Panaji News

Cyclone Asani first one of 2022, 19th in last 3 years
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: The severe cyclonic storm, Asani that lies centred over west-central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal about 920kms northwest of Car Nicobar island and 500kms southeast of Vishakhapatnam, is the first cyclone to form this year. “Cyclone Asani is the first cyclonic storm over North Indian Ocean during this calendar year,” Rahul M, scientist, India meteorological department (IMD) Panaji said. The severe cyclonic storm moved nearly west-northwards touching speeds of 25km per hour on Monday after it intensified from a low pressure area a couple of days back. It is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours. Since it is far away, over the Bay of Bengal, the impact on the the state’s weather will not be severe. It is a relief for the people of the region as Cyclone Tauktae during the pre-monsoon period of May 2021 had wreaked havoc in the state. It was one of the deadliest cyclones to hit the Gujarat coast and had a disastrous impact on Goa as it triggered extremely heavy rainfall and unprecedented flooding in some parts of the state causing huge losses. “This cyclone which had formed in Arabian Sea had speeded up the onset of monsoon over Kerala and its further progress,” M R Ramesh Kumar, a reputed meteorologist and chief scientist (retired) national institute of oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula said. River Galgibaga had even changed course due to erosion of a sand bar close to the beach that allowed the river to flow directly to the sea instead of a diversion. The intensity and frequency of cyclones has increased during the last few years due to warming up of sea surface temperatures. In the past three years 18 cyclones have occurred, eight in 2019 and five each in 2020 and 2021.

Cyclone Asani first one of 2022, 19th in last 3 years
Fun with fruits
Navhind Times | 2 weeks ago
Navhind Times
2 weeks ago

Miguel BraganzaThe ‘Ambeamchem Fest’ held at Corlim- Ilhas on Sunday seems to have been well-timed: the prices of mangoes dropped to half the rate of the previous week. There were luscious mangoes, locally grown and naturally ripened in paddy straw, on sale. And it was a pleasure to eat them. It gives the organisers hope for a successful Konkan Fruit Fest from May 13 to 15 to be held in Panaji.The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) have brought back the event this year with the support of the Directorate of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, nursery owners, fruit processors and fruit enthusiasts. On-the-spot fruit eating competition (banana and watermelon) is popular among the young and old.A large section of the residents in Goa now live in apartments with little or no access to grow plants. Over the years, especially during the recent pandemic, many home-makers have grown vegetables, chillies, tomatoes and coriander in pots and trays. Some young adults recalled the collection of ‘fruit plants in bonsai pots’ created by Dona Almira Rodrigues that were exhibited at the ‘Festival of Plants & Flowers’ at SFX School, Siolim, in the 1990s when they were students and even the BSG was young. Others have literally taken the art to a higher level; on the terrace.Yogita Mehra has made potted fruit plants available to persons who want home-grown fruits in their apartments but thought that it was impossible, and Daniel D’Souza has even created fruiting bonsai. The competition this year includes potted plants with fruit. Entries will be accepted on Saturday, 14 May at 10 a.m. and can be taken back the same evening or by Sunday 5 p.m.The range of fruit plants grown in Goa is expanding. Whether it is a red-skinned ladyfinger, or banana that catches one’s attention or the purple passion fruit or the ‘Grape Tree’ Jaboticaba or the Kilo Guava in the ground or on the terrace, it is all available in Goa. Oscar Silveira in Borda de Margao and Laban D’Souza in Kirbhatt, Nuvem have large collections of them and Nestor Rangel is marketing the plants as Anup Poinguinkar and Meghnath Kerekar who will be in attendance at the Konkan Fruit Fest 2022 to help you join their ranks as a fruit grower.The BSG’s all Goa Home Garden competition has revealed how the enthusiasm of Jai Naik has enabled him to grow a veritable ‘food forest’ on the sloping RCC roof of his apartment in Margao. He even has a jackfruit bearing tree and an apple tree in blossom!The Konkan Fruit Fest has competitions in fresh fruits and fruit products like jams, pickles, candies, preserves, juices, squashes, syrups, wines, vinegar and other products. It has been the launchpad for many a product as well as a source for germplasm for selections of superior types. Rambutan, mulberry, velvet apple, star apple, and others have become popular through this festival while kokum and jackfruit has added value to the festival. It is the informal and festive atmosphere that promotes learning and exchange of ideas. Come to Panaji and be a part of it this weekend.

Fun with fruits
Goa: Mancurad mango prices drop drastically with early harvesting
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: Rising temperatures, pre-monsoon rainfall and fruit-fly attacks have compelled mancurad mango farmers to rush with harvesting the crop this season. This has resulted in a surge in availability of the king of fruits in the local markets. With the overnight increase in supply, prices of the golden fruit have crashed by less than 50%, going at Rs400-600 a dozen compared to the earlier Rs1,000-1,200 a dozen. “With the severe shortage of mangoes in the local market and extremely high prices prevailing even at the beginning of this month, we assumed that we will not be able to purchase the fruits this year. But the prices now have not only crashed but vendors are ready to bargain a lower price just to move the fruit off their shelves,” a Panaji-based housewife said. Director of agriculture Nevil Alphonso told TOI that the mangoes started ripening faster due to the rise in temperatures this summer. The ripening process otherwise is much slower. “Besides, rains may start at any time and once that happens it destroys the crops. Due to heavy rain there are often fruit-drops as well. People started harvesting in advance which is how a lot of mangoes came into the market and that made the prices crash,” Alphonso said. Crops were also infested with maggots called fruit-flies. While many farmers found their mangoes infested with the pest after cutting open the fruit some others could visibly see it burrowing out of the crop after infesting the fruit. “The rains occurred at the time of fruit setting and as a result there is huge pest infestation this time,” said Dr AR Desai, principal scientist, horticulture, ICAR-Central coastal agricultural research institute (ICAR-CCARI), Old Goa. The fruit-fly traps ought to be placed soon after the fruiting process begins when the mango is peanut-sized because it mainly affects the crops at that stage and is visible only after ripening. “If farmers have sufficient care and preventive measures, then fruit flies in 80-90% crops can be avoided. Farmers therefore must use the mango fruit-fly trap where the maggots are trapped at an early stage,” a farmer from Valpoi said.

Goa: Mancurad mango prices drop drastically with early harvesting
Goa: On Vamonas birth anniversary, a window into his genius opens for youngsters at art college
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: Drawings and paintings of the Goa-born artist Vamona Navelcar adorn the walls of museums and private collectors’ homes across the globe. Vamona worked as an artist across three continents — Asia, Africa and Europe. But, after he passed away in October last year, his family realised that it is the youngsters in his home state Goa who need the most to learn about his genius. On Sunday, to mark Vamona’s first birth anniversary (May 5) after the artist’s passing, his nephew, Anant, decided that the best way to celebrate the master artist would be to bring out his rare creations for viewing. Young and old gathered in equal numbers at the Goa College of Art at Altinho, Panaji, to soak in the late genius’ works. “Along with the Panaji-based organisation Yuva, we organised art competitions in three categories — for students from Class V to VII, Class VIII to X and an open category. Art students and budding artists participated in the open category. It was also a way to get students and parents together to view my uncle’s works,” Anant said. The response was far huger than the organisers expected, with hundreds turning up. “He had so many styles from abstract to line drawings to figures and a brilliant ‘clown’ series. I got 15 of his works for display, which represented each of his styles. Even at the event when we asked the students, we realised that few knew Vamona’s work or even F N Souza’s or V S Gaitonde’s. So we wanted to create a platform to expose youngsters and give them an insight into Vamona’s works,” said Anant. Seeing the response, the college has requested that the exhibition continue till Monday evening. “We want to have this event every year on his birth anniversary so that it can serve as a platform to encourage more youngsters to take up art,” Vamona’s nephew said. One of the rare works on display is Vamona’s drawing of Ganesh festivities, which the artist is believed to have drawn some two decades ago, to depict from memory celebrations that took place 60 to 70 years ago in his childhood home in Pomburpa.

Goa: On Vamonas birth anniversary, a window into his genius opens for youngsters at art college
Panaji: 3 central babus 'harass' woman, FIR registered
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

PANAJI: Three central government officials have been booked by the Panaji police for allegedly sexually harassing, stalking and assaulting a woman. A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against Maninder Singh Attari, Aditya Verma and Deepak Kumar under Sections 354 (assault), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-D (Stalking), 509 (act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) among other sections of the IPC. The alleged accused are working as inspectors at a central government department. Police said that Attari and Kumar continuously followed the complainant and attempted to contact her either personally or through phone calls, WhatsApp messages etc. to foster personal relations. “Attari and Kumar stalked her, made physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. They also sought sexual favours from her and made sexually coloured remarks, thereby committing the offence of sexual harassment,’’ police informed. Further, police said that Attari made sexual gestures, uttered words insulting her modesty, used criminal force on her and hugged her too. “On one occasion, he locked the survivor in a room and wrongfully restrained her,” police said. Police said that Verma too continuously stalked her. “Attari and Kumar threatened the survivor of dire consequences if she disclosed the acts committed by them to others,” police said

Panaji: 3 central babus 'harass' woman, FIR registered
As utilities move underground, space below Goa roads scarce
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: Many parts of Panaji were left in darkness for several hours recently, after power cables were damaged during the laying of sewerage lines. After water pipelines, telecom lines and optic fibre cables, now pipelines for gas, sewerage and electricity are also jostling for space below many of Goa’s narrow roads. Many of the utility lines, like for power, were planned to be shifted underground for the safety of the cables and citizens. However, officials in the state are gradually realising that the move to lay more utility lines underground is posing a major challenge. “Many roads in Goa are narrow, with little space on the sides for utility lines. Also, different lines could require repairs at different points in time. This will mean cutting the road more often and leaving roads in poor condition for a large part of the year,” said an official. The problem of space also presents a peculiar problem concerning sewage lines. Even as the pipelines to move sewage for treatment are struggling for space, plans are on hold to lay separate lines for carrying treated sewage water back to households. In the past, the Corporation of the City of Panaji pointed out how some optic fibre cables and other utility pipelines have taken up space inside storm water drains, frequently clogging the drains. Under the Smart City Mission, a common trench to carry utility lines has been proposed. But it is not known what the solution would be for other parts of the state, where utility lines are also being introduced underground. In many areas, there is a complex network of pipelines under the roads already, with no proper maps. “This type of conflict is bound to happen. All lines are necessary and all are being laid underground. Already, development has taken place on both sides of the road with no place for utility networks,” said former head of the sewerage corporation, P B Sheldarkar. He said that availability of land is the major issue in resolving this problem, and planning conduits to lay utility lines beforehand where land is available is a possible solution. “In Taleigao, such a provision was made beforehand, but it was possible because land was available. In most cases, land is rarely available. All departments are trying their best. PWD had made attempts to make such a provision, but everywhere, land is big issue. Everywhere in Goa, roads are already constructed, as the state is number one in road coverage. It can now only be planned where land is available,” Sheldarkar said. Architect Manguesh Prabhugaonker, national council member of the Indian Institute of Architects, said that Smart City initiatives should be appreciated as they are an opportunity to improve quality of life. And while utility pipelines are easy to introduce in newer developing towns, laying them in already busy city areas is not easy, especially in Panaji, where heritage also needs to be protected. “The pressures of emerging technologies and layers of wired networks makes this growth very, very tough,” he said. “Considering the fact that the existing city cannot be shut pre- and post-monsoon, it is very important to have a base plan of existing services, especially below ground and a futuristic integrated infrastructure plan which should be executed in zone-wise clusters, phase by base. The authorities have to take steps to initiate this merger between old and new utilities,” he said. He said stricter guidelines and instructions are to be laid for contractors on site, informing them clearly of the consequences of damage. “With thorough study of networks below and above ground, these smart city initiatives can go a long way and will continue to create a people-friendly infrastructure rather than a utility setup executed on a piecemeal basis with no holistic planning,” said Prabhugaonker. The growing densities and increasingly newer FAR introduced by planning authorities need to understand the impacts on newer technologies of engineering networks. “And better coordinated operations and maintenance schedules should be drawn up for city infrastructure,” he said.

As utilities move underground, space below Goa roads scarce
Attendance of govt staff part of public records
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: Stating that every citizen of this country has the right to know what the government and their functionaries are doing with taxpayers’ money, the Goa state information commission has directed the public information officer (PIO) of the institute of psychiatry and human behaviour (IPHB) Dr Pooja Madkaikar, deputy director (administration) of IPHB to furnish the attendance report and NOCs of a staff nurse, to a Right To Information (RTI) applicant within 15 days. State chief information commissioner Vishwas R Satarkar, who passed the order, held that attendance of a public servant on duty is part of public records generated by the public authority in the exercise of its statutory duty. “Every citizen of this country has got the right to know what the government and their functionaries are doing with the taxpayers’ money, their working hours, their honesty, integrity, their conduct and devotion to the duty etc. Since Uday Chari is a public servant, he is exercising the public duties and therefore his attendance in duties is certainly a public activity. Apart from that, since he is drawing his salary from the public exchequer, his information towards the duty cannot be denied to the state legislature,” Satarkar stated. He cited judgements that held that once a person becomes a public servant, any member of the public has a right to know about their leaves availed, among others where this information cannot be considered private or personal. The RTI application was filed by Ulhas Bhaje.

Attendance of govt staff part of public records
HC dismisses delimitation plea
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: The high court of Bombay at Goa has dismissed the petition challenging delimitation of wards in Candolim panchayat issued on April 25 by the State Election Commission. The petitioners submitted that the order of delimitation was made without granting them, who had filed objections, an opportunity of a “hearing”. The high court stated that the Supreme Court has clarified that a hearing is not required to be oral and can be given by inviting objections and disposing of them in a fair way. The high court further stated that the records show that the draft delimitation order was given due publicity with ample notice given to all to file detailed objections on the proposal of delimitation and added that the petitioners never sought for a personal or oral hearing in their objections on March 4 or even after that. “We are satisfied that principles of natural justice were otherwise complied with before the impugned order was made,” the division bench comprising Justices Mahesh Sonak and R N Laddha stated. Counsel Nigel da Costa Frias with B Kunkoliekar representing the Calangute citizens submitted that personal hearings were held in some other cases but additional government advocate Sapna Mordekar submitted that such hearings may have been granted because they were requested or because the number of objections received may have been very few. She added that fair and reasonable procedure was adopted by notifying the draft delimitation order and granting full opportunity to all concerned to file their objections, which were duly considered by the SEC.

HC dismisses delimitation plea
Will build modern anganwadis across Goa
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Panaji: Women and child development minister Vishwajit Rane said recently that the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) is constructing 18 modern anganwadi buildings in Sattari and Dharbandora talukas. In the next five years, the department plans to replicate similar modern anganwadi buildings across the state, the minister said. “We have 1,172 anganwadis in all. We have already taken up construction of a few new anganwadis under GSIDC at Sattari and Dharbandora. We are constructing these 18 anganwadis as modern anganwadis. We will see in the next five years how we can replicate this model in the rest of the state,” Rane said. He said that construction of these 18 buildings had already been taken up, but the work had slowed down for the lack of permissions from the town and country planning, etc, during the last two years of the pandemic. “We have taken the required permissions now and expedited the work. In cases where anganwadis were functioning from dilapidated premises, we have already shifted them by taking up space in 270 school premises,” the minister said.

Will build modern anganwadis across Goa
  • Need to build Goa on 7 pillars akin to arrows of Lord Parshuram: Kamat
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterMargaoMargao MLA and former chief minister Digambar Kamat on Tuesday said it is important to build the state on the seven pillars like the seven arrows of Lord Parshuram as depicted in the Goa Vision 2035 plan.“It is the need of the hour to build on topmost priority the seven pillars reflecting seven arrows of Lord Parshuram emphasised in Goa Vision 2035 Document prepared by Goa Golden Jubilee Development Council under the chairmanship of eminent Goan Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar,” said Kamat while extending his greetings on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya and Eid-ul-Fitr which also coincided with Lord Parshuram Jayanti.He appealed to everyone to work together to build a Suramya, Susanskrut, Santulit, Suvidya, Samrudha, Sushasit and Swanandi Goa.“It is very much significant that the Goa Vision 2035 Document prepared by luminaries in various fields had the illustration on its cover page of ‘Lord Parshuram’ done by a Canada-based Goan Mel D’Souza in Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas’ book. As Goa commemorated 50 years of Liberation in 2011, I got an opportunity to constitute the Goa Golden Jubilee Development Council comprising of experts like Dr. Ragunath Mashelkar, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, architect Charles Correia, Prof. Madhav Gadgil, Dr. Ligia Noronha, Ashank Dessai, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Prof. Errol D’Souza, Prof. Vithal Sukhtankar, Dr. P. S. Ramani, Prof. Dilip Deobagkar, Dr. Satish Shetye, Raj Paroda and others to prepare a roadmap for Goa,” said Kamat.The focus and essence of the vision document, Kamat added was the multicultural, peaceful, contended-yet-adventurous spirit and to work in unison to transform the state into a serene, beautiful, cultured, balanced, knowledge-centric and enlightened, affluent, well-governed, happy Goa.

3 I-T officials booked for sexually harassing woman
Navhind Times | 2 weeks ago
Navhind Times
2 weeks ago

Panaji: The Panaji police have registered an FIR against three officials of the Income-tax department for allegedly sexually harassing, stalking and outraging modesty of a woman employee.The police said that an offence has been registered under sections 354, 354-A, 354-D, 509 and 506 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code against Maninder Singh Attari, Aditya Verma and Deepak Kumar, all working as inspectors in the I-T office located at Patto-Panaji.Referring to the complaint, the police said the accused Maninder followed the complainant with an attempt to contact her to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite of a clear indication of disinterest by her.Maninder made physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; he demanded sexual favours and made sexually-coloured remarks.He also made sexual gestures, uttered words insulting her modesty, used criminal force on her and hugged her, the police disclosed.Aditya continuously stared at her with wrong intention and stalked her while Deepak followed the complainant with an attempt to contact the woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite of a clear indication of disinterest by her.Deepak also made physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures.He demanded sexual favours and made sexually-coloured remarks.Referring to the complaint, the police said that this had been happening since February this year.Moreover Maninder and Deepak threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed to anybody the acts they committed, the police said.Lady police sub-inspector Laureen Sequeira is investigating the case under the supervision of police inspector Nikhil Palekar.

3 I-T officials booked for sexually harassing woman
Rane once again pitches for private medical college
Navhind Times | 2 weeks ago
Navhind Times
2 weeks ago

‘We will further discuss and take it forward’Panaji: Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has once again pitched for setting up a private medical college in the state.“I have discussed during the party (BJP) meeting; we have a scope for a private medical college. Hospital will be ours (government-owned property)…operated by them (private medical college). This is just in the preliminary stage. We will further discuss and take it forward,” Rane said, while interacting with the mediapersons on Friday.He held a review meeting with the officials of the health department and top officers of the directorate of health services at Altinho, Panaji.He said that certain healthcare services and projects can be executed on public-private partnership (PPP) model which is being adopted by the central government as per the guidelines set by the NITI Aayog. It is pertinent to note that in September 2019, Rane had made a move to allow the new South Goa District Hospital’s bed strength to be used to run a proposed private medical college on PPP model.This move was opposed by many including the opposition Congress party that had raised voice against the privatisation of the ‘public welfare services’.During the review meeting with the health department officials on Friday, Rane discussed the possibility of taking the ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Goa project to the remote areas of the state. STEMI has proved to be a boon in saving lives of the patients with heart ailments.Commenting on the shortage of doctors at the sub-health centre level, Rane said that the department is considering using the services of those doctors who are on service bonds.

Rane once again pitches for private medical college