Panaji News

Goa: Complaint against tenant association for Merces mangrove cutting says forests, town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

Panaji: Minister for forests and town and country planning (TCP), Vishwajit Rane, on Friday said a police complaint has been filed after the tenant association of the local comunidade “was found to be responsible” for destruction of 29 mangrove trees at Merces. “The SDFO and Panaji Range staff inspected the site after receiving a report from the additional principal chief conservator of forests. The land belonged to the comunidade and the offence is committed by their tenant association. Twenty-nine mangrove trees were destroyed, an offence has been booked for violation of the Goa Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, with a notice issued to the land owners,” Rane said in a tweet. “Stern action is the need of the hour, as mangroves need to be protected at all costs.” Apart from the forest department, the chief town planner of the town and country planning department has filed a separate complaint with the Old Goa police station for filling of the khazan land. The town planner said that based on the minister’s directives a joint inspection of the site was carried out on May 20 at 5.30pm. “It is observed that there is huge cutting of mangrove forest and filling of land in survey no. 73/2 of Morombi-O-Grande village, Tiswadi taluka. It is learnt that the forest department has already filed an FIR in this regard and further prior permission of filling of land has not been obtained as required under section 17-A of TCP Act as per this office records,” the police complaint from the chief town planner states. He has asked the police ‘to keep vigil at the site’ and stop ongoing activity, initiate necessary action and book the violators.

Goa: Complaint against tenant association for Merces mangrove cutting says forests, town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane
Goa: Car breakdown, accident on Zuari bridge backs traffic up for hours
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

Panaji: People using the Zuari bridge on Friday were put through tremendous hardship due to traffic jams with the usual 45-minute between Panaji and Margao taking them three hours and more. Some attributed the recurring problem to the lanes converging into single lanes on the Zuari bridge while others blamed police for poor traffic management. Traffic jams were seen on either side of the Zuari bridge — Cortalim and Agasaim — with rains worsening the situation. People brought out their four-wheelers instead of two-wheelers adding to the congestion. What aggravated the already existing problem was a car that had a tyre puncture right in the middle of the bridge in the morning making it necessary to call in a crane to clear the way. Later in the day there was an accident involving a four-wheeler and Kadamba bus where the party didn’t agree and wanted a panchnama to be filed. The spot was cleared later and passengers shifted to another bus. People appealed to chief minister Pramod Sawant via social media for a solution to the Cortalim-Agasaim traffic mess. “@DrPramodPSawant We didn’t mind when the petrol price crossed 105. But what the point in wasting 4/5 litres in traffic jam? #trafficmanagement #Goa #Megablock,” one netizen tweeted. “@Goapolice1091 huge traffic jam at Zuari bridge due to mismanagement by policemen stationed there @DrPramodPSawant @goacm @DGP_Goa,” another tweeted. DYSP traffic, South Goa, Dharmesh Angle said traffic police were on their toes trying to address the problem. He said there was additional strain on the traffic as people who otherwise travel by two-wheelers brought out their four-wheelers due to the incessant rains. The tyre puncture on the bridge and the accident stopped traffic as a result of which vehicles kept piling up on either end of the bridge, he said. At any given time 35 to 55 vehicles pass over the Zuari bridge every minute, he said, adding that, in the event of an accident, the stoppage of traffic even for five minutes has cascading effects on traffic on both sides of the bridge and this backlog continues. A government official told TOI that there is no solution to the traffic problem as multiple lanes on either side of the bridge converge into a single lane on Zuari bridge. “The bridge carpet can only allow one lane. The bottleneck is Zuari bridge itself. People will require to have patience till the new bridge is opened,” he said. Meanwhile, traffic police have permitted bridge work to take place on either side of the bridge, which may affect traffic, only during non peak hours, Angle said. He said the contractor has been asked not to carry out any work that will block the maximum width of the route during peak hours. Traffic police have found that the majority of jams take place on Saturday when officer goers leave for their native places and when families get out for the weekend. “It’s unfortunate that the government has not been able to find a solution and address the plight of the commuters on this stretch for the last four years. Bridges are built the world over but the commuters are not made to suffer in such a manner,” one commuter said.

Goa: Car breakdown, accident on Zuari bridge backs traffic up for hours
Goa: Helicopter service takes off in Aguada
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

Panaji: The state’s plans for heli tourism that were grounded since 2016 following protests by Sinquerim locals, took off on Friday after a private agency, Blade India, an urban air mobility company, launched the state’s first helicopter service from the helipad at Aguada. The Blade India announced three rides — connecting airport to South and North Goa, charter service from Maharashtra and within Goa and a 10-minute experiential flights giving a bird’s eye view of the state’s coastline. Five years ago, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had to discontinue the project after local fishing community and villagers, supported by some local politicians, raised objections to the use of the same helipad. The GTDC tried to operate the service by moving it to South Goa, but it had to be discontinued for logistic reasons. Chief minister Pramod Sawant who launched the service exuded confidence that there won’t be “opposition” now and appreciated Blade India for taking the risk. “There was an opposition, then but I don’t think people will oppose these kind of services, now,” Sawant said replying to a query. Last year, the GTDC had commissioned a helipad at Old Goa and declared that it will re-launch the helicopter service. Sawant said that it could not start since permission from CRZ authority is awaited. In the past, the project was delayed as GTDC had to finalise a location for a helipad and later since it had to retender to select a service provider. Having a helicopter service in Goa, Sawant said, will boost tourism and help the tourists explore the hinterlands of the state. “The government will help the agency in getting permissions required to commence operations,” Sawant said. Blade India has identified landing points in Surla and Sanquelim in North Goa. The company’s founder Karanpal Singh said they will use the present infrastructure and also create new helipads with the help of the government. Blade India’s strategic partner Airbus Helicopters’ India and South Asia head Sunny Guglani said despite having rich flora and fauna, the country has not been able to attract more tourists as it is hard to reach the interiors. “We need solutions to connect potential tourists both foreign and Indian and create economic opportunities. Goa has beautiful beaches, forts and waterfalls. I think helicopters can play a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of Goa,” he said. Goa can lead the way for the rest of the country, Gunglani said. Copter service can be used for medical emergencies: CM TNN Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said Blade India’s helicopter services in the state can be used in case of medical emergencies, an option that was not available in the past. “In a medical emergency, where a patient needs to be immediately shifted to a hospital, wherever needed, the helicopter service can be availed. Sometimes, it takes two hours to transport a patient to a medical facility via road,” Sawant said. Goans and other travellers, he said, will also have the option of choosing helicopter service to visit nearby cities in Maharashtra or Karnataka, and help increase connectivity and also promote medical tourism. The chief minister said people from other neighbouring cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka will certainly use the helicopter services.

Goa: Helicopter service takes off in Aguada
Goa: 400 FAR to Kadamba plateau attracts bouquets, brickbats
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

Panaji: The town and country planning (TCP) department’s move to permit an FAR of 400 for the Kadamba plateau has drawn both flak and support. While Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) has criticised the move, calling it a “disaster in the making”, Credai said that TCP’s decision is a step towards planned development. However, while encouraging the development of Kadamba plateau as a satellite township of Panaji, Credai added a rider and said that clear guidelines and transparency need to be ensured. The TCP board met on Tuesday, where TCP minister Vishwajit Rane decided to increase the permissible FAR on Kadamba Plateau to 400. GBA said that the idea of taking pressure off congested areas like Panaji makes sense, but jumping straight to FAR of 400 would lead to a concrete jungle. “This is something that even Noida does not have, picture the disaster in the making. Concentration of concrete creates heat islands that are unbearable in today’s heat waves, which are only set to get worse in India,” said GBA convenor Sabina Martins. FAR, or Floor to Area Ratio, is a measure of how much can be built on a plot of land. While urban areas like Panaji have an FAR of 250, cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Noida provide between 133 and 350 FAR. Credai president Nilesh Salkar disagreed with GBA’s stand. “Kadamba plateau, being in the nascent stage of development that it is, has scope to a well-planned infrastructure with systematic development. Considering the fact that the government plans to use professional planning agencies, it can become a landmark location. So keeping a 400 FAR would make a lot of sense,” said Salkar. GBA remains skeptical, arguing that the state has yet to learn from the mistakes of the Regional Plan exercise. “It is critical to have a 10-year master plan that fits in all the requirements. Cease random decisions and follow a proper planning process for a Regional Plan,” said Reboni Saha, the GBA general secretary. GBA wants the TCP department to withdraw its decisions, particularly the move to increase the permissible FAR for hotels. Salkar said that as long as the state government frames clear guidelines for allotting FAR and allots additional FAR in a transparent manner, Credai sees no problem.

Goa: 400 FAR to Kadamba plateau attracts bouquets, brickbats
Goa: Rain brings temp down by 5.6 celsius in 24 hours
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

Panaji: Rainfall and overcast skies offered much-needed respite from the sweltering May heat as maximum temperatures dropped by 5.6C in just 24 hours. The IMD Goa, recorded a maximum temperature of a pleasant 25.2C on Friday when compared to the 30.8C logged a day prior. “The maximum temperature recorded on May 17 was 34C. As such, there has been a fall of 8.8C over the past three days,” IMD scientist Rahul M said. He said that as rainfall activity begins reducing from Saturday, the maximum temperature will gradually rise by about 2C in the following two days. On Friday, the highest amount of rainfall recorded by the IMD was at the Pernem and Valpoi rain gauge stations, with 7cm each. This was followed by Sanguem and Margao with 6cm each, Canacona with 5cm, Quepem, Sanquelim and Ela (Old Goa) with 4cm each, and Mormugao, Ponda, Dabolim, Mapusa and Panaji with 3cm each. Light to moderate rainfall and thundershowers are very likely at many places over Goa on Saturday, at a few places on Sunday and Monday, and at isolated places on Tuesday. Squally weather with wind speeds reaching 40-50 kmph and gusting to 60 kmph is likely to prevail along and off the south Maharashtra-Goa coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea during this period.

Goa: Rain brings temp down by 5.6 celsius in 24 hours
  • Light to moderate rainfall for 5 days
  • Navhind Times

    Panaji: In continuation of the previous forecast, the Indian Meteorological department (IMD) on Tuesday issued an alert for five continuous days forecasting light to moderate rainfall accompanied by lightning and gusty winds.There was a cloud build-up late on Tuesday evening with very light to moderate rainfall at isolated places.The IMD attributed the rains to the presence of a trough in the lower levels that will pass through Karnataka on Thursday and Friday and, possible moisture incursion in the middle troposphere due to a circulation in south Goa.According to the IMD, heavy rainfall (7-11 cms in 24hrs) is very likely to occur at isolated places and light to moderate rain at most places over the state on Thursday.The maximum temperature during the 24-hour period ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday was 34 degree Celsius, according to the IMD.Fishermen are requested not to venture along Kerala-Karnataka coast on Wednesday and Goa-South Maharashtra coast on Thursday due to squally weather conditions.

Three members of YUVA excel in IGNOU examination
Times of India | 6 days ago
Times of India
6 days ago

YUVA is a voluntary association of enthusiastic youth based in Panaji and around with a common goal of serving the society and has worked towards it since inception in the year 2012. YUVA was awarded with prestigious National Award for Best Youth Organization by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India. YUVA’s is the only organisation from Goa to have received this honour at the hands of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister Major Rajvardhan Singh Rathore in Noida. Members of YUVA, Raghuvir Mahale (Founder) and Akhil Prabhu Verlekar (Secretary) has recently excelled in completion of Master of Social Work (MSW) from School of Social Work through Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. Likewise, Radiya Mahale completed Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Right as well as MA in Hindi. Raghuvir Mahale is a Computer Science Engineer from Goa College of Engineering and has completed PGDBA (Marketing) from Symbiosis. He is a National Award winner for his BE Engineering Project and has been involved in social work for last 10 years. He has won Goa State Youth Award in 2015, Best Social Worker Award in 2016 and has led YUVA to win many accolades over a decade. Radiya Mahale has completed her M.Pharm and successfully runs her own Pharmacy in Panaji whereas Akhil Prabhu Verlekar has completed his MCOM under Goa University. They received the convocation certificates at the hands of J.M. Noronha (Chairman Goa Public Service Commission) in Art and Culture Hall, Panaji on April 26, 2022.

Three members of YUVA excel in IGNOU examination
Two more get bail in Methar murder case
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: Two accused have been granted bail in the murder case of Vilas Methar who was burnt alive at Salvador do Mundo in 2020. All seven accused have now been granted bail. The last two accused, accused No. 2 and No. 6 Pawan Badigar and Santosh Pillai were granted bail on Thursday. The first accused Altaf Yargatti, after being denied bail by the lower courts and the high court, was granted bail by the Supreme Court. Accused 3, 4, 5, 7, Prashant alias Vishwajeet alias Bhaiya Dabolkar, Khayad alias Shafi Shaikh, Iqbal Nanpuri and Shailesh alias Shailu Shetty were released on bail by the high court. The court found that on perusal of the chargesheet, the roles attributed to Badigar and Pillai based on their voluntary statement before the police following the arrest, and statements of witnesses to police, that they were involved in making fake licence number plates for vehicles used in the offence. They are also alleged to have taken part in criminal conspiracy and were seen discussing the conspiracy in the CCTV footage of a restaurant at Panaji with the prime accused No. 1. Adv Ritesh Rawal and Adv Michael Nazareth appeared for the two accused. Methar had obtained information under the Right to Information Act of irregularities in the building of the first accused at Donwado. In October 2020, Methar, who was driving, was waylaid by two persons who poured fuel on him and set him on fire. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The murder had also taken a political turn with BJP demanding indepth investigation and local MLA Rohan Khaunte demanding CBI inquiry.

Two more get bail in Methar murder case
Panchayat polls may be deferred
Navhind Times | 1 week ago
Navhind Times
1 week ago

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that his government will recommend to the state election commission (SEC) to defer the elections to 186 village panchayats so as to adopt triple test for reserving wards for other backward classes.Interacting with media persons in Panaji, Sawant said the government will not do any injustice to the people belonging to OBCs.“I have received the opinion of the Advocate General on the recent verdict of the Supreme Court. If we hold the polls immediately then we will have to hold elections without reserving even a single ward; we don’t want to do this. We want to give reservation to OBCs as they constitute 27% of the state’s total population,” Sawant explained.“Government can’t postpone the elections; it is the discretion of the SEC. We will seek time.”“If the poll panel grants time then we will ask the OBC Commission to complete the triple test exercise. Once the report of the OBC Commission is ready then it will be sent to the SEC for consideration and thereafter the SEC will announce the election schedule,” he added.It is pertinent to note that the triple test has been mandated by the apex court for reservation of wards for OBCs for the local body elections.“As per the state Advocate General’s opinion, the government will seek time from the SEC for asking the OBC Commission to prepare a report, based on which reservation of wards can be done for the panchayat elections in accordance with Supreme Court directions,” the Chief Minister added.“The related file will be sent to SEC tomorrow,” Sawant said.In a related development, Goa State Commission for Backward Classes chairman Manohar Adpaikar expressed his readiness to undertake the triple test exercise.“We are ready. But we need the required manpower to conduct a survey. Government should allow us to rope in its employees. With their assistance, we can complete the task keeping the last survey as base, provided it is accepted by the concerned authorities,” Adpaikar said.He said that if need arises then the government can consider engaging an agency to conduct a totally fresh survey across the state.“Agencies have experience and all machinery with them. They are familiar with conducting big surveys in quick time,” Adpaikar said.He informed that the last survey was conducted in December 2013, where it was found that 26.26% of the state’s population belonged to the OBC category.

Panchayat polls may be deferred
  • Cong wants pyat polls postponed by four months
  • Times of India

    Margao: Leader of opposition Michael Lob on on Tuesday demanded that the government postpone the panchayat elections scheduled for June by four months to facilitate proper provision of reservation for OBCs in accordance with the Supreme Court order in that regard. The term of the panchayats expires in June before which their elections are due. On May 10, the Supreme Court had held that no reservation for OBCs can be provisioned until the triple test formality, including setting up of a dedicated commission to conduct a contemporaneous rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness qua local bodies within the state, is followed “in all respects”. Lobo said that the SC order states that if the exercise isn’t completed in time then that except for seats reserved for SC/ST, rest must be categorised as general category. Lobo said that if the government goes ahead with the polls based on the available data, there was a possibility of it being challenged in the court thereby inviting trouble. Further pointing out that the state OBC corporation was lying defunct, Lobo demanded that the body be revived at the earliest. “Place administrators for panchayats for carrying out day to day affairs. There’s no provision in law for extension of terms of panchayat bodies,” Lobo said.

Goa: Vasco fishing body wants extension of jetty, relief on VAT
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: The maintenance of fishing jetties in Goa may be done annually during the off-season, however, this time, the Vasco Fishing Association has demanded that their jetty be not just repaired but also be extended to 100m. They have submitted a proposal to fisheries minister Nilkanth Halarnkar to extend the jetty for the convenience of the 200 boats that operate from there. “The Vasco fishing jetty is in dire need of attention. We have 200 boats that dock at the 60m area,” the association members said. Stating that the repairs at the Vasco jetty were delayed due to the pandemic, Halarnkar said, “Those will be soon taken up. There are only a few days left for the fishing ban comes into force, so necessary inspections and repair works can be taken up. However, extension of the jetty will invite CRZ and NGT violations.” The boat operators also demanded that the state government provide relief on VAT on the diesel as well. “The government sanctioned VAT on diesel comes to about Rs 6. With diesel prices rising, the operation of fishing vessels is becoming difficult,” they said. On this, the fisheries minister said, “As far as the VAT subsidy is concerned, I have assured them that there will be a discussion on the subject and accordingly we will take a decision.” The Vasco Fishing Association submitted a proposal to the fisheries minister to extend the jetty for the convenience of the 200 boats that operate from there

Goa: Vasco fishing body wants extension of jetty, relief on VAT
Trinamool Congress forms core & ad hoc committees in Goa
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: TMC formed an eight-member core committee for Goa along with a 50-member ad hoc committee of coordinators on Thursday who have been asked to strengthen and rebuild the party by September 1. The party has also asked its workers to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, an announcement that could complicate Congress’ efforts to retain the South Goa Lok Sabha seat. Former TMC state vice president Rajendra Kakodkar is the coordinator of the ad hoc core committee, which also includes the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro, Antonio Clovis D’Costa, Dr Jorson Fernandes, Jagdish Bhobe, Samil Volvoikar and Mariano Rodrigues. “The forthcoming Lok Sabha and vidhan sabha elections are our current targets and we will bounce back in a strong and resilient manner,” said party’s Goa incharge, Kirti Azad. “Our leadership will take up local issues and bring to fore the problems of the people of Goa and pressurise the current government to deliver solutions.” Azad made the announcement at a press conference where he was accompanied by TMC national vice-president Faleiro and Kakodkar at the party office in Panaji. The cricketer-turned-politician said that the two committees have been asked to increase the membership and form new district and block committees over the next 100 days, after which a new state-level executive committee will be formed. Interestingly, former Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao and his daughter Valanka, who contested the assembly elections on TMC tickets, do not find mention in the two ad-hoc committees. When asked about Alemao’s role in the party, Azad said that the party has not been able to contact Alemao.

Trinamool Congress forms core & ad hoc committees in Goa
Will remove laws that create hurdles for business, in ease of living says Goa CM Pramod Sawant
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that laws that create hurdles in ease of doing business and ease of living will be eliminated during the monsoon session of the state legislative assembly. The law department is already in the process of identifying the laws which need to be eliminated, he said. Sawant launched the Goa Mission Karmayogi to prepare government employees for the future and to bring reforms in bureaucracy. He said that big reforms will be introduced for ease of doing business and ease of living. The capacity building commission of the government of India had organised a half-day workshop for IAS officers and heads of departments. The chief minister said that training for government employees will continue. Sawant said that reforms will be done for the industries sector, forest sector and revenue sector among others so that people can benefit from ease of living. “In the next assembly session, the government will bring in a lot of reforms. Many laws that are creating hurdles and those which are not required will be eliminated,” he said. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel said that all employees will be given training to implement ease of doing business and ease of living so that public delivery will be improved. Goel said that the government will see where there is delay and how it can be improved. “Public work which has to be completed in seven days should not take two months,” the chief secretary said. He said that government employees will be trained to provide online services to the public. “We have to reduce paperwork and through IT we have to improve public delivery. It is a duty of each and every government employee for public delivery and unless training is given in proper tools public delivery cannot be improved,” Goel said.

Will remove laws that create hurdles for business, in ease of living says Goa CM Pramod Sawant
Goa: Another Kadamba Transport Corporation e-bus breaks down, second one in recent times
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: The Kadamba Transport Corporation’s (KTC) initiative of the electric vehicles (EV) faced a roadblock after one of the e-buses broke down recently. This is the second breakdown of a vehicle ever since the new buses were inducted in the corporation’s fleet in 2019. “The driver noticed that the motor was making an unusual sound owing to which the bus was stopped to ensure that there was no untoward incident,” KTC chairman Ulhas Tuyekar said. The vehicle was part of the batch of EVs delivered in 2021. KTC general manager Sanjay Ghate told TOI that the vehicle has been repaired and is back on the road for operations. “Increasing humidity and dust affected the electric component of the bus and it malfunctioned, but it was rectified at the Margao depot. These buses are linked with a technology wherein the problems are detected automatically using a software (through a laptop), and then accordingly fixed. The technicians responsible for the vehicles are different from the local mechanics that repair fuel vehicles,” he said. Tuyekar said that the corporation is firm on its decision to add more e-buses to the fleet and are in talks with the state government to fund the same. In addition to this, the KTC is likely to soon take up works at its various bus stands. Tuyekar said that the efforts are underway to repair KTC bus stands across the state. “We are carrying out inspections and are preparing estimates for the repair work,” he said.

Goa: Another Kadamba Transport Corporation e-bus breaks down, second one in recent times
Goa: No power for 21 hours to parts of Vasco as gas line workers damage cable
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Vasco/Panaji: In yet another incident of an underground cable getting punctured, Vasco, Baina, Mangor, Sada, Varunapuri, Gandhi Nagar and Shantinagar went without power supply for around 21 hours on Thursday after a gas pipeline contractor accidentally damaged three 33kV underground cables supplying electricity to Vasco and surrounding areas. Vasco electricity department assistant engineer Sanjeev Mashelkar said three underground cables were damaged by an underground gas pipeline contractor, near Borges building in Vasco, while they were digging work for laying the pipeline. The department filed a police complaint and said the gas pipeline contractor was instructed to do cable detection and only after that to continue digging work to avoid further accidents, Mashelkar said. The blackout affected around 40,000 citizens as the two 33kV cables in addition to a spare/backup cable which supplies electricity to Harbour and Bogda substations were punctured. “We would have immediately provided alternate supply, but the third cable that was kept as spare was also punctured by the contractor and we were left helpless,” a power department staffer said. A similar blackout occurred last month in Panaji when digging resulted in puncturing of underground power cables. There have been several instances of the power department’s costly underground infrastructure getting damaged by contractors carrying out various works over the past few years, putting the department and inconveniencing thousands of citizens and businesses. “The electricity department was not informed about the work by the contractor. Horizontal drilling work was taking place at midnight when our three cables got punctured,” executive engineer Canuto Godinho said. “Somehow we managed to supply electricity to some areas in Vasco through overhead lines but people in other areas suffered,” he said. A similar incident by the same contractor took place recently at Chicalim, following which the department had asked the contractor to keep them informed about any digging work. “We were not informed. We would have shown them the path of the cable,” Godinho said. Joining punctured underground cables is a time consuming and costly operation. The work costs between Rs 5 and 10 lakh to join a single damaged cable and the entire operation of finding the fault, digging up the area and pulling out the cable, cutting and then joining takes around 8 hours, officials said. But even 20 hours later on Thursday many citizens in the area were still in the dark with not even one cable joining work completed. Although the cable was punctured around 1am, the specialised contractor could begin full-fledged work only at 7am. Domestic users were given preference over commercial ones when the department tried to provide alternate supply. Rain hampered the work and a small tent had to be set up. “Despite reminders and letters, the digging was carried out without informing us causing huge loss to consumers and the government,” a department engineer said. “All utilities should coordinate with each other otherwise this will keep repeating. There’s no discipline in utilities and everyone thinks it’s their right to dig the road. In that case departments are helpless and have to fight, and it is the public who has to bear the brunt of it all,” a Vasco-based engineer said. “An order with a strict standing instruction should be issued to all utilities to adhere to this. They must obtain an NOC from the department before digging the road,” the engineer added. The road is the only access where all the cables are laid and the state doesn't have any dedicated trenches for cables.

Goa: No power for 21 hours to parts of Vasco as gas line workers damage cable
Always did the best I could for Goa, but government let me down, says squash champion Yash Fadte
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: Yash Fadte has returned home for his summer break from the University of Rochester in New York. But while the squash champion is happy reuniting with his family, Goa doesn’t really bring back good memories. It reminds him of the time when he was forced to make three trips from his home in Vasco to Panaji to get reimbursed for Rs 5,300, a travel expense for the National School Games. Or the time when the state assembly discussed his achievements, promised to help and then went cold. “I’ve always did the best I could for Goa, but the government let me down,” Yash, four-time medallist at the Asian junior squash championships and the first Indian to win United States Junior Open and French Open, told TOI on Wednesday. “There was no support. It’s my father who backed me all along. Forget appreciation, all that I have got here is humiliation.” Yash, 20, needs no introduction to sports enthusiasts in Goa. He’s among Goa’s biggest sports achievers, winning plenty of medals for the state at the national level. Just two years ago, Yash was ranked among the top five junior squash players in Asia and did India proud by winning the silver at the Asian junior squash championships three years ago. Politicians, which includes chief minister Pramod Sawant, have been lavish in their praise on him. Words of appreciation even flowed in the state assembly, but nobody really walked the talk, forcing the Vasco lad to accept a four-year scholarship from the University of Rochester, located in western New York. “I was asked to apply for the grants. I dutifully filled all the forms, prepared a file and handed it over to the Sports Authority of Goa. Since there was no response, I inquired and was told one document was not submitted,” said Yash. He rushed to the SAG office, checked the file and the document they were looking out for was right there in the middle of the file. “These officials are not serious. They are just not bothered about sportspersons,” said Yash. SAG officials, though, have a different story to tell. “The application has to be routed through the association and only then can we release funds. Someone has to be accountable for the money released. The funds are available for Yash. We have nothing against him or any sportsperson,” said a senior SAG official. Yash has probably heard this before, so when he realised that the state government had no intention of backing his dream of becoming a world champion, he turned to those who were chasing him for a while. “I chose the University of Rochester for its excellent track record and facilities. Moreover, coach Martin Heath is a former world number 3. Officials at home (in Goa) never appreciated me. Rochester gave me lot of respect,” he said. At Rochester, Yash is fast growing into a top player, doing better than he did in India, thanks to the excellent infrastructure and fierce competition. He’s ranked second in the university; Mexico’s Cesar Segundo is numero uno but will soon graduate, making the Goan squash star the undisputed leader. “I sometimes feel sorry to see the state of sports affairs in Goa,” said Yash’s father, Dilip, a former state cricketer. “Sports ministers in the past did nothing. I have spent everything of my own to make Yash a champion. I built a squash court, hired coaches, provided exposure and competitions. I’ve heard (new sports minister) Govind Gaude speak and he makes a lot of sense. I can only hope for the best.” Yash will pack his bags for Egypt later this week for a training stint where he will be joined by his teammates from Rochester and other universities in the United States, making the best use of the summer break to train with the world’s best. “I am ready for this new and exciting phase of my career,” said Yash. “I know I am no longer a junior player, but with Rochester backing me, I feel appreciated and ready to take on the world.”

Always did the best I could for Goa, but government let me down, says squash champion Yash Fadte
GCZMA notices to 12 in Siolim for CRZ violations
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Panaji: At least a dozen Siolim residents have been issued notices by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) after they were found to have carried out constructions encroaching on government property. Additional collector-I North Goa drew up a list of violators, as per which the offenders were found to be encroaching on government land and violating CRZ laws. “The mamlatdar of Bardez, Mapusa, has forwarded the list of violators along with the photographs to the office of the collector, North Goa district, Panaji. Based on the list forwarded by the additional collector the following alleged illegal construction resulting violation of CRZ Notification 2011 are noticed,” the GCZMA said in its show cause notice to the offenders. Most of the alleged violators have sought time to respond and the GCZMA will now be hearing all 12 matters on June 9, 2022. The GCZMA said that hearings against the alleged offenders are part of an exercise to ensure that CRZ notification 2011 is not violated. Constructions along Goa’s coast have increased drastically over the years. The CRZ notification issued first in 1991 prohibited any construction 200m from the coast which was to be considered a no-development zone. The notification regulated construction between 200m and 500m from the coast. Except for the reconstruction and repairs of pre-existing structures belonging to traditional fishing communities on the existing plinth, no other constructions were to be permitted.

GCZMA notices to 12 in Siolim for CRZ violations