meeting chaired by Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane also granted approval for appointment of consultants for new outline development plans (ODPs) and the Goa Regional Plan.The Minister said the Board may even think of giving 40% FAR for projects in urban areas with revised fees. The Board rejected a request of the civil aviation department, which had sought a 20-km buffer to the Mopa airport in Pernem taluka.The Board also decided to install CCTV cameras in all offices of the TCP department and the planning and development authorities.It also made a decision to strengthen sections 16A and 16B of the Town and Country Planning Act.The Board meeting also resolved to develop the Kadamba plateau as a new satellite township of Panaji with 400 FAR.Speaking to media persons, Rane reaffirmed the department’s crackdown on illegal hill cutting, filling of low lying areas etc.“We have no problem if somebody carries out work with all the permissions from the department. But cutting of hills, filling of low-lying areas, and work on khazan lands and in buffer zones will not be tolerated,” he stated.The Minister said that a team headed by the Chief Town Planner will probe the cases of hill cutting, maintaining that “we have to maintain the uniqueness of Goa. And for that, we need to have proper planning. We need to focus on small zonal plans for the areas”.Areas falling under Khazan and other sensitive zones, which have been converted, must be brought back to their original zones, Rane said, adding and the department will work in that direction.Rane, who holds forest portfolio, disclosed that a file has been moved for declaring Vagheri hill in Sattari taluka as a protected area.“Vagheri hill will be declared as a protected area, and no development will be allowed there,” he revealed.On the move to suspend a range forest officer (RFO) over the resumption of Vagheri hill cutting despite a stop order, Rane said that a file is being moved to take action against the officer.“An order suspending the RFO will be issued by Wednesday. A show-cause notice to the deputy conservator of forest will also be issued. And, if he fails to give an explanation, he too will be suspended,” he warned.
Panaji: The town and country planning board on Tuesday decided to increase floor area ratio (FAR) for four-star and five-star hotels from the existing 20% to 30% in both rural and urban areas. It also resolved to increase the FAR at Kadamba plateau from 300% to 400% for those developers who have proper infrastructure in place, including roads. Kadamba plateau, on the outskirts of Panaji, is being developed as a satellite town. Among other decisions, the board has said that the department would take strict action to combat rising cases of land-filling, hill-cutting (under Section 17A of the TCP Act) and development in no-development zones (under Section 16A). The meeting resolved that if any person or company files an application for construction, the applicant will also have to mention hill-cutting, land-filling or any such activity at the time. However, if no such permission is taken and the applicant indulges in such activities, strict action would be taken. The board decided that during the permission stage, developers should submit a proper plan to get approvals, and in case the developer fails to disclose fully, action would be taken. The board also resolved that action would be taken against violators carrying out construction or development on orchard land. Meanwhile, the department rejected the proposal of the department of civil aviation to declare a 20km area around Mopa International Airport as restricted. When the agenda came up for discussion, the board said that the decision cannot be taken with just an application by GMR Goa International Airport Limited, and that a detailed representation will have to be given to the board on what factors are involved. The board has also decided to empanel a consultant who would be consulted when new outline development plans (ODPs) and regional plans are prepared. The board also decided to install CCTVs at all TCP and PDA offices.
Panaji: Two major cases of filling and encroachment into the Mandovi have come to the notice of authorities in recent months, with the Captain of Ports (CoP) being the complainant in one of them. An encroachment has been found at Chimbel and the second near St Pedro, Old Goa. In the case at Chimbel, a local had cut mangroves and dumped mud into the Mandovi for construction of an illegal shed. A citizen noticed the work being carried out in the no-development zone of the CRZ and filed a complaint with the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). A site inspection was carried out in February this year and the illegalities were confirmed. Last month, during a hearing, the offender himself asked the GCZMA to pass a formal demolition order, based on which he agreed to carry out the demolition himself. In the second case, the CoP complained to the GCZMA that a “massive encroachment” in the Mandovi had taken place at St Pedro. The CoP said while it had issued an NOC for activities by the offender in 2013, it declared the NOC was revoked after violations were noticed. The illegality at the spot, however, continues. The case is being heard by the GCZMA, which has seen the CoP request that a stop-work order be issued against the violator.
Panaji: Cumbharjua MLA Rajesh Phaldessai said that bunds and sluice gates requiring repairs in khazan lands in the villages of St Estevam, Divar and Cumbharjua will be fixed on priority. Phaldessai said that restoration and rejuvenation of all water bodies in Cumbharjua constituency area will also be taken up. After an inspection of the damaged sluice gates at Divar and Carambolim, the MLA said, “Breaches in bunds will be repaired and submerged fields will be drained. The repairs will be initiated through the water resources department.” “This will not only help revive agriculture in the fertile lands, but also protect vulnerable areas from rising water levels,” he said. Phaldessai said that during the monsoon, the entrance to the villages of Divar, Vanxim, St Estevam, Dauji and other low-lying areas are inundated. “People cannot travel and the ferries cannot dock due to the gushing water overflowing on the roads, jetties and bunds. People residing in these areas have been highlighting their grievances that the bunds need to be repaired. The height of the road has to be increased, and the bunds need to be reinforced to prevent flooding,” he said.
Panaji: Bal Bhavan has assured the office of the state commissioner for persons with disabilities of inclusive education for children. The institute, aimed at educating children in various modes of creative expression, has informed the office of the commissioner that it will take up all extra-curricular activities like drama, drawing, painting, dancing, music, etc for children with special needs. Bal Bhavan director Dayanand Chawdikar assured that children with special needs would be included in all of the institute’s activities across Goa, as mandated in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. Further, he said that Bal Bhavan is always trying to reach out to every child between the age group of 5-16 years, in the state. Last month, the officer of the commissioner for persons with disabilities had directed Bal Bhavan to include children with special needs in all its activities as mandated under Section 16 of the RPwD Act.
Panaji: The post of the Head ofReserveBankof India, Goa was upgraded from General Manager (officer-in-charge) to Regional Director w.e.f. April 1, 2022.Smita Kumar, Chief General Manager has taken over as the Regional Director, Goa.As part of a courtesy visit, Smita Kumar, Regional Director, Goa called on the Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai on May 10, 2022 at Raj Bhavan.They discussed various topics and had a pleasant interaction.The Governor enquired about the RBI’s role and functions and the various departments operating in Goa.The Regional Director was accompanied by Sunu Rajan, Deputy General Manager and Sqn. Ldr. Manojkumar Pillai, Manager (protocol & security) RBI Goa.
Miguel BraganzaThe Konkan Fruit Fest in Panaji over the weekend threw up a complete surprise for many and Jai Naik from Borda gave jackpot a new meaning: he won the first prize for his potted plant bearing a jackfruit. Organised by the Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) along with the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) as festival partner, the event was held with the support of the Directorate of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwar, nursery owners, fruit processors and fruit enthusiasts. There were a large number of enquiries about the jackfruit in a pot.Visitors wanted to know in how many years one can expect a jackfruit on the plant. Fruit plant grafts have the ability to produce fruits in the same year of planting because the scion material is taken from a fruit-bearing tree known as the ‘mother plant’. However, in the case of jackfruit, the fruits are borne directly on the main trunk and the fruit is large and heavy. It is, therefore, important that it gains a good diameter and is strong enough to bear the weight of the fruit till it matures. If one manures periodically and waters regularly, the tree can bear fruit in just two or three years. This offers an opportunity to those living in apartments to have homegrown jackfruits of their choice.‘What containers can one grow these fruit plants in?’Well, one can grow fruit plants in 14 to 24 inches diameter pots, barrels or even buckets. If one wants it to grow big on the terrace, one can use a 200 litres capacity metal drum painted with tar or metal primer paint, or in blue or black HDPE barrels. However, pots and small barrels can be moved about, as needed, like in the case for the competition. Plants in bigger barrels can only be judged for home garden competitions. Quite a few people have grown trees in barrels after I wrote about a journalist growing it on her rooftop in Panaji. Growing in smaller containers is the natural progression of the idea.Last Saturday was World Bonsai Day. Daniel D’Souza, the current president of the Botanical Society of Goa displayed a number of bonsai fruit plants with fruits. It included mangoes, but not jackfruit. A plant in a shallow pot will uproot as the jackfruit grows bigger. It may be possible to grow a chempedak or wild jackfruit that is edible but smaller in size. Whether for bonsai or in deep pots, the fruit species must survive the pruning of its roots and shoots. Limes and lemons are ideal here.It is proposed to conduct the Plant Utsav in November after two years of the pandemic and include potted fruit plants in the competition, along with the regular flower arrangements, garland-making, vegetable carving and other competitions.Buy a large pot, coco soil, compost, a graft and you can be ready for the competition in the next six months. Take good care of the plant and it will give you fruits even if you decide not to compete.
Panaji: Environment minister Nilesh Cabral said on Monday that the process of double-tracking of South West Railways’ line from Kulem to Vasco will continue. Speaking on the Supreme Court order setting aside the National Board of Wildlife’s (NBWL) clearance for the Castlerock to Kulem stretch, Cabral said, “That is in the SC and that discussion cannot be held. It will be taken up by railway authorities. The SC decision is from Castlerock to Kulem, but from Kulem to Vasco, there is no such decision, and the process will continue.” CM Pramod Sawant chaired a meeting on double-tracking at Paryatan Bhavan, Panaji. Panchayat minister Mauvin Godinho, Cabral, chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel and SWR officials were present. Cabral said that during the meeting, overbridges and underpasses at Vasco were discussed. Cabral said that three underpasses were planned. “Railways have deposited money with the state government to take up underpass work, which we have returned. We have told them that the Central government should take up the work of overbridge and underpass,” Cabral said. In its report to the SC last month, its central empowered committee (CEC) rejected all justifications presented by Railways for the project, and termed the project “inefficient”, “unjustified” and “potentially destructive”. Even as the court cancelled the permission granted to Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), the infrastructure arm of Indian Railways, it permitted the body to do a fresh assessment of the environmental impact and submit its report to the NBWL, which it said would be considered as per law. There are mainly three reasons that led to the CEC recommending the cancellation of Railways’ proposal in Mollem — the threat to the biodiversity hotspot, difficult terrain of the ghat section, and Railways’ failure to utilise most of the existing capacity of the single track. The CEC also raised doubts about capacity enhancement of the double-track when it is proposed to be built parallel to the existing “equally inefficient track again with a steep 1:37 gradient”.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday directed the Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small-Scale Industries Development Corporation to conduct training programmes for local artisans and discussed solutions to make the corporation profitable. Sawant reviewed the schemes and activities conducted by the corporation. Sawant chaired a meeting with the chairman of the corporation, Pravin Arlekar, and officials. tnn
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?”
Panaji: The Goa Green Brigade has written to the forest department asking it to intervene in the alleged illegal clearing of a private forest area in Assagao to build some villas. They have demanded action in the matter calling it “a contempt of National Green Tribunal proceedings”. The group has alleged that the violation is at survey no 128/8 where the owner has cleared a large number of bushes that are a part of the rich biodiversity and its ecosystem. “We now fear that they are attempting to clear out the private forest cover,” the letter signed by coordinator, Avertino Miranda and member, Orlando Braganza, stated. “Considering the serious nature of this complaint and as the matter is sub-judice in the NGT, Pune, we request the forest department to conduct an urgent inspection of the property,” the letter stated. Senior forest officials, including the deputy conservator of forests, later visited the Assagao village to survey the violations and put on record all the trees cut in the protected private forest area. A team of forest department officials led by the local range forest officer also conducted an inspection in several parts of Assagao. “We request the forest department to conduct regular patrolling of the area since we fear that the owners may clear or cut the private forest and destroy the environment and the rich biodiversity of the Assagao village,” the letter stated.
Panaji: Art and culture minister Govind Gaude on Monday said that the Charles Correa Foundation (CCF) cannot dictate to the government on issues pertaining to the Kala Academy (KA). He was responding to the recent press conference held by the CCF alleging blatant changes to the structure under the pretext of renovation. “The repair works at Kala Academy are being recorded by us. The Charles Correa Foundation is no one to dictate to the government. They are neither consultants nor do we owe them any money. They speak of the design and the aesthetics, but what about the maintenance? There are sand dunes, plinths and corrosive materials that require to be taken care of,” he said. He drew a parallel between the ICG at Dona Paula and the Kala Academy. “It has been designed by a Goan, Salvo Almeida, in such a way that we don’t need to do much maintenance. But the Charles Correa Foundation is behaving as if they have borne the entire cost of the Kala Academy. There are many buildings built by the GSIDC that have been designed by consultants. Is the government of Goa to request them for an NOC to bring about alterations or changes?” “We are working for the people and repairing it with taxpayers money. The PWD is looking after the project and government officials will hold engineers accountable if there is a problem. Who is the CCF to interfere in the work?” he said.
PANAJI: Prices of tomatoes are on fire. Retail prices of the juicy reds have shot up from Rs 40 per kg to anywhere between Rs 60-80 per kg and vendors say that the prices are likely to remain on the higher side till the end of the month. The price rise is partly due to the sharp contrast in weather conditions. The intense humidity and pre-monsoon rainfall have hit the crop in Goa’s neighbouring states. “Rain and gusty winds have wreaked havoc on fields in Belagavi, leaving farmers no choice but to discard the spoiled tomatoes. The ones that survive often soften during transit and we end up having to discard nearly five kgs at a time due to damage,” said Ali Shaikh, a vegetable vendor. Coupled with the weather conditions is the additional cost of transportation owing to the temporary closure of the Chorla ghat. Asif Shaikh, a vendor from the Panaji market said that he has resorted to sourcing different varieties of tomatoes to cover the shortage. “The ones used in Goan curries are selling at Rs 80 per kg due to which we have also sourced round button tomatoes which are often used to prepare purees or used in ketchup, which are selling at Rs 60 per kg. These have a thicker consistency and can act as a temporary substitute until the prices of the regular tomatoes stabilise,” he said. Some vendors are choosing to sell tomatoes for Rs 60 at the retail price, after getting a good deal upon bulk purchases. “We have managed to get a good bargain from our suppliers in Belagavi and have therefore not hiked retail rates too much. If we can purchase the product at an affordable price, it only makes sense to sell it to customers at the rate affordable to them,” said vegetable vendor Imamkasib Mokashi.
PANAJI: Taking cue from the devastation and flash floods that hit the state during the monsoon over the past three years, the state has revamped its strategy for natural calamities and put in place a detailed disaster plan with clearly specified responsibilities. Aside from standard operating procedures for response agencies, the state has also mapped the areas that are vulnerable to landslides and floods. With the monsoons less than a fortnight, the Goa state disaster management authority has activated the district disaster management cells and also set up control rooms in each district to coordinate disaster mitigation and disaster response measures, said state government officials. Water resources department (WRD) officials also pointed out that unlike earlier years, when cyclone relief shelters remained on paper, three of the five cyclone shelters in North Goa are complete, while over 120 relief shelters have been identified in South Goa. Two more cyclone shelters are being constructed at Altinho-Panaji and Marna-Siolim. Speaking to TOI, South Goa collector Jyoti Kumari said that the disaster management cell has identified vulnerable areas and also identified emergency response providers. “An exercise was conducted in early May where the various stakeholders deliberated in detail on the mitigation measures, vulnerability assessment, damage caused in the last few years and the role of the various emergency responders,” said Kumari. The trail of devastation left behind by cyclone Tauktae in May has not been forgotten. The tropical cyclone lashed Goa with fierce winds, heavy rain and gusts up to 100kmph. Tautkae destroyed over 200 homes, uprooted hundreds of trees and plunged the state into darkness as power lines and communication lines were snapped. The state government estimated that the value of the losses stood at Rs 146 crore. The surge in water levels also caused some low-lying areas to be cut-off from the rest of the state. The sea level rise saw many beaches being taken over with water entering shacks and houses. With this in mind, the government has identified low-lying areas and vulnerable areas such as Bicholim, Sanquelim, Divar, Chorao, Ponda, Paroda, Khareband-Margao, Canacona, Bogmalo, Vasco. In Ponda itself, the state has estimated that around 600 dwelling units are vulnerable to flooding. “The state disaster management authority directed all stakeholders to take up pre-monsoon activities such as de-silting of drains, trimming of trees, identification of dangerous structures. As per directions, the panchayats and the towns have started the normal monsoon work,” said an official who was present for the meeting. Aside from the regular pre-monsoon work, Kumari also said that an SOP is being drafted specifically for flood-prone zones. “There have been directions to the deputy collectors and the WRD to put up signages at flood-prone areas and places where drowning deaths occur,” said Kumari. The 5,000-odd residents of Sal, Ibrampur and neighbouring areas along the river Chapora have yet to forget the horrors of the inky black floods of August 2019. The residents of Usgao and Ganjem in Ponda have their own vivid nightmare, the havoc created by incessant rain and flooding in July 2021. “One of the key challenges that we noticed was that some areas were completely cut off and given the large number of emergency calls, first responders had their hands full,” said a Central government official who had assisted the state with rescue efforts. In 2019 and 2021, the state government had roped in the Navy, Coast Guard and Army to assist the Goa fire and emergency department. In preparation for the coming monsoon, the state disaster management authority has already formed the different teams for rescue operations. Additional teams have been formed to restore power supply, provide medical aid, shelter and food. The departments have also identified agencies who have cranes, trucks and boats which could be requisitioned in case of an emergency. In addition, the state has also appointed 350 ‘aapada mitras’ and ‘aapada sakhis’ who will be trained and deployed for disaster response.
Panaji: The directorate of mines and geology has decided to ask the state government to appoint the chairman and directors for the newly formed Goa Mineral Development Corporation so as to get the rules framed and make the corporation functional. A senior officer said that the law department has raised queries stating that the corporation’s rules have to be framed in consultation with the corporation. The officer said that, as per the law department, the state government has to now appoint the chairman and director for the corporation so that rules are framed and finalised. Earlier, the mines department had framed the rules and sent them to the law department for vetting. But the same file was returned to the mines department with queries. “We have cleared the queries raised by the law department and the file will go to the government,” the officer said. As per the Goa Mining Corporation Act, 2021, the chief minister is the chairman of the corporation with the MLAs representing mining belt constituencies as members. Earlier in September, the governor had granted his assent to the bill, making it an Act and setting the stage for the corporation. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018, after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 mining leases. On September 7, the apex court dismissed an appeal filed by mining companies to allow them to operate mining leases till 2037. To restart mining activities in the state as early as possible, the state government is likely to first auction the 88 leases against which the government has initiated the process of takeover and the companies have been asked to vacate the leases within a month. A senior government officer had said that opening new leases would take longer than restarting existing mines that were operational.
PANAJI: A North Goa court has sentenced Vijay Karbotkar to life imprisonment and has also fined him Rs one lakh for the murder of Lavu Parsekar at Porvorim in 2013. The court had acquitted the first accused in the case, Shailesh Naik, under Section 302 for murder read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but convicted him under Section 323 for voluntarily causing hurt back in the year 2018. “Taking into consideration the evidence of the witnesses, coupled with the medical evidence and the attending circumstances (that the deceased was stabbed on the vital parts of his body, that is, abdomen, and also that there was not only one injury caused due to stabbing but around four other stab injuries), the complicity of Vijay Karbotkar, in causing the death of Lavu has been established by the prosecution and the prosecution has led convincing evidence to show that the offence is one under Section 302 of the said code,” additional sessions judge, Mapusa, Sherin Paul said. Public prosecutor A Talaulikar sought the maximum sentence and produced a list of criminal cases that are either registered or pending against the accused. She also submitted that the accused absconded on three occasions during the course of the trial. After a lower court in August 2015 ordered charges to be framed against both the accused for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 II), the high court allowed the state to challenge it through a revision petition. The high court thereafter directed that murder charges under Section 302 read with Section 34 be framed against both the accused.
PANAJI: Cloudy weather prevailed for most of the day on Saturday, as India meteorological department (IMD), Panaji, forecast rain or thundershowers at isolated places over both districts for four days till Tuesday. During the last 24 hours, there was just 0.5mm rainfall in Margao, a trace in Panaji, while other centres received no rainfall. “The wind patterns are influencing the weather. The westerly winds from the Arabian Sea are bringing moisture and easterly winds at 700 hPa (3km above atmosphere) are advecting clouds towards Goa region,” Rajasree VPM, scientist at IMD, Panaji, said. While this April ended as the wettest April for 85 years (since 1937), rainfall during May so far has been sparse. During the past nearly two-and-a-half months, Pernem witnessed more rainfall activity as the rain gauge centre in the town recorded 205.8mm of rainfall. Sanquelim also received higher rainfall of 110.9mm, Mapusa 75.9mm, Margao 70.2mm, Sanguem 69.2mm, Panaji 61.1mm, and other centres on a lesser scale during the 70+ days. Valpoi had recorded 59.3mm till April 22, but the total has not been updated since then. At the peak of summer, the maximum temperatures have been within normal range. On Friday, the mercury actually went down 2.3 degrees below normal, as IMD, Panaji recorded a maximum temperature of 31.6 degrees Celsius. It rose slightly to 33 degrees Celsius, just 0.9 degrees below normal while many places in the country have been affected by a heat wave.
Panaji: The monsoon may hit Goa marginally earlier this year, as India meteorological department (IMD) said on Friday that it will reach Kerala around May 27, a few days earlier than the normal onset date of May 1. Even as the IMD issues a forecast for the monsoon’s onset over Kerala, it doesn’t predict its progression as it moves north towards Goa. This is because the monsoon’s progress depends on factors such as strength of the current and localised weather features. “The normal onset date of monsoon over Kerala is June 1 and normal date of progress of monsoon over Goa is June 5. This year, monsoon onset is likely over Kerala 4-5 days ahead of its normal date,” IMD scientist Rahul M said. The prediction of May 27 is subject to a model error of plus or minus four days. Rahul said that the data from the past decade or so suggests that there’s no correlation between the monsoon’s arrival in Kerala and its reaching Goa. “There are several examples to show that there may not always be a four-day gap between monsoon onset over Kerala and monsoon advance over Goa,” he said. “Two years – 2017 and 2018 – the monsoon onset was before the normal date over Kerala, but it arrived over Goa two to three days later than the normal date. Whereas in 2021, it arrived on the normal date over Goa, even though the onset date over Kerala was two days late,” he said.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that collaboration and investment by industry conglomerates like Tata Sons will offer great opportunities for Goa. Sawant on Saturday met Tata Sons group chairman N Chandrasekaran, Noel Tata and other CEOs, to boost investment in Goa. Industries minister Mauvin Godinho and chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel were also present at the meeting. Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) played a key role in arranging this meeting, with a clear agenda of inviting the mother industry to boost MSME growth, Sawant said. The chief minister said that opportunities in all sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed at the meeting. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said that Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa. Jobs in retail, IT, hospitality discussedSawant said opportunities in sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that collaboration and investment by industry conglomerates like Tata Sons will offer great opportunities for Goa. Sawant on Saturday met Tata Sons group chairman N Chandrasekaran, Noel Tata and other CEOs, to boost investment in Goa. Industries minister Mauvin Godinho and chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel were also present at the meeting. Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) played a key role in arranging this meeting, with a clear agenda of inviting the mother industry to boost MSME growth, Sawant said. The chief minister said that opportunities in all sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed at the meeting. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said that Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa.