MARGAO: Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai on Saturday said the Raj Bhavan will constitute an expert committee to investigate the reasons for the high number of patients requiring dialysis in Canacona and Fatorpa areas and also to provide solutions. Pillai said he would try his best to resolve this with the help of the state and the central government. He visited Saptkoteshwar and Shantadurga Fatarpekarin temples at Fatorpa, Quepem, Babulshaha Pir Aulia Dargah and Mahadev temple in Kakoda, Guardian Angel Church, Curchorem and also interacted with newly elected sarpanchs and panchayat members of Quepem and Sanvordem as a part of his Sampurna Goa Yatra on Saturday. “Raj Bhavan will look into the demands of the people and redress the issues in its own way, and if required, these demands will also be sent to the central government for consideration,” the governor said.
Barely one kilometre apart, the scenes at the Goa unit headquarters of the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress in Panaji appeared to be a study in contrasts on Wednesday. While neither of the party offices is spacious, both have a small dais with a space for about five chairs that is used for press conferences and other events.At the BJP office on the Atmaram Borkar Marg, the dais fell far short of accommodating senior Goa party leaders, including Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, and eight Congress MLAs who crossed over to the BJP prompting this induction event.At Congress House on the busy Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, however, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president, Amit Patkar, sat comfortably on the stage with what was left of the party in the Goa Legislative Assembly – its three MLAs, including former Goa Advocate General Carlos Ferreira, commercial pilot Yuri Alemao and hotelier Altone D’costa. All of them are first-time legislators and Christians. While Ferreira represents the Aldona constituency in North Goa, Alemao and D’costa represent Cuncolim and Quepem constituencies, respectively, in South Goa.Putting up a brave face at the press event on Wednesday, Patkar, 38, who took over as the GPCC president following the state Assembly polls earlier this year, said despite losing eight defector MLAs, including the former Leader of the Opposition, to the BJP, the party still had moral ground, ethics and integrity. “I am very proud of our three MLAs. It’s not that they did not face any pressure. They may not talk about it. But they have stood by their principles, values and sanskaar…” he said.In July, a week after the first attempt of the Congress MLAs at defection was foiled, the party leadership had got its five MLAs flown to Chennai for a weekend “to avoid pressure tactics and threats.” For a merger of the legislature party with any other party, the consenting MLAs have to be present before the Speaker, even as at least two-thirds of a party’s MLAs have to consent to the merger to circumvent the anti-defection law. With five MLAs away, the defectors could not have gathered eight of the total 11 MLAs to proceed with their plan.The All India Congress Committee (AICC)’s Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao had then said that the Congress MLAs were in Tamil Nadu, where the Congress is part of the ruling DMK-led alliance, “voluntarily to avoid incessant attempts, continuous calls, pressure tactics and threats” made by the BJP. The five MLAs that the Congress had cloistered in Chennai included Sankalp Amonkar and Rudolfo Fernandes, who later joined the group of eight defectors.One of the Goa Congress’s prominent legal faces, Ferreira, joined politics ahead of the Assembly polls, and contested from Aldona seat on the Congress ticket, defeating the two-time BJP MLA Glen Ticlo with a margin of 1823 votes.Perhaps the most affable of the Congress’s 11 MLAs, Ferreira had garnered the goodwill even of his political opponents. However, in July when the defection pot came to a boil, his name too had surfaced among the would-be defectors. His was perhaps the most “shocking” name on that list. While both their names did the rounds in July, Ferreira and D’Costa eventually stayed with the Congress.“In the art of war you always pretend you are attacking one side and you attack the other side,” Ferreira said. “This is our chance to revive the Congress party. The rot has been removed. The rot can finish your whole house but now we will come together to revive the party.”Ferreira conceded that the affidavits that the election candidates had filed pledging their loyalty to the Congress had no legal standing. He however pointed out that the July 2019 defection of 10 Congress MLAs was still under litigation since a petition filed by former GPCC president Girish Chodankar seeking their disqualification has been pending in the Supreme Court.Yuri Alemao, son of ex-Congress MLA and minister Joaquim Alemao, said he was not present on that January day when the oath-taking event was held by the Congress poll candidates at various places of worship, but it was his conscience that had kept him back in the grand old party.He said the defection was unfortunate, saying “You can defy physics, gravity but how can these guys defy God? That is a million dollar question. They don’t even fear God… We have promised the people that we will stay loyal for five years and people voted us… I am not a commodity that can be purchased. There is no price tag on my head. There have to be values. You have to be loyal to the party.”Alemao’s seat Cuncolim, won by his father in 2002 and 2007, has traditionally voted for the Congress. The example of his predecessor from the constituency, Clafasio Dias, who was among the 10 Congress defector MLAs in 2019 and lost the 2022 election as the BJP candidate, may also have acted as a deterrent for Alemao.D’costa had pulled off a surprise victory by defeating Quepem MLA and ex-deputy CM Chandrakant Kavlekar on his turf. Kavlekar, former Leader of the Opposition, had led the 10 Congress MLAs’ defection in 2019. D’costa trounced him by 3,601 votes.Choosing to stick by the Congress, D’costa said, “Destiny takes you to your destination. I stand by principles and beliefs which were taught by my parents, my elders. I am grateful that the Congress party gave me a ticket to contest. I was just an ordinary person among the party’s workers. The people of Quepem voted for me as a Congress candidate and I can still face them. I am a principled, god-fearing person and I am really satisfied I stood by my principles. We will stay with the party and work towards its growth.”
MARGAO: Urban development minister Vishwajit Rane on Friday said that all development works proposed to be done under the department of urban development would be accorded top priority to ensure speedy development of the Quepem constituency. Rane said that there would be no difficulty or delay in granting approvals for development projects in Quepem and suggested that the Quepem municipality take resolutions for projects like development of the municipal park, parking lots and others which he said would be given preference. “Development would be given priority,” he said while speaking at a function held by Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav mandal at Quepem in the presence of Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa and former deputy CM Chandrakant Kavlekar. Rane’s statement assumes significance as not long ago, a war had broken out between D’Costa and Kavlekar over who was to be credited for some of the development works in Quepem. The party leadership had then backed Kavlekar and cautioned D’Costa against taking “undue” credit for works initiated by Kavlekar during his tenure. Rane’s statements have come at a time when renewed bids are being made to woo D’Costa to join BJP along with other Congress MLAs. Social welfare minister Subhash Phal Dessai was also present on the dais along with former Quepem MLA Prakash Velip, chairperson of Quepem municipality Suchita Shirvoikar, and others. Phal Dessai suggested that the Quepem Ganeshotsav mandal purchase a plot to develop a permanent venue for organizing Ganesh festivities.
Panaji: For students enrolled in technical institutes and private colleges, companies arrive on campus to screen their abilities and provide them placement. Such facilities are generally not available in government and aided colleges, and especially those offering general stream programmes. The directorate of higher education (DHE) has now established a training, internship and placement (TIP) cell to provide this opportunity in general stream colleges.Besides providing students placements, the cell will offer students the required soft skills and skill enhancement training to help them score better with companies offering jobs.Director of higher education Prasad Lolayekar said that skill development and providing employment opportunities is one of the main objectives under the new National Education Policy (NEP 2020). “The TIP cell is focused on implementing this requirement of NEP and on strengthening the industry-institute interactions,” he said.The cell recently organised its first job placement drive along with the government colleges of arts, science and commerce at Quepem, Sanquelim and Khandola. The drive was held for final year BSc students of computer science graduating in September 2022 in institutes across Goa. Training, pre-screening tests, interviews and final in-person interviews were carried out. Around 100 students from seven colleges were also provided training prior to the placement drive in soft-skills and resume building at DHE in July, said Lolayekar. “This job placement drive was highly successful where nearly 50% of the 60 students who registered for the placement drive were offered jobs.” Students from government colleges at Sanquelim, Quepem and Khandola participated along with students of Dhempe College, St Xavier’s College, Dnyanprasarak Mandal’s College and Research Center, and Shrimati Parvatibai Chowgule College.The IT companies were offering jobs for the positions of software developer trainee, software testing, UI/UX developers, analysts, among others.
Margao: An 18-year-old came under the wheels of a moving school bus at Avedem-Cotambi Wednesday morning. In a head-on collision between the Balrath and a two-wheeler, Jesvord Martins, who was riding the bike, sustained severe injuries and succumbed before he could reach the hospital. Police sources said that the incident occurred at around 7.30am. The school bus was engaged in ferrying students and was negotiating a sharp turn when it hit the two-wheeler. Martins, a resident of Cavorim, Chandor, sources said, was proceeding to Xeldem for a workout at a gym when he met with the accident. Quepem police have booked the case as an accident.In a freak accident, a public transport bus travelling from Nessai to Margao went off the road at Davorlim and hit four two-wheelers and a four-wheeler that were parked on the roadside. None was injured, police sources said. tnn
PANAJI: A cyclonic circulation is likely to form over eastcentral Bay of Bengal around September 7. Under its influence a low-pressure area is likely to form over westcentral Bay of Bengal during subsequent 48 hours, bringing rainfall to Goa. The India meteorological department (IMD) has attributed the reasons to formation of a north-south trough to Comorin area at lower tropospheric levels, and a cyclonic circulation over the Comorin area and adjoining Maldives in lower tropospheric levels. The IMD has forecast thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and winds gusting to 40kmph at isolated places over Goa on September 5 to 7. Heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places on September 8 and 9. The southwest monsoon has so far been weak over Goa. On Monday, parts of Sattari, Dharbandora, Sanguem and Quepem, experienced thundershowers.
Panaji: A cyclonic circulation is likely to form over eastcentral Bay of Bengal around September 7. Under its influence a low-pressure area is likely to form over westcentral Bay of Bengal during subsequent 48 hours, bringing rainfall to Goa.The India meteorological department (IMD) has attributed the reasons to formation of a north-south trough to Comorin area at lower tropospheric levels, and a cyclonic circulation over the Comorin area and adjoining Maldives in lower tropospheric levels.The IMD has forecast thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and winds gusting to 40kmph at isolated places over Goa on September 5 to 7. Heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places on September 8 and 9.The southwest monsoon has so far been weak over Goa.On Monday, parts of Sattari, Dharbandora, Sanguem and Quepem, experienced thundershowers.
Margao It was a bright Ganesh Chaturthi for three families at Nagurma in Khola of Canacona taluka — the brightest they’ve ever seen.Members and extended members of the Velip family rejoiced and shed tears of joy as three houses belonging to brothers Ratnakar, Ramesh and Suresh and their families received electricity connections for the very first time on Tuesday.“We are so happy, not just for ourselves, but that we were able to light up our Lord Ganesha too,” Reema Ratnakar Velip told TOI. The family is observing Chaturthi for five days.“Every single day, my younger brother would ask me when we would get an electricity connection. He is thrilled today,” she added.Reema initially studied in her maternal uncle’s house — that had electricity — until Class IV, and then overcame several difficulties completing her studies under a kerosene lamp in her own house.“I would try and complete as much of my studying before it turned dark. I would also make my brother and younger cousins start their homework no sooner they got home from school, and force them to complete their studies before sunset,” she added. The wiring in the three houses has been completed, she said, and the families are now looking forward to small luxuries like using a mixer/grinder and having a fan above their heads.During small celebrations in the house, when the families had to cook multiple dishes, they would have to go to a neighbour’s house to use their grinder.Although they received a solar connection recently, it had its limitations, and wouldn’t allow them to use a grinder or charge two phones at one time. The families tried unsuccessfully in the past to get electricity connections for their households that fall in Quepem constituency. On Thursday, the families wholeheartedly attributed their illuminated Chaturthi and brighter days ahead to Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa.D’Costa, a first-time MLA, said he made the payment for the installation of 42 electricity poles for the electricity connection to reach the families before the assembly elections. Then power minister Nilesh Cabral too helped, he said.Incidentally, exactly a year ago, Frank Viegas, recently elected as panch member of Chinchinim panchayat, was visiting friends in Khola during Chaturthi when his friend took him to wish the Velip family.He noticed that the decorations were subdued sans any lighting, and then found that electricity connections hadn’t yet reached the households. He then asked D’Costa, who was at the time a social worker, to look into it. “They families will now be able to perform rituals with proper lighting. We don’t want to do politics but want to work for the village and uplift those in need. Only then will the village and our constituency progress,” he said.
Margao: Minister for social welfare, Subhash Phal Dessai, on Wednesday appealed to self-help groups (SHGs) and local artisans to adopt modern methods to enhance the quality of their food items and other products to achieve long-term reliability.He was speaking after inaugurating the Swayampurna Chaturthi Bazaar at Quepem, an initiative of the state government that provides local artisans and womenfolk with a platform to showcase their homemade products, which will make rural people self-reliant in the true sense, he said.“It is high time that rural self-help groups and artisans adopt modern marketing and packaging skills. This practice will attract good business for them,” Phal Dessai said. He added that the state government was planning to set up Kunbi handicraft village at Netravali. The Swayampurna Chaturthi Bazaar will also be held at the Margao KTC Bus stand August 29 to 30. Self-help groups and individuals from Netravali will participate, it was informed.
MARGAO: Former deputy chief minister Chandrakant Kavlekar who was defeated by Congress MLA Altone D’Costa at the last assembly election, on Tuesday said that the elections for sarpanchs and deputy sarpanchs had proved BJP’s growing acceptability among the rural electorate. Bringing five of the eight panchayats in Quepem under his belt has proved his dominion over the grassroot-bodies in the constituency, Kavlekar said. Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa said he had made a “clean sweep” in three panchayats — Morpirla, Balli-Adnem and Naqueri-Betul. From the Kavlekar camp, Ajay Pagi and Kurpesh Velip are sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Khola and Arjun Velip and Shivanya Velip of Barcem. In Fatorpa, Mahesh Faldessai and Medini Naik were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch unopposed, while Bhupendra Gaunso Dessai and Shilipa Gajanand Prabhudessai were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Avedem-Cottambi. Kavlekar succeeded in holding away over Ambaulim as well with his nominees, Devidas Deikar and Sebastiana Rebelo, getting elected as sarpanch and deputy sarpanch. In Morpirla panchayat, which was wrested by Congress, the election of Prakash Arjun Velip as deputy sarpanch is being looked at as a politically significant development. Velip, a former PA of then CM Digambar Kamat, is a former ZP member from Fatorpa, who had also unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections of 2012. “All the elected members are new faces, and educated. All of us have decided to support our MLA for the purpose of the development of the village,” Velip said.
Margao: In politically volatile Quepem constituency, while MLA Altone D’Costa claimed to have made a “clean sweep” in three out of the seven panchayats, ex-MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar maintained his sway over the rest. In Sanguem, MLA Subhash Phal Dessai succeeded in bringing all seven panchayats under his belt, while in Sanvordem constituency, MLA Ganesh Gaonkar, too, established his dominion over the grassroot-bodies. D’Costa addressed reporters along with the newly elected representatives of Morpirla, Balli-Adnem, and Naqueri-Betul panchayats. In Morpirla, Ashwini Gaonkar was elected sarpanch and Prakash Velip deputy. Govind Dessai was elected sarpanch of Balli and Bindiya Gaonkar deputy.In Naqueri-Betul, Pritam Deulcar was elected sarpanch and Kishor Naik deputy sarpanch. From the Kavlekar camp, Ajay Pagi and Kurpesh Velip were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Khola panchayat, Arjun Velip and Shivanya Velip got elected to the top two posts of Barcem panchayat. In Fatorpa, Mahesh Faldessai and Medini Naik were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch unopposed, while Bhupendra Gaunso Dessai and Shilipa Gajanand Prabhudessai were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Avedem-Cottambi panchayat.In all the seven panchayats in Sanguem, the candidates got elected unopposed.In Sanvordem panchayat, with Chinmaya Naik getting elected unopposed as sarpanch and Nitesh Bhandari as deputy sarpanch, BJP succeeded in wresting the panchayat under its control.
Margao: Determined to reach out to the last among the needy, and with meager resources at their command, a group of young men led by then MLA Prakash Velip established the Quepem Urban Co-operative Credit Society Ltd at Quepem on August 8, 1992. From a share capital of just Rs 91,300 and 262 shareholders then, the society has now metamorphosed into a multi-branch multi-purpose co-operative society. With its share capital now at a modest Rs 9.9 crore with 262 shareholders, the society prides itself as a major player in the state’s co-operative movement.Velip, the society’s chairman, said that the foundation day celebration will be held on August 21 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, where chief minister Pramod Sawant will be the chief guest. Social welfare minister Subhash Phal Dessai, the society’s vice-chairperson, also briefed the media. Significantly, both Velip and Phal Dessai have been at the helm of the society’s administration since its inception, having been elected unanimously as the chairperson and the vice-chairperson for nine consecutive elections.On the society’s growth over the years, Velip said that its progress has been “just phenomenal.” “Commencing operations from a small private office 30 years ago, the society now has 22 branches with advanced banking facilities. Our deposits total Rs 310 crore and we have advanced loans totalling Rs 215 crore. Our investments in other banks stands at Rs 97 crore. In March 2022, our profits stood at Rs 4.16 crore,” Velip said. The society, apart from planning to move into a spacious “Quepem Urban Bhavan” at Quepem soon, intends to open an alcohol de-addiction centre, an old-age home and an orphanage in Quepem for the benefit of the society.
Panaji: The state government must immediately sack civil supplies minister Ravi Naik and the officials responsible for the “criminal wastage” of over 200 tonnes of tur dal and 10 tonnes of sugar, Congress said on Saturday. The party’s mahila wing state president Beena Naik said that women would curse the government for allowing the food items to rot and go to waste in government warehouses.Congress also demanded that chief minister Pramod Sawant conducts a high-level inquiry to find out how Rs 3.5 crore worth of essential food items went to waste.“The BJP government will get cursed by the women in Goa who struggle to feed their families, for this wastage,” said Naik. “It is most unfortunate that this careless government allowed the tur dal to rot in godowns, when people were struggling to buy it.” She said that the wastage once again proves how “irresponsible and insensitive” the BJP-led state government is.She alleged that the food items are deliberately allowed to get spoiled in order to facilitate private companies to import more food items and earn profits.“I want to remind the people of Goa about the hoarding of essential commodities done by then deputy chief minister Chandrakant Kavlekar at a godown in Quepem during the nationwide lockdown due to Covid. People were struggling to buy essential commodities and videos had surfaced of the BJP minister hoarding various items,” Naik said.
Ponda: Rajesh Faldessai, chairman of the Somnath Dairy Society from Adane, Quepem, took charge as chairman of Goa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, also known as Goa Dairy, for the third term. During the board’s previous five-year term, over three-and-a-half years were under the administrator. The sale of milk and the production of cattle feed produced by the dairy unit had dipped during this period and the new chairman has vowed to bring back the “lost glory” of the dairy. Faldessai said that he will find the cause of the problems that has led to a dip in milk sale and inconsistency in cow feed production. “The dairy belongs to farmers and I will work to protect their welfare,” he said. Election to Goa Dairy’s board was held on June 19, and the Faldessai-Vithoba Desai panel had won the polls with 9 of 12 seats. Ulhas Sinari, Vithoba Desai, Vijaykant Gaonkar, Gurudas Parab, Baburao Fatto Dessai, Uday Prabhu, Nitin Prabhugaonkar and Babu Falo are the directors elected through the Faldessai-Desai group.
Porvorim: BJP’s Poriem MLA Deviya Rane on Monday suggested that the state should develop a safari park in one of the five wildlife sanctuaries to promote hinterland tourism. “Haryana is coming up with the world’s largest park, the Aravali Safari Park. Similar parks can be developed in Goa. It will promote hinterland tourism as well as create job opportunities for locals,” Rane said as the House discussed demands on forests on Monday. She added that the forest ministry should ensure that funds given by the Centre under various schemes are availed for the development of forests. “We have got five wildlife sanctuaries, but we don’t see locals visiting them due to lack of facilities. We have not developed our wildlife sanctuaries as done by other states,” said Rane. She also called for clarity on villages that have been listed as eco-sensitive zones under a recently issued draft notification. Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa demanded that harassment of people from the ST community in his constituency who cultivate in forested areas, be stopped. Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas urged the government that where felling of trees was concerned, officials should communicate their decision soon after permission for the activity is sought. Calangute MLA Michael Lobo sought to know if trees that had been felled for projects were replaced in other areas, and if records of this were maintained.
Panaji: With no major systems currently prevailing along the Goa coast, the skies cleared on Monday, keeping it largely sunny. The monsoon activity over Goa is likely to be weaker or normal in the coming four to five days, with intense rainfall activity having taken a break. “There was a circulation over Odisha and a depression off the Gujarat coast. All these systems have moved away and do not have any significant impact over Goa. As of now, there is no increased special gradient across the coast,” said IMD scientist Rahul M. Goa will therefore have a brief break from the intense rainfall activity that prevailed last week. “The rainfall activity will be subdued for almost two weeks. For the rainfall to pick up again, another weather enhancing system or monsoon enhancing system may have to form, such as an offshore trough or a circulation over the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea,” Rahul said. On days that it rained heavily, the maximum temperature over Goa was around 27 degrees C. On Monday, as the skies cleared, the IMD recorded an increase in the maximum temperature with 29 degrees C prevailing over the state. With the southwest monsoon being weak over the state, light to moderate rainfall occurred at most places over Goa. The rain gauge stations at Valpoi and Sanguem recorded 3cm each of rainfall, Pernem, Sanquelim, Margao and Quepem recorded 2cm each, while Panaji, Canacona, Dabolim and Mormugao recorded 1cm each.
PANAJI: So far, just 43 village panchayats, seven municipalities and the corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP) have applied for implementation of the animal birth control (ABC) programme. However, most civic bodies have not applied for the programme as they do not have suitable NGOs locally to implement the scheme, minister for animal husbandry and veterinary services Nilkanth Halarnkar said on Thursday, in a reply tabled in the assembly. Four MLAs had sought to know the status of the programme on sterilisation of stray dogs in the state. Halarnkar said that as per Supreme Court directives and Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, Goa has notified an animal birth control state monitoring committee. He said that at its meeting, the committee proposed to set up animal birth control centers at every taluka. “The village panchayats and municipalities have not adopted the ABC programme mainly due to non-availability of NGOs in their respective jurisdiction,” Halarnkar said in the reply. There are 151 village panchayats and the municipalities of Curchorem-Cacora, Pernem, Quepem, Sanguem and Valpoi that have not applied for the ABC programme. Halarnkar said that besides dogs, Rs 1,000 is also provided for sterilisation of cats. “As per the Goa Municipality Act, 1968, local authorities are mandated to implement the registration of owned dogs and vaccination and sterilisation of the same. The animal husbandry department is providing all possible assistance for sterilisation and vaccination of owned dogs through various veterinary hospitals and veterinary dispensaries in the state,” the minister said. Halarnkar said that there are five veterinary hospitals, 48 village sub-centres and 25 veterinary dispensaries in Goa at which medicines are provided free of cost. “Mineral mixture, nutritional/feed supplements and feed additives are dispensed at 50% cost and deworming is charged at Rs 20 per dose,” said the minister.
Panaji: Six of the 13 rain gauge stations in Goa have crossed the 2,000m-mark following continuous rainfall over parts of Goa over the past few days. All the stations had crossed the 1,000-mm mark ten days ago. While Pernem recorded 2,185.6mm of rainfall up to 8.30am on Sunday, Valpoi recorded 2,063.4mm, Canacona (2,077.6mm) and Sanguem (2,093.5mm). Quepem recorded the highest amount of rainfall so far with 2,322.8mm and Ponda recorded the lowest in the 2,000mm mark with 2,003.4mm of rainfall, up to 8.30am on Sunday. The India meteorological department (IMD) said that there is a depression off the coast of Saurashtra and is expected to move gradually north-northwestwards after 24 hours. Thereafter, it is likely to move nearly westwards towards Oman coast during the subsequent 48 hours. The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall at most places over the state for the next few days. It has advised fishermen to not venture into the sea along and off south Maharashtra-Goa-Karnataka coasts.
Porvorim: Opposition members alleged that proper procedure was not followed over the resolution on the linear projects and also on passing the demands for grants in the assembly on Friday. All the opposition members protested outside the assembly after the House was adjourned for the day with coal powder on their foreheads accusing the government of being ‘an agent of coal’. Explaining the issue, former chief minister Digambar Kamat said that after a private member’s resolution is moved, debate takes place and the minister concerned replies. When the question withdrawal of the resolution comes up, the speaker allows division if asked for. On Friday, when division was asked, the House was adjourned. The secretary informed the members that when the House resumes, division will be taken up, Kamat said, pointing out that the House procedure was not followed . But when the House resumed, the next item on the agenda – demands for grants – was taken up, the opposition protested and rushed to the well of the House as the matter of the linear projects resolution had not ended. Slamming the government, Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai said all the opposition MLAs are united on the issue of coal and alleged that the government didn’t agree to their resolution because it is an agent of the coal lobby. Sardesai also questioned how the financial business—bill to increase state borrowings and demands for grants—was passed without discussion. Strongly condemning what had happened, one of the MLAs who moved the resolution—Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa—said there is no question that coal is directly linked to linear projects. Santa Cruz MLA Rudolf Fernandes also said that all the major projects being executed in Goa are for big corporates and not for the common man.
Margao: Days after former deputy chief minister Chandrakant Kavlekar and Congress’s Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa sparred over the issue of proposed new Betul panchayat building in the presence of chief minister Pramod Sawant, BJP leadership has come out strongly in defence of Kavlekar. At BJP’s kissan mela (farmers meeting) held at Quepem on Sunday, party president Sadanand Tanavade advised D’Costa against taking credit for projects sanctioned during Kavlekar’s tenure as Quepem MLA. Kavlekar who had joined BJP in July 2019, was defeated by D’Costa in the recent assembly polls “D’Costa got elected, let him now enjoy for five years. And if he is capable enough, let him do development works too. But he should not take credit for projects that Kavlekar had got sanctioned earlier,” Tanavade said. Reminding D’Costa that governance was a continuous process, Tanavade said, “He has full right to lay foundation stones for projects sanctioned by his predecessor, but while doing so, he should refrain from leveling charges against others and taking undue credit.” Tanavade also slammed D’Costa for claiming that BJP workers had worked for his victory in the assembly elections. “He keeps on thanking BJP karyakartas for working for him. I dare him to name the karyakartas who helped him,” he said. BJP’s Rajya sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar, also backed Kavlekar and berated D’Costa. “Kavlekar has brought tremendous development in Quepem over last several years, be it hot-mixing of roads, providing water and power supply etc. But he’s not in the habit of publicising his work. The first thing he did on getting elected was to write to the prime minister’s office over some water supply issue,” Tendulkar said in a derisive tone.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said that work of setting up a tribal research centre and museum will be fast-tracked. Sawant said that the Goa commission for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) should work along with the state government and prepare a roadmap to implement forest rights to ensure that the communities are beneficiaries of land rights. He was speaking on the sidelines of inaugurating the renovated office of the commission at Patto, Panaji. Sawant said that the government is working to provide justice and equal rights to the SC, ST and Other Backward Class (OBC) community. “We will not allow any injustice to happen to the SC and ST communities with regards to promotions, roster or land rights,” he said. Sawant added that the commission created awareness about the cases that need to reach to the commission such as promotions, roster not being followed, ST rights, forest rights among others. He said that cases which come under the commission include inquiry into violation of any right provided in the Protection of the Civil Right Act, 1955, SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. He said that the communities should get justice under the acts without any discrimination. “Whatever the government has decided about providing land rights under the forest act can be resolved through collectors, the director of tribal affairs and the director of the commission. At present we have been able to give dwelling rights to only 319 people and in the future we want to give these in a phased manner,” he said. Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar said that as SC and ST people find it difficult to come to Panaji, courts were set up at Canacona and Quepem.
CANACONA: With many students from Canacona studying at the Government College at Quepem, the demand for Kadamba Transport Corporation's (KTC) direct bus from Polem to the college is being made once again. Students, even from the remote areas of Canacona, prefer travelling a long distance to reach the college at Quepem. Some also have to change two to three buses to get there. Students said they had demanded for a direct bus in the past too, but it was not pursued.
Canacona: With many students from Canacona studying at the Government College at Quepem, the demand for Kadamba Transport Corporation’s (KTC) direct bus from Polem to the college is being made once again. Students, even from the remote areas of Canacona, prefer travelling a long distance to reach the college at Quepem. Some also have to change two to three buses to get there. Students said they had demanded for a direct bus in the past too, but it was not pursued.
Panaji: Mandos blasting off loud-speakers, coconut palm fronds woven into shade mats, the sale of festachem chonne (grams) and fresh organic produce. This may appear to be a scene straight out of a typical tinto in a Goan village on a hot summer afternoon however, such was not the case. This was at the two-day inclusive and accessible Purumentachem Fest held at the Caculo Mall, Panaji, over the weekend. Here, local street vendors were given the platform at the mall to sell organic spices, salt fish, pickles, vegetable seeds, clay pottery and other provisions that are traditionally sold prior to the monsoon. “Traditionally these foods were consumed in Goa. However, over the decades, we took to processed foods. People have realised the health benefits of eating clean organic food and are, therefore, returning to their roots. With very few people selling such traditional items in Goa, the Purumentachem Fest is a perfect platform for sale of such products,” said environmental activist Avertino Miranda. Organic brown rice and pulses, jams made from organically grown mangoes, cold-pressed coconut oil, coconut vinegar made without preservatives were some of the fast-selling products at the fest. A total of six table spaces were allotted to the differently-abled to sell products like chillies, coconut oil, carpentry products, etc. Seventy per cent visually impaired Akshay Kurade, who squats in the heat of the Mapusa market to sell handmade Kolhapuri slippers, was one such participant. “This is the first time, members of the differently-abled community got to sell their produce at the mall instead of the traditional market,” he said. Desmond Dias from Quepem, a speech and hearing-impaired carpenter, managed to sell every single one of his articles over the course of the two-day festival. Chandor-based John P, who bakes for a living, also managed to sell all his cakes on the first day of the festival itself. Similarly, Resha Vernekar, a partially visually impaired person also sold all her eatables within a day. Bastora-based Savio Mascarenhas and his wife Valency, both speech and hearing-impaired, extracted coconut oil to be sold at the event, all of which was purchased. Quepem-based Tukaram Gaonkar, who is partially visually impaired, sold every single one of his Khola chilies at the festival. “No one must be excluded from carrying out trade, especially if space is already accessibility-friendly. This is a step towards empowerment of persons with disability,” the festival organisers said.
Panaji: Goa is known for its multi-floral arboreal vegetation which produces some rare nectar. This is assimilated by bees resulting in production of uniquely flavoured honey, said noted apiculturist P Shaliyo. He was interacting with 21 participants from various parts of the state that attended his beekeeping training programme held recently at the Don Bosco Vocational Training Institute, in Quepem. While sharing his knowledge and experience on the subject, Shaliyo introduced the participants to the basics of bee biology and management of the Apis Cerana Indica breed bee colony. Shaliyo gave participants a practical demonstration in the institute’s apiary, which contains live beehive colonies. Some of the participants also handled the combs with live bees, which changed their concept of bee behaviour. “The role of bees for boosting agricultural and horticultural production cannot be underestimated. Due to research being done in recent years and the ensuing awareness, a sizable number of people across Goa have been attending beekeeping training programs, which are conducted almost twice a month at the institute,” the insititute’s director Fr Michael D’Costa said. D’Costa further informed participants about the various government scheme available which provides subsidy for purchasing beehive colonies. He also explained the procedure for applying for the same. Detailed information on beekeeping training and post training support may be obtained from Don Bosco’s VTI office on 7498689248. Interested participants canalso email firstname.lastname@example.org for necessary details.
Panaji: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday formally appointed 13 block presidents for Goa as the party goes through a restructuring process. The party has also appointed district observers, one for each of Goa’s two districts. While announcing the appointments, the party’s Goa in-charge Clyde Crasto said that NCP is gearing up to contest every election in the state, including Lok Sabha elections. Crasto did add a subtle rider saying that only if the party “is ready” would it field candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats in 2024. “Lok Sabha, we are looking at both the seats. We will take it as it comes, and if we are ready, then we will contest both,” said Crasto. The party is in the midst of an overhaul in Goa. Crasto has been in Goa for three days, visiting party workers, block committees and sympathisers. He handed over the appointment letters to the 13 block presidents on Saturday in the presence of state party president Jose Philip D’Souza. The party has appointed its Porvorim constituency candidate Shankar Phadte as the North Goa district president and Digvijay Velingkar as observer. Down south, its Quepem candidate Aloysious D’Silva will serve as district president, while Ravindra Talaulikar will be the observer. Former MLAs Filipe Nery Rodrigues and Francisco ‘Micky’ Pacheco were not present when Crasto met with NCP functionaries, but Crasto and D’Souza insisted that the two remain with the party.
Margao: A 20-year old resident of Avedem, near Quepem, Prakash Naik died in a head-on collision between two motorcycles at Gudi, Paroda on the Quepem-Margao road. The accident occurred at around 7.45am on Tuesday when Naik was proceeding from Gudi towards his house at Avedem, while Devidas Gaonkar was proceeding towards Margao. Gaonkar, a resident of Cavrem, Quepem was seriously injured in the crash. Locals said that the area has turned into an accident-prone zone, and urged authorities to immediately put measures in place to prevent further accidents.