South Goa News

Regional cancer institute will be ready in next 16 months, says Vishwajit Rane
Times of India | 6 hours ago | |
Times of India
6 hours ago | |

PANAJI: The regional cancer institute that is being built on the premises of the Goa Medical College will be completed in the next 15 to 16 months, health minister Vishwajit Rane announced on Monday.“Dr Kailash Sharma has been appointed as the nodal officer for the regional centre and the Assam model will be followed in operating the cancer facility in the state,” said Rane.The Assam model, said Rane, has been recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under this model, the regional facility will operate in coordination with the Centre, and in association with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.“There is a fixed format of the central government and an agreement that will be followed for the regional cancer centre. The process has been initiated,” said Rane. The health minister also clarified that the state will not have a tie-up with any private institute for the running of the cancer centre.He added the government was looking at whether cancer marker tests could be made available at all government facilities.The Centre has given the Goa government Rs 104 crore for setting up holistic and wellness centres in urban areas, and one has been already set up in Sattari. A consultant has been appointed to study where more centres can be established, the health minister said.A palliative care centre was recently started at the South Goa district hospital with the support of the Cipla Foundation, said Dr Anupama Borker, chief consultant and head at Goa Medical College’s department of medical oncology, adding that with the increasing cancer burden, the need for palliative care services was felt to assist patients and their families in dealing with the life-threatening illness. Palliative care services play an important role in improving patients’ quality of life and that of their families too, who face various challenges while dealing with the disease, said Borker. Meanwhile, the superspecialty block of the Goa Medical College is expected to be fully commissioned in three to four months. The appointment of consultants has been cleared. There is a need for an additional Rs 200 crore to purchase the diagnostic equipment for the superspecialty block, Rane added.

Regional cancer institute will be ready in next 16 months, says Vishwajit Rane
Goa Police and Child Rights Commission organised training for PSIs on restorative care and justice for POCSO victims
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

The Office of Superintendent of Police (Training) and Child Rights Commission launched a series of training for Police Sub Inspectors at GO’s Training Hall in presence of Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR, Sucheta B. Dessai, SP (Training), Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, GSCPCR and Child Welfare Committee, North Goa, and South Goa. The training will reach out to more than 260 PSIs from 19-24th January 2023. Sexual crimes against children have captured the stage fraor quite some time now with Goa too has witnessing a surge in the recent times. Very low conviction rate exists in the state with several POCSO cases ending in acquittals. There exists also a grim reality of a gross failure to support and rehabilitate the victims and their families in terms of victim compensation too. As a result of this, there are instances of victims and their families turning hostile, stop cooperating and loosing hope, said Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR and Special Secretary, Home The training revolved around need for convergence between police and child protection system to ensure adequate support services for children as provided in POCSO Rules 2020.While it is important to secure punishment for the perpetrator, focus should also be laid on restorative care and justice, said Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who led the training and called for multi-disciplinary approach on linking POCSO victims to the child protection system. He further stressed the need for curbing re-victimization which happens in the justice system process. Several factors and practices existing in the system makes the victim re-live the horrific experience, leading to further trauma due to their vulnerability. Esther Torres, Chairperson, CWC, North Goa, also highlighted the need to introspect and keep aside the persona biases which exist while handling the cases of child abuse. Adv. Viren Bhende, Member, CWC South Goa also spoke on the need for coordinated approach.

Goa Police and Child Rights Commission organised training for PSIs on restorative care and justice for POCSO victims
NEW ZUARI BRIDGE LEAVES COMMUTERS, LOCALS HAPPY
Times of India | 5 days ago | |
Times of India
5 days ago | |


With commute time cut to half, locals anticipate stress-free travel

The new Zuari Bridge was inaugurated on December 29 and travelling between North and South Goa will never be the same again. The crucial connection over the river – which was the old Zuari bridge – was plagued by traffic snarls and was a nightmare, especially in the tourist season. But about two weeks after the new bridge was thrown open, Goa Times took a drive down the road to find pleased commuters, happy traffic cops and a general sense of ease all around.THE REAL TEST IS DURING THE MONSOONAnzil Fernandes, a lecturer who travels from Margao to Mapusa, points out that the litmus test for traffic on that stretch will be in the monsoons. “Atal Setu, which connects Panaji to Porvorim, had potholes after the monsoons. So we have to see what happens on the new Zuari bridge. I hope we don’t have to go back to the old bridge,” he adds.


With commute time cut to half, locals anticipate stress-free travel


WAITING IN TRAFFIC FOR YEARS IS FINALLY PAID OFFAll commuters we spoke to said that their commute time between North and South Goa had reduced substantially. Brunilda Lourenco from Curtorim says that she reaches Panaji in just 40-45 minutes, while earlier, it would take her one and a half hours or more. “I can now get that extra sleep, which makes me feel fresher at work. At night, I would reach home at 9.30 pm at times, leaving my parents worried. The feel oftravelling on the bridge is exciting,” she says.Vanessa Rodrigues from Vasco travels to Panaji, where she works in the hotel industry. “I would wait for almost 2 hours or more and weekends and long holidays were the worst time. There were times I would stay over at my friend’s house or take a bus so that I didn’t have to drive. The road was a nightmare,” she says.NO HONKING, NO POLLUTION, SAY LOCALSThe traffic jam and bottlenecks would start from Agacaim and continue till the old Zuari bridge. To avoid traffic, many would use the interior roads, which would cause more traffic jams inside the village, leaving locals to deal with the noise pollution. “I am so happy that I don’t have to put up with the honking outside my house. Earlier, many taxis would take this route. The few days before the inauguration was crazy, as my 2-year-old would wake up and cry,” says Katherine Fernandes, who has come to Goa from the UK for a holiday. Santana from Cortalim says all her clothes would catch the grime and dust from the passing traffic, but now things were back to normal, leaving her happy.

NEW ZUARI BRIDGE LEAVES COMMUTERS, LOCALS HAPPY
CM Pramod Sawant insists IIT campus will be set up in South Goa
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

MARGAO: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday reiterated that the IIT campus will be set up in South Goa. “Search for the land is ongoing. The IIT campus will be set up in South Goa,” he said. However, he declined to comment whether it would still come up in Sanguem. Protesters in Sanguem had rejoiced after the Union education ministry said in November 2022 that the land identified by the state government at Cortali, Sanguem, will no longer be considered to set up the IIT campus.The Union ministry had informed Goa that the land identified in Sanguem was not suitable for IIT and that it had decided not to send a site selection committee to inspect the same. The 7 lakh sqm land was found to be insufficient.Following this, Sanguem MLA Subhash Phal Dessai had said more land adjoining the identified site would be added to the property to make it suitable for a permanent campus for IIT. IIT Goa became operational in 2016 and ever since the Goa government has been trying to find suitable land for a permanent campus for the institute.It is presently operating from its temporary campus at the Goa Engineering College, Farmagudi.

CM Pramod Sawant insists IIT campus will be set up in South Goa
  • IIT Campus Will Come Up In South Goa: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant
  • Ndtv

    Search for the land is going on, he said. (File photo)Panaji: A campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will come up in South Goa and efforts are on to identify a suitable land for it, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said.The state government had earlier identified a land for setting up the IIT campus at Shel-Melaulim village in Sattari taluka of North Goa district, but the project was then scrapped following violent protests by locals in 2021.Later, another piece of land was identified at Cotarli in Sanguem taluka of South Goa district but as it was insufficient, the project was dropped last year.The issue was discussed during the recently held winter session of the Goa Assembly.Talking to reporters on Monday, Mr Sawant said, "The IIT campus would be set up in South Goa. Search for the land is going on." The CM had earlier said in the state Assembly that some people were going around opposing the land acquisition for the IIT Goa campus.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe had refused to reveal the area where the land was being identified, fearing “unnecessary protest". During a discussion in the House on the issue, Congress MLA Altone D'Costa, who represents Quepem Assembly segment in South Goa, had asked the state government to set up the IIT campus in his constituency.He had said land was available at Betul in Quepem constituency to set up the institute campus.Featured Video Of The DaySonu Sood Sings 'Dil Chori', Soldiers Love His Desi Swag

Two ICUs non-operational at South hospital due to lack of staff
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PANAJI: The government’s failure to appoint intensivists and trained personnel to operate the two fully equipped ICUs at the South Goa district hospital has resulted in the facilities remaining non-operational. Those in need of critical care in South Goa are thus compelled to travel either to the Goa Medical College (GMC) or a private hospital.The two ICUs, with nine beds each, were fully functional for only around six months of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, when a team from GMC was at the hospital. The 500-bed hospital is equipped with around 200 ventilators, some of which are gathering dust due to the ICUs being shut. Today, all those who are critically ill are forced to seek treatment elsewhere. They include patients with head injuries and pneumonia, cardiac, paediatric, trauma, and surgery cases, and those requiring ventilation, continuous monitoring, and blood checks. During the last assembly session in July 2022, health minister Vishwajit Rane had said that the government would “do whatever needs to be done” to make the ICU functional at the earliest. AAP MLA Venzy Viegas had moved a calling attention motion over the issue, stating that in the absence of an ICU in the dialysis unit at the hospital, patients needing critical care have to be shifted to GMC. “I agree that a full-fledged functional ICU is required. The post of intensivist needs to be filled. I will discuss the appointment of contractual staff with the chief minister. Also, a meeting will be held to see if GMC staff can be posted at the SGDH as was done during Covid times to operate the ICU,” Rane had stated in the assembly in July last year. The new hospital also continues to lack a cardiac facility, despite Rane promising one in June 2021. The hospital has neither the specialised staff nor the infrastructure to run a super-specialised cardiac care unit. “People from South Goa will no longer have to travel to GMC for treatment of cardiac ailments once the facility is started at the South Goa district hospital. I have already spoken to the CM in this regard, and the facility will be opened soon. We are considering launching it before the opening of the district hospital,” Rane stated in June 2021.

Two ICUs non-operational at South hospital due to lack of staff
No mention of Mhadei in governor P S Sreedharan Pillai ‘s speech
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PANAJI: Lauding the state government's initiatives in his customary address at the start of the assembly session, governor P S Sreedharan Pillai skirted the ongoing apprehensions about Karnataka diverting water from the Mhadei river basin.Pillai's glaring omission was all the more obvious as it came on the same day that NGOs, political parties, and civil society groups held a major public rally at Virdi on the same issue.The governor's speech, which is prepared by the government, spoke about the Isha Foundation's 'Save Soil' campaign, but had no mention about the ongoing 'Save Mhadei, Save Goa' campaign, a point that the opposition did not miss.Congress, GFP, and AAP attempted to disrupt Pillai's speech, but were quickly pushed out by the marshals.In his 50-minute speech, Pillai highlighted the Pramod Sawant government's achievements and initiatives in the current fiscal. "My government is also prioritising road infrastructure in the state," said Pillai. "I am proud that a four-lane right-hand side corridor of the cable-stayed Zuari bridge and approaches from Bambolim to Verna have been dedicated to the nation."The governor said that the bridge would ease the traffic flow from North Goa to South Goa, with the remaining segment of the bridge likely to be ready by 2023-end.Pillai also chose to praise the Sawant government for taking steps towards ease of doing business."The state is undertaking a massive exercise to reduce the timeline of all pre-establishment and pre-operation clearances to less than 30 days," said Pillai.Pillai added that the state is in the process of implementing 261 business reforms and 91 citizen reforms.He also said that the government is committed to provide drinking water and power to all. He said that 75% of the work is completed at the 25 MLD water treatment plant at Ganjem, while 85% of the work is completed at the 10 MLD water treatment plant at Pale, with both projects expected to be ready by March 31.

No mention of Mhadei in governor P S Sreedharan Pillai ‘s speech
Goa: Decomposed turtle carcasses wash up at Miramar, Bogmalo
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PANAJI: A dead Olive Ridley turtle washed ashore at Miramar beach on Monday morning in a decomposed state. The carcass was beyond the stage of post-mortem, making it difficult to determine the cause of the marine animal’s death.Later in the day a Green Sea turtle carcass was also found at Bogmalo beach which had also washed ashore in a severely decomposed state. “Both carcasses were so putrefied and their tissues fragile that it was not possible to ascertain the cause of death,” a forest department official said.The forest department held an urgent meeting along with stakeholders to chalk out long-term strategies and policies for turtle conservation as well as other marine conservation. While it recently notified two marine ranges – North and South Goa; these are still in the nascent stage and lack of resources limits the department from maintaining vigil over the waters. The fisheries department has a coastal vessel and a response team to tackle marine violations which often include illegal fishing. “For habitat maintenance we are in talks with the directorate of fisheries to carry out coastal monitoring. We are also in talks with the tourism department to tie up with them and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa to sensitise hotel, shack owners along the coast. With a robust network we can have a minimum response time,” the official said.

Goa: Decomposed turtle carcasses wash up at Miramar, Bogmalo
First-time MLAs willing to resign over diversion issue
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Panaji: First-time MLAs Yuri Alemao and Carlos Ferreira of Congress, Venzy Viegas and Cruz Silva of Aam Aadmi Party and independent Antonio Vas, after participating in Monday’s ‘Save Mhadei’ public meeting, said they were willing to resign along with all the 40 MLAs to send a strong message to the Centre.“We do not want to politicise this issue, which is why we took a conscious decision not to sit on the stage and sat in the audience, shoulder-to-shoulder with the people. We appeal to all MLAs not to divide the people over the issue. This is a question of Goa’s existence and identity,” said leader of opposition Yuri Alemao.He said that the new MLAs will study the Mhadei water diversion issue in depth and raise relevant questions during the ongoing session of the state legislative assembly.“There is a blame-game going on about during whose government mishandling of the Mhadei issue was done. But we do not want to get into that. We are all new MLAs, and we are not involved in any of the past decisions in the handling of the Mhadei issue. Let us not get into who did what and divide the people now. Let the chief minister resign along with his MLAs and we are willing to resign along with them,” said Veigas.Alemao said if the Centre was not ready to pay heed to Goa’s plea then there was a need to create a constitutional crisis with all MLAs resigning. The MLAs said they are committed to taking the Mhadei battle to the villages and continuing the fight to save the Mhadei.“Today what you saw is the voice of the people. They spoke in one voice to save Mhadei. People have come even from the extreme end of South Goa. The flame has been lit, we have to carry it across Goa to the villages,” said Ferreira.

First-time MLAs willing to resign over diversion issue
Goa govt to extend ECs of earlier leases to quicken mining restart
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: The state government has decided to extend the environment clearance (EC) obtained by earlier lessees of 88 mining leases for two years, so that those who win the auction can start mining activities immediately. “We will put a clause in new tender documents of mining lease auctions that the earlier EC can be used for two years, and that they (those who win) have to obtain a new EC within two years,” chief minister Pramod Sawant told TOI.He also said that when mining came to a halt in March 2018, the ECs of 88 mining leases were valid, and the same EC will be allowed to be used by successful bidders for the next two years. However, he said that the “New decision will not be implemented for the four blocks already auctioned by the state government”. The state will auction seven more mining leases this month. The Supreme Court had quashed the second renewal of 88 mining leases in 2018, and since then, the state has been trying to restart mining. A senior official said that if the earlier ECs are not extended, it will take at least another two years to start mining activities as successful bidders would have to apply for fresh ECs.The state government is likely to auction mining leases required to initially meet the capping limit of 30 million tonnes of iron ore extraction, a limit recommended by the expert committee constituted by the Supreme Court. Earlier, the SC had allowed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes. “We will approach the apex court to seek permission to increase the capping limit to 30 million tonnes based on the report,” a senior official said, adding that the leases will be auctioned based on the capping limit. Recently, the state government successfully completed the auction of four mining leases, three in North Goa and one in South Goa. All the mining leases have been retained by Goa-based mining companies.

Goa govt to extend ECs of earlier leases to quicken mining restart
"Rare Gift" Of God: 2 Members Of Goa Family Become Bishops
Ndtv | 2 weeks ago | |
Ndtv
2 weeks ago | |

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently met Father Sebastiao MascarenhasPanaji: A family from Goa has attained the distinction of two of its members becoming bishops, which their relatives described as a blessing and a "rare gift" of God.Father Theodore Mascarenhas became the auxillary bishop of Ranchi in 2014. His elder brother, Father Sebastiao Mascarenhas, will take over as the bishop of Baroda in February.In the Catholic church, bishops and archbishops are appointed by the Pope.Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently met Fr Sebastiao Mascarenhas and said Goa is honoured to witness the appointment of two bishops from the same family.The brothers are priests of the Society of the Missionaries of St Francis Xavier. They have another younger brother and a sister who live in Camurlim village in Salcette area of South Goa district.Their sister Maria Dias said the appointment of her second brother as the bishop, a Christian priest of high rank, has brought in great joy for the family."It is a blessing for the family and the village of Camurlim to have two brothers as bishops," she said.The family is extremely grateful to God for such an achievement, she said.“It is a very rare gift. It means a blessing for us and our village,” Dias said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comGoa CM Sawant met Fr Sebastiao Mascarenhas earlier this month.The CM in a tweet on January 3 said, "Had the pleasure of meeting the Bishop Elect of Baroda, Gujarat, Rev. Fr. Sebastiao Mascarenhas. Fr. Sebastiao hails from Ambora, Raia and is the brother of Rev Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas. Goa is honoured to witness the appointment of 2 Bishops from the same family." PTI RPS GK GKFeatured Video Of The DayDelhi Man Attacks Neighbour With Acid After Fight Over Dog

"Rare Gift" Of God: 2 Members Of Goa Family Become Bishops
Goa govt takes measures to mitigate lumpy skin disease in cattle
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: In order to minimise the economic impact of the outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and to control its spread, the directorate of animal husbandry and veterinary services (AHVS) undertook two rounds of mass prophylactic vaccination against the disease on healthy animals.In addition, deworming tablets were distributed to dairy farmers free of cost and emergency medicines were procured and supplied to field establishments for judicious use in healthy and infected animals.The AHVS said that it has requisitioned the central government for additional vaccines.Previously, all LSD vaccines were purchased by the state government.Various measures to combat LSD such as the formation of a dedicated rapid response team for the North and South Goa districts, were also initiated. All affected animals were treated by the area veterinary officers, and a district level monitoring committee was formed for both districts under the chairmanship of the collectors.The health authorities also undertook fogging and disinfection of affected areas under the supervision of the collector and village panchayat authorities. Area veterinary officers sensitised locals and dairy farmers about LSD, both individually and at the village panchayat level. “Surveillance is also being undertaken, and the animal population is being monitored. The state is awaiting the centralised plan for LSD ,” the AHVS said.Besides LSD, a mass vaccination programme is under way for brucellosis, and vaccination will commence shortly for foot and mouth disease (FMD). Till date 18 rounds of mass vaccination have been undertaken for FMD.

Goa govt takes measures to mitigate lumpy skin disease in cattle
  • Govt takes measures to mitigate lumpy skin disease in cattle
  • Times of India

    Panaji: In order to minimise the economic impact of the outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and to control its spread, the directorate of animal husbandry and veterinary services (AHVS) undertook two rounds of mass prophylactic vaccination against the disease on healthy animals.In addition, deworming tablets were distributed to dairy farmers free of cost and emergency medicines were procured and supplied to field establishments for judicious use in healthy and infected animals.The AHVS said that it has requisitioned the central government for additional vaccines.Previously, all LSD vaccines were purchased by the state government.Various measures to combat LSD such as the formation of a dedicated rapid response team for the North and South Goa districts, were also initiated. All affected animals were treated by the area veterinary officers, and a district level monitoring committee was formed for both districts under the chairmanship of the collectors.The health authorities also undertook fogging and disinfection of affected areas under the supervision of the collector and village panchayat authorities. Area veterinary officers sensitised locals and dairy farmers about LSD, both individually and at the village panchayat level. “Surveillance is also being undertaken, and the animal population is being monitored. The state is awaiting the centralised plan for LSD ,” the AHVS said.Besides LSD, a mass vaccination programme is under way for brucellosis, and vaccination will commence shortly for foot and mouth disease (FMD). Till date 18 rounds of mass vaccination have been undertaken for FMD.

Negligence of safety rules nothing short of playing with fire, says HC
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Observing that negligence in compliance of fire safety requirements and failure to undertake fire audit “is nothing short of playing with fire”, the high court of Bombay at Goa recently directed strict compliance of fire safety norms provided under the Goa Land Developmentand Building Construction Regulations, 2010. The court called on authorities to ensure that industrial buildings of all categories temporary or permanent strictly adhere to fire safety norms including installation of fire safety equipment, stating that there shall be periodic inspection of such compliance, by categorising the industries on the basis of their vulnerability to such hazards in context of the nature of their activities.It issued directions of strict compliance to the government, North and South Goa planning and development authorities, the CCP commissioner, chief officers of municipal councils, directorate of panchayats, and all town and country planning authorities. The division bench comprising justices G S Kulkarni and Bharat P Deshpande, in the order pronounced on December 15, directed the appointment of a nodal officer/group of officers who can consider periodic inspection of installations, maintenance and compliances of fire safety norms in respect of special buildings like hospitals having indoor patients, schools and colleges, theatres, multiplexes and cinema houses, public auditoriums, public buildings, and hotels.Amicus curiae Neha Shirodkar told TOI that it is of utmost importance that strict statutory compliances are complied with, with regards to part-IV of the National Building Code of India, which has extensive fire safety rules. “If due compliance is met along with regular fire audits conducted, both life and property can be saved,” she stated. The HC also directed that a database be maintained indicating data of fire safety compliance and inspection regarding compliance of fire safety norms by high rise buildings, schools and colleges, theatres, public buildings, hotels, lodging and boarding houses, and added that this be “provided on the official website”.

Negligence of safety rules nothing short of playing with fire, says HC
Scrap Margao ODP 2031 for breach in procedure: Greens
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Margao: Goyche Fudle Pilge Khatir, an organisation of environment activists, has demanded that the draft Outline Development Plan (ODP) 2031 for Margao be scrapped on the grounds that the document was in breach of procedural requirements and contained cartographical errors. Pointing to the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and lmplementation (URDPFI) Guidelines published by Union ministry of urban development, the organisation in its objections submitted to the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) said, “These 2015 guidelines require preparation and finalisation of Perspective Plan, Regional Plan, Development Plan and Land Use Policy for the state before getting Into micro-city level planning like this draft ODP. This procedural breach is a serious procedural blunder committed by your office. ”Pointing to some cartographic errors in the plan, the organisation said, “It is clear that the private company has no cartographic competence and allowing such a company to prepare Margao draft ODP is another major blunder.”Stating that there was no public consultation while preparing the plan, it pointed out that the draft ODP has “done away with projection of heritage sites in Margao instead of promoting and protecting them”.“The draft ODP signals reduced green lungs of the town, filling up of low-lying areas and comunidade paddy fields for the vested interests of real estate lobby,” the letter further adds.“Paddy fields behind MLA Vijai Sardesai’s residence in Fatorda is shown as settlement zone, defying yet another recognition for green and cultivable land,” states the letter further, adding that part of Rajendra Prasad stadium is shown as commercial (C2) with 150 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) while paddy fields at many places are marked as commercial zones.

Scrap Margao ODP 2031 for breach in procedure: Greens
Margao councillor urges Kannadigas in Goa to join battle to save Mhadei
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Margao: The special meeting of the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) held on Friday over the Mhadei river issue took an amusing turn midway through the proceedings as councillors from both sides of the political divide engaged in mudslinging, each trying to outdo the other in proving one’s political allegiance. Peace was restored only after chairperson Damodar Shirodkar warned of concluding the meeting if the councillors failed to maintain decorum.Trouble began when BJP councillor Camilo Barreto stood up to speak on the issue and began congratulating chief minister Pramod Sawant for the “various steps he has taken to protect Goa’s interests” over the Mhadei issue. When GFP councillor Pooja Naik interrupted him and claimed that it was GFP alone that had consistently raised the Mhadei issue, Barreto accused the regional outfit of doing nothing about the Mhadei when it was a part of the government. As a war of words ensued, other GFP councillors joined in as barbs and innuendos were freely exchanged. After normalcy was restored, rest of the councillors, even those who are usually reticent, spoke passionately about the need to prevent the Mhadei’s diversion by Karnataka.Ghanashyam Shirodkar sounded caution that South Goa could also face prospects of rationed water if the Mhadei was diverted.Sadananad Naik urged the Kannadigas staying in Goa to join Goans in their battle to save the Mhadei.Sagun Naik advocated the need for all to rise as one by sinking all political differences for this cause. Shirodkar later told reporters that the resolution pledging the council’s support to the state govern-ment in its fight over the Mhadei issue was passed unanimously and would be sent to the chief minister, Prime Minister, home minister, and union minister for water resources.

Margao councillor urges Kannadigas in Goa to join battle to save Mhadei
Goa: Roses, gifts, flash mob greet flyers at new airport on Day 1
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Reflecting Goa’s breezy vibe, the first few flyers at the Manohar International Airport broke out into an impromptu dance, grooving to the tunes of a traditional Goan brass band at Mopa on Thursday. The state’s second international airport commenced domestic operations with low-cost carrier IndiGo’s Hyderabad Goa flight 6E 6145 touching down to mark the milestone for the nation’s aviation sector.Along with a red carpet welcome, first flyers of the day were pampered with gifts and goodies from all stakeholders, right from wrist bands and caps to chocolates and roses. While passengers and airline crew said that the new airport is more than what they expected, expectations about commuting disruptions did not come true.“This is a great welcome; a flash mob, the music, the sweets. With such music, I felt lively,” said 21-year-old traveller Rohan Swain. “This airport is still in the development phase and I am sure it can take a lot in the coming years but in terms of the welcoming features, Mopa has crossed the Hyderabad airport. It feels good when you arrive and get the Goa feeling.”With authorities going all out to ensure flyers had a memorable experience, Swain and several other co-passengers could not help but break out into a jig as soon as they exited the terminal. The video of passengers dancing was widely shared on social media. Flyers also took advantage of the decor to click selfies and post reels.“This is my third time to Goa and I must say, Mopa is pretty good. I didn’t expect so many services to be set up and available. There was some hesitancy because it is a new airport but it is pretty much setup,” said software engineer Revant Chetluru. Stakeholders were worried that taxi operators from Pernem, where the new airport is located, would disrupt passenger movement and the government deployed a huge posse of policemen all along the route to prevent unruly scenes. However, the fears did not pan out as finding transport to their final destination wasn’t a big task for passengers. Poor cellular connectivity and a mild shortage of taxis post lunch forced fliers to wait for at least 30 minutes.Aside from Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd electric buses, taxis from GoaMiles and Goa Taxi were available. The poor mobile network did make it inconvenient for passengers to download the app and book a cab.Chief minister Pramod Sawant, who was present at the airport, acknowledged the transportation hassles but said that normal taxi services would “gradually become available.”“I booked the flight because it is much cheaper, but I will probably have to spend the rest of the money to travel to South Goa. The taxi process was pretty smooth, but in Goa I have observed that it is a little costlier. Share cabs would be better because people have specific places to go to like Panaji, Dona Paula, Anjuna beach and South Goa and it will be very easy to share cabs,” said Chetluru.The GMR Group, which built and operates the Manohar International Airport, has designed the airport by borrowing cues from Goa’s architectural style and using Azulejos. The arrival and departure concourse flaunts a flea market vibe.“The commencement of flight operations at the Manohar International Airport marks the beginning of a new chapter of growth for Goa,” said chief executive officer of GMR Goa International Airport R V Sheshan. “Goa is an international tourism destination and we aim to cater to the world with the best of facilities.”IndiGo and GoFirst kick started domestic operations at the airport on Thursday.“It gives us immense pleasure to commence operations from this latest addition, Mopa to our domestic network,” said Kaushik Khona, the chief executive officer of Go First. “Although Goa is a preferred leisure destination, this network will facilitate convenient and seamless travel for locals along with tourists.”The tourists certainly gave the new airport a thumbs up, appreciating the infrastructural leap over the Dabolim airport, which is maintained by the Airports Authority of India. “The airport is huge compared to Dabolim,” said Sai Kumar, one of the first passengers on the inaugural flight.

Goa: Roses, gifts, flash mob greet flyers at new airport on Day 1
600 autopsies in South Goa district hospital in 2022
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Margao: If bodies piled one over the other in the cabinets of the morgue owing to space crunch was an all too common situation at the old Hospicio hospital, Margao, frequent breakdowns of storage cabinets leading to decomposition of bodies, and staff shortage in the forensic department necessitating shifting of bodies to Goa Medical College for post mortem, were the other major issues the premier hospital was saddled with – until a year ago that is.All these issues became a thing of the past when the forensic department was shifted to the new South Goa District Hospital, Margao, in December 2021.The hospital’s morgue has a storage capacity of 72 bodies, four times more than what the old Hospicio hospital had.“We are now in a position to conduct three autopsies simultaneously,” Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar, associate professor, forensic medicine, and in-charge of the mortuary complex, said. By conducting nearly 600 postmortem examinations in the last calendar year, the hospital has thus handled nearly a fourth of the bodies of medical legal cases in the state.“What stands out from the facts and figures,” Ghodkirekar says, “is the 73 sudden death cases, most of which were of people below 50 years. Such cases have risen sharply in the post-Covid period and that’s a cause of concern. We have had cases of young people dying of severe heart attacks and brain hemorrhage.”

600 autopsies in South Goa district hospital in 2022