South Goa News

In progressive Goa, almost no takers for vasectomies, just two last year
Times of India | 21 hours ago | |
Times of India
21 hours ago | |

PANAJI: On health parameters, Goa is counted among the progressive states, yet, when it comes to family planning measures, the responsibility lies with women as in other states. The state family welfare bureau of the directorate of health services recorded just two vasectomies, one each for North and South Goa, last year. Dr Rajendra Borkar, who heads the bureau, said that though there are routine awareness programmes, the male response for family welfare measures is poor. The state’s fertility rate being 1.3 — a sufficiently good count — family planning does not pose a problem. With Goa being literate and progressive, it was expected that men would shoulder the responsibility of family planning, but Borkar said that people can’t be dictated to choose a certain method of contraception. “Anyway, we have a low birth rate. We can’t be telling people to do this and that,” he said. Health experts said that in general men associate vasectomy with impotence and are reluctant to opt for the procedure, and women are left with no choice but to take measures. “Men believe they will turn impotent if they have a vasectomy, but this is not true. Overall we see more tubectomies,” said Dr Rini Naik, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. Several women also choose to have a permanent sterilisation done immediately after delivery. “Women know the amount of pain they will have to bear while giving birth, and the effort and time they will need to put in to raise a child. So, naturally, they take the initiative where husbands fail,” Naik said. Naik said she has seen cases of husbands not opting for a vasectomy even where their wives had a health condition and ideally should not have been the one to have a procedure done. Another gynaecologist said that since doctors know the trend and find it difficult to convince unwilling husbands, women are counselled to adopt a family planning procedure. Dr Shradha Patil, a gynaecologist who practices in South Goa, said that generally vasectomies are not given much importance in Goa. “We were taught more about tubal ligation. Somehow vasectomies are on the back burner and we don’t know why,” Patil said. Women, she said, are also likely to rely on oral contraception if the husband works abroad and may be home two to three months a year. “Several of my clients have their husbands working abroad and they prefer oral contraction. For a short-term, oral contraceptive is a fantastic method,” she said. Also, the Goan population being well educated, she said, couples choose a natural method of contraception. The abortion rate is also not high is Goa.

In progressive Goa, almost no takers for vasectomies, just two last year
10,000 sanads for forest land in 18 months: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
Times of India | 1 day ago | |
Times of India
1 day ago | |

MARGAO: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday handed over land title documents (sanads) for forest land under occupation to several beneficiaries under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Addressing the gathering at a function held at the south Goa collectorate, Sawant said that the government has set a target of handing over 10,000 sanads to claimants of both individual and community rights category, within the next 12 to 18 months. Sawant said that his government was working on the Antyodaya principle, and said that being able to hand over titles to rightful claimants of forest land under the Act was his biggest achievement since becoming the chief minister. “There were nearly 10,000 applications pending under the Act whenI became the chief minister in 2019. No sanad was given to any claimant before that. So far 2,000 to 2,500 sanads have been handed over to beneficiaries. The rest will be cleared in due course,” he said. He urged beneficiaries not to sell the agricultural land they have now come to own, but cultivate it with the assistance of the agriculture department. Sawant also inaugurated the FRC Sanad Information System portal that will facilitate beneficiaries under the Act to obtain their land title documents online. “This is yet another step in our mission towards making Goa swayampurna (self-reliant),” Sawant said. Despite a large number of claims, sources said lack of documentation by claimants, the requirement of 50% quorum at gram sabhas have turned out to be major impediments in speedy processing of claims.

10,000 sanads for forest land in 18 months: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
  • In a first for Goa, 46.1 sqkm notified as private forest
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: The state government on Thursday notified 46.1 sqkm area in the state as private forest, in compliance with an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). This is the first parcel of land in Goa to be notified as a private forest. However, in the meantime, work is in progress to confirm almost double of the area notified, which has been identified provisionally as private forest for now. Enumeration of 9,183 ha or 91.8 sqkm area is being carried out at present by 16 sub-committees comprising range forest officers, inspectors of survey and land records, and village talathis, under the supervision of the deputy conservator of forests. This area was identified as a provisional forest by the Thomas and the Araujo committees. “The review of survey numbers provisionally identified as private forests by the Thomas and Araujo committees is on as per the order of NGT dated January 7, 2021. Five interim reports have been already uploaded on the forest department website, and three compliance reports have been filed before the tribunal and the balance review work is under process,” an official said. The first parcel of 46.1 sqkm of private forest notified now in Goa was based on the findings of the Sawant and the Karapurkar committees, which were later reviewed and confirmed by the Sharma committee. The government panels, while identifying private forests, applied the criteria that the area should be either contiguous to government forest lands or, if in isolation, the minimum area identified should be 5 ha. And, canopy density should not be less than 0.4. The review committee has now formed several sub-committees, which are carrying out ground enumeration mainly based on the third criteria — that at least 75% of the tree species in the private forest are of ‘forestry type’. This will be the determining factor for an identified area to qualify as private forest. So that there are no objections to the forest found to be qualifying as private forest from the land owners, the review committee has now put multiple checks in place. These checks include the range forest officer or member secretary of the sub-committee mandatorily visiting all the sites and verifying 100% sample points on ground. Further, an inspector of survey and land records and talathi also attend the field enumeration and verify the report prepared by the sub-committee before sending it to the review committee. In addition, assistant conservators of forests have been assigned an area for checking and have to verify at least 20% of the sample points. Besides this, geo-reference photographs of the trees at sampling points have to be taken mandatorily, along with the representatives, objectors or owners of the land.

Locals complain about structure in vicinity of airport
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

Panaji: Residents of Dabolim have filed a complaint with the South Goa collector and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) alleging that unauthorised structures have been erected along the highway close to the Goa International Airport. The alleged illegal structures have been erected on land that belongs to the Sancoale comunidade but authorities are turning a blind eye to the developments, they said. The locals have written to the Momugao Planning and Development Authority (MPDA), South Goa collector, Indian Navy, Mormugao deputy collector and the administrator for comunidades seeking their intervention. “Some construction work is being undertaken at the Dabolim junction, which belongs to the Sancoale comunidade. Enquiries reveal that this construction work has no permission from any local body including the panchayat or the MPDA,” Satish Kamtikar, a local, said. He said the unauthorised structure is in defiance of the high court’s order regarding construction around the airport. He also said the structure is along NH17-B and the NHAI rules state that no construction shall be permitted within 40m from the centre of the road. “No construction should be allowed within 500m of the Indian Navy compound and in the present case, the construction is in close vicinity of the compound,” Kamtikar stated in his complaint to the various authorities. Speaking to TOI, Kamtikar said that despite several reminders, state authorities have failed to act. The alleged illegal structures have been erected on land that belongs to the Sancoale comunidade but the authorities are turning a blind eye to it, the Dabolim residents said

Locals complain about structure in vicinity of airport
Odisha man stabs himself at Margao railway station
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

MARGAO: Saroj Bariha, 28, a native of Odisha, who had come to Goa in search of work, stabbed himself with a knife at a fast food stall near the Margao railway station on Thursday. Police said that Bariha and his two other companions came by train from Odisha and got down at the Margao railway station. “While they were having snacks at a nearby food stall, Bariha, all of a sudden snatched a knife from the vendor and inflicted injuries on his neck,” police said. He was rushed to the South Goa district hospital, Margao, where he is undergoing treatment. Police said that he is learnt to be of unsound mind.

Odisha man stabs himself at Margao railway station
  • Odisha man stabs himself at Margao rail station
  • Times of India

    Margao: Saroj Bariha, 28, a native of Odisha, who had come to Goa in search of work, stabbed himself with a knife at a fast food stall near the Margao railway station on Thursday.Police said that Bariha and his two other companions came by train from Odisha and got down at the Margao railway station. “While they were having snacks at a nearby food stall, Bariha, all of a sudden snatched a knife from the vendor and inflicted injuries on his neck,” police said. He was rushed to the South Goa district hospital, Margao, where he is undergoing treatment.Police said that he is learnt to be of unsound mind.

Goa govt files FIR for disturbance near turtle nesting site
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

PANAJI: The forest department has filed an FIR against a person for illegally felling around 30 trees and destroying sand dunes at Morjim, very close to the Olive Ridley turtle nesting site. "The department of forest has taken strict action where sand dunes are being destroyed and illegal tree-cutting is taking place, opposite survey no. 123/1 at Madlawada, Morjim. More than 30 trees have been felled illegally. An FIR has been filed against the individual involved and deputy conservator of forest (wildlife) has been notified because it is close to the turtle nesting and conservation site," said forest minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane, who is also the town and country planning (TCP) minister, said that the TCP department has also been advised to issue a stop work order and submit the file to the government for licence revocation. "This violation amounts to a disturbance and a violation of law and officials have been directed to take the necessary action. Protection and conservation of the environment is a significant and pressing area of concern to us, and anyone who violates the law will face severe consequences," Rane said. Earlier this year, Rane had announced that more areas in Goa will be notified for turtle conservation and that efforts will be made to place Goa on the country's sea turtle map. Last season, the highest number of turtles in recent years- 89- nested in Goa. Around 6,500 young hatchlings were successfully released into the sea. Turtle conservation is being carried out at four turtle nesting beaches in Goa- Morjim and Mandrem in North Goa, and Agonda and Galgibaga in South Goa. Olive Ridley turtles are one of five marine turtles that visit these beaches and lay eggs from November to April.

Goa govt files FIR for disturbance near turtle nesting site
  • Govt files FIR for disturbance near turtle nesting site at Morjim
  • Times of India

    Panaji: The forest department has filed an FIR against a person for illegally felling around 30 trees and destroying sand dunes at Morjim, very close to the Olive Ridley turtle nesting site.“The department of forest has taken strict action where sand dunes are being destroyed and illegal tree-cutting is taking place, opposite survey no. 123/1 at Madlawada, Morjim. More than 30 trees have been felled illegally. An FIR has been filed against the individual involved and deputy conservator of forest (wildlife) has been notified because it is close to the turtle nesting and conservation site,” said forest minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane, who is also the town and country planning (TCP) minister, said that the TCP department has also been advised to issue a stop work order and submit the file to the government for licence revocation.“This violation amounts to a disturbance and a violation of law and officials have been directed to take the necessary action. Protection and conservation of the environment is a significant and pressing area of concern to us, and anyone who violates the law will face severe consequences,” Rane said.Earlier this year, Rane had announced that more areas in Goa will be notified for turtle conservation and that efforts will be made to place Goa on the country’s sea turtle map. Last season, the highest number of turtles in recent years— 89— nested in Goa. Around 6,500 young hatchlings were successfully released into the sea.Turtle conservation is being carried out at four turtle nesting beaches in Goa— Morjim and Mandrem in North Goa, and Agonda and Galgibaga in South Goa. Olive Ridley turtles are one of five marine turtles that visit these beaches and lay eggs from November to April.

Goa: We will return to grassroots to rejuvenate party, says Congress
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

MARGAO: At a meeting of Congress workers from South Goa at the party's district office in Margao on Monday, it was decided to "rejuvenate" the party from the grassroots and to be the voice of the people. Addressing reporters after the meeting, Viriato Fernandes, a party functionary, said that party workers voiced their anger over the "betrayal of trust of the voters" and "murder of democracy" by the eight Congress MLAs who jumped to BJP recently. "We will go to the grassroots and explain to the people. BJP is the main culprit in this defection. They purchased our MLAs. We will go to all villages across Goa and rejuvenate the party," Fernandes said. He added, "Our foundation is strong, the party ideology is also strong, only those who had come for personal benefits have left." Margao MLA Digambar Kamat particularly came in for sharp criticism at the meeting. "We have to rebuild the party. We have to be the voice of the people and uphold the values of democracy. Our three MLAs will raise the issues of the people in the assembly, the party workers will work at the grassroots. We will take the battle forward," Fernandes said.

Goa: We will return to grassroots to rejuvenate party, says Congress
  • Congress: We will return to grassroots to rejuvenate party
  • Times of India

    Margao: At a meeting of Congress workers from South Goa at the party’s district office in Margao on Monday, it was decided to “rejuvenate” the party from the grassroots and to be the voice of the people.Addressing reporters after the meeting, Viriato Fernandes, a party functionary, said that party workers voiced their anger over the “betrayal of trust of the voters” and “murder of democracy” by the eight Congress MLAs who jumped to BJP recently. “We will go to the grassroots and explain to the people. BJP is the main culprit in this defection. They purchased our MLAs. We will go to all villages across Goa and rejuvenate the party,” Fernandes said.He added, “Our foundation is strong, the party ideology is also strong, only those who had come for personal benefits have left.”Margao MLA Digambar Kamat particularly came in for sharp criticism at the meeting.“We have to rebuild the party. We have to be the voice of the people and uphold the values of democracy. Our three MLAs will raise the issues of the people in the assembly, the party workers will work at the grassroots. We will take the battle forward,” Fernandes said.

Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, south Goa seat may be within BJP’s grasp
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PANAJI: With eight Congress MLAs defecting to BJP, the saffron party is eyeing both Lok Sabha seats for the 2024 polls, especially South Goa, which it has historically found tough to secure. BJP currently has 12 MLAs in South Goa, including the three who joined on Wednesday. Former defence minister and chief minister Manohar Parrikar had managed to secure the South Goa seat for BJP in 2014, when he had 21 BJP MLAs and with the support of three MGP MLAs and two independents. Additionally, there was a 'Modi wave'. Five years later, in 2019, BJP lost the seat to Congress by over 9,000 votes. A political observer said that the merger of eight MLAs into BJP has given it an opportunity to once again grab the South Goa seat. "Now, BJP can expect more votes in Mormugao, Nuvem and Margao," the observer said. "An advantage is that MGP too is with BJP. During the last election, MGP had managed to damage BJP after its leader Ramakrishna 'Sudin' Dhavalikar was dropped from the cabinet. BJP should be able to fight the election comfortably, as it also has support from independent MLAs." BJP has so far won the South Goa seat on two occasions, and with an eye on crossing 400 seats in the Parliamentary polls, winning South Goa has become crucial for the state BJP. The party's central leadership too strongly backed the local leadership to allow the entry of Congress MLAs, so that there are no hiccups in winning both the seats. Union minister Narayan Rane has been given the responsibility of winning the South Goa seat for BJP. Of BJP's 28 MLAs, 12 are from the minority community. Now, the party does not require support of any other MLAs. In the 2022 assembly election, BJP won 20 seats and formed the government with the help of independents and MGP. In the 40-member Goa legislative assembly, 21 is the magic number, and with the eight Congress MLAs joining BJP, it has now got an 'absolute' majority in the House. The merger will also help chief minister Pramod Sawant silence opponents in the party vying for the top post.

Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, south Goa seat may be within BJP’s grasp
  • Ahead of 2024 LS polls, S Goa seat may be within BJP’s grasp
  • Times of India

    Panaji: With eight Congress MLAs defecting to BJP, the saffron party is eyeing both Lok Sabha seats for the 2024 polls, especially South Goa, which it has historically found tough to secure.BJP currently has 12 MLAs in South Goa, including the three who joined on Wednesday.Former defence minister and chief minister Manohar Parrikar had managed to secure the South Goa seat for BJP in 2014, when he had 21 BJP MLAs and with the support of three MGP MLAs and two independents. Additionally, there was a ‘Modi wave’. Five years later, in 2019, BJP lost the seat to Congress by over 9,000 votes.A political observer said that the merger of eight MLAs into BJP has given it an opportunity to once again grab the South Goa seat.“Now, BJP can expect more votes in Mormugao, Nuvem and Margao,” the observer said. “An advantage is that MGP too is with BJP. During the last election, MGP had managed to damage BJP after its leader Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar was dropped from the cabinet. BJP should be able to fight the election comfortably, as it also has support from independent MLAs.”BJP has so far won the South Goa seat on two occasions, and with an eye on crossing 400 seats in the Parliamentary polls, winning South Goa has become crucial for the state BJP. The party’s central leadership too strongly backed the local leadership to allow the entry of Congress MLAs, so that there are no hiccups in winning both the seats.Union minister Narayan Rane has been given the responsibility of winning the South Goa seat for BJP.Of BJP’s 28 MLAs, 12 are from the minority community. Now, the party does not require support of any other MLAs. In the 2022 assembly election, BJP won 20 seats and formed the government with the help of independents and MGP. In the 40-member Goa legislative assembly, 21 is the magic number, and with the eight Congress MLAs joining BJP, it has now got an ‘absolute’ majority in the House.The merger will also help chief minister Pramod Sawant silence opponents in the party vying for the top post.

  • BJP sets sights on winning South Goa seat at 2024 Lok Sabha polls
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Narayan Rane on Saturday said that with 12 MLAs in South Goa and the BJP government in the state, the party is confident of winning the South Goa seat for the 2024 Lok Sabha election. He also expressed confidence that that BJP will win both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa. “BJP will 100% win the South Goa seat,” Rane said. Till date, BJP has won the South Goa seat only on two occasions. Currently, the seat is represented by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha. Rane said that MGP will support the BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha election.When asked if BJP wants to increase its MLAs in South Goa, Rane said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in every state, somethings happen automatically and we don’t have to make an effort. But it happens in the name of Modi. It takes time to happen in Goa, but when it happens, it happens effectively.” BJP has appointed Rane to oversee two Lok Sabha constituencies, including South Goa and South Mumbai.

  • BJP eyeing south Goa seat for Lok Sabha
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Narayan Rane on Saturday said that with 12 MLAs in South Goa and the BJP government in the state, the party is confident of winning the South Goa seat for the Lok Sabha election. Rane also expressed confidence that that BJP will win both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa. “BJP will 100% win the South Goa seat,” Rane said. Till date, BJP has won the South Goa seat only on two occasions. Currently, the seat is represented by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha. Rane said that MGP will support the BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha election. When asked if BJP wants to increase its MLAs in South Goa, Rane said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in every state, somethings happen automatically and we don’t have to make an effort. But it happens in the name of Modi. It takes time to happen in Goa, but when it happens, it happens effectively.”

Allow sand mining at fixed sites, says Sardinha
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Margao: South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha, reacting to the recent Curchorem murder case linked to illegal sand extraction, said that the government should take immediate steps to regularise sand mining by earmarking sand extraction sites.“Sand is an essential commodity for any construction activity. Besides if sand is not extracted siltation will occur in river channels. Sand extraction by traditional methods should be allowed to resume. Use of machines for illegal extraction of sand has led to destruction of bunds,” Sardinha said while addressing reporters at Congress’ South Goa office in Margao, on Thursday. He demanded that the sand extraction by traditional methods be permitted with restrictions such as not being carried out in the vicinity of bunds or bridges. On the land grabbing investigation by SIT, Sardinha said,“I urge the chief minister to set a time frame for SIT to conclude the investigations. Officials involved in land grab cases should be brought to task.” Sardinha said that law and order was fast-deteriorating with proliferation of drugs and rise in murders, “The day will not be far when a Goan staying abroad will feel ashamed to call himself a Goan.” He demanded the chief minister tighten his grip on the administration. He also demanded that potholes be repaired and roads asphalted.

Allow sand mining at fixed sites, says Sardinha
  • Restart sand mining through traditional extractors: CM
  • Times of India

    Panaji: With sand and laterite stones in shortage for construction activities, chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday directed the mines department to process all pending applications pertaining to minor minerals on priority and act against illegal sand mining and illegal laterite stone quarrying.Sawant also directed the mines department to put in place a proper online transit pass system for transportation of sand or other minor minerals from neighbouring states.The CM held a review meeting with the advocate general, chief secretary, DGP, secretaries, collectors, directorate of mines and geology and other senior officers.While ordering strict vigil on illegal mining activities, he also directed that necessary steps be taken to start sand mining through traditional extractors on an urgent basis.

On Ganesh Chaturthi, Family Reunions An Annual Affair At This 288- Year-Old Goa Mansion
Ndtv | 3 weeks ago | |
Ndtv
3 weeks ago | |

Such family reunions are a striking feature of Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa. (File)Panaji: Bollywood film "Singham Returns" was shot at the 288-year-old Sanvordekar Wada, but it is 'Family Returns' that plays out here every Ganesh Chaturthi, as in many other households in Goa.The mansion at Sanvordem in South Goa district, built in 1734, is abuzz with activity as more than 250 members of the Sanvordekar family have returned to celebrate the Ganesh festival.Such family reunions are a striking feature of the festival in the coastal state."More than 250 members of the family have come together to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi," said Mandar Sanvordekar, a member.The Wada or mansion, spread over 4,000 square meters with 80-odd rooms, four courtyards and four wells, had featured in the 2014 Ajay Devgn-starrer "Singham Returns".Members of the extended Sanvordekar clan are now scattered all over India. One of them, Wing Commander Vishwanath Sanvordekar, served in the Indian Air Force and was a decorated war hero. He died in a plane crash some three decades ago.Sagar Sanvordekar, a retired professional who lives in Mumbai, said he and his family visit the mansion every Ganesh Chaturthi. Each family has its own room in the building.Pranav Sanvordekar said the youngest generation is the 11th one since the mansion was built. "Those who attend the festival are from the seventh to the eleventh generation," he said, claiming that this is one of the oldest joint families in the country.Family members ensure that they contribute to the upkeep of the huge structure. "For the last around 300 years, the family has been contributing for a maintenance fund," he said, adding that its heritage features have been preserved even though it is costly.Kuwelkar family at Raia in South Goa district too has all its members reuniting on Ganesh Chaturthi.Returning to the century-old house for the festival has been a tradition for them, said Dr Saidutt Kuwelkar."The tradition will continue forever. That's the spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi," he said.Some families have also defied tradition to break new ground.At the Samant family at Borim in South Goa, 19-year-old Kshitija Samant became the first daughter from the family to perform Ganesh puja.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"Family members decided that I should be performing puja this year. It is not written anywhere that a girl should not perform puja," she said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

On Ganesh Chaturthi, Family Reunions An Annual Affair At This 288- Year-Old Goa Mansion
  • Ganesh Chaturthi is time for family reunion in Goa
  • The Indian Express

    The ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival began in Goa on Wednesday with households installing Ganesh idols at home.The festival is also a time for family reunion for many who have migrated outside.Sanvordekar Wada, a 288-year-old mansion in South Goa’s Sanvordem village, has more than 250 members coming together this time.“The mansion was constructed in 1734 and since then in each generation all family members celebrate the festival under one roof,” said Mandar Sanvordekar, a member of the clan.The palatial house has 80-odd rooms and four courtyards. The members of the extended family are spread across India.The eleventh generation of the family will be celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in the mansion this time.​Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceKuwelkar family at Raia in South Goa too has all its members reuniting on the occasion.Returning to the century-old house for Ganesh Chaturthi has been a tradition for them, said Dr Saidutt Kuwelkar.“The tradition will continue forever. That’s the spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi,” he said.Some families have also defied tradition to break new ground.At the Samant family at Borim in South Goa, 19-year-old Kshitija Samant became the first daughter from the family to perform Ganesh puja.“Family members decided that I should be performing puja this year. It is not written anywhere that a girl should not perform puja,” she said.​​📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!

State’s schools told to constitute children transportation committees
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Panaji: At the recent meeting of the North District Road Safety Committee, it was decided that the children transportation committee needs to be set up by all schools and for which compliance report is required by the transport and education departments.“The safety of children requires extra attention. The schools are on ground and are in better position to see in what conditions their pupils are travelling. Therefore, these committees need to be constituted by the schools and they must ensure all the safety checks are made. They must have regular meetings on road safety regulations in school buses,” said director of transport, Rajan Satardekar.In Goa, school buses that are Balraths fall under this category. However, contract carriage buses hired by schools, and smaller vehicles like taxis and minivans will also come under the purview of the committees.The committees under either district – North and South Goa — come under the watch of the respective district collectors, and also have representatives from the transport directorate’s regional office (RTOs) and the Goa police traffic cell.“It becomes very difficult to track vehicles individually, as a result, the intervention of schools in this becomes important,” Satardekar said.The directorate of education issued a circular on Friday insisting that “every school shall constitute a children transportation committee to look into the matters pertaining to safe transportation of school children.”Schools across Goa have therefore been directed to submit a compliance report in this regard to the directorate by September 7, for onward submission to the directorate of transport.TOI had reported in June that the director general of police (DGP) Jaspal Singh had written to collectors of North and South Goa districts to constitute a children’s safety committee for each district and a children transport committee for every school. A similar letter was addressed by the superintendent of police (SP) Shekhar Prabhudessai to the director of education and director of transport.

State’s schools told to constitute children transportation committees
After SIT, Goa panel under HC ex-judge to probe land grabbing cases
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday announced that his government has decided to appoint a one-man commission under former Bombay High Court judge, Justice V K Jadhav, to probe cases of land-grabbing in Goa.Stating that the government is “very serious” and wants to “settle all cases of land grabbing at the earliest”, Sawant said the commission, appointed under the Commission of Inquiries Act, 1952, will complete its inquiry in four months.The Chief Minister said several illegal land-grabbing cases are being investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government in June — a first for the state — and it was found in some cases that the property concerned was in “no-man’s land”.The Justice Jadhav commission is expected to make recommendations on the fate of such properties and suggest any tweaks in the law, if required.Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh Bishnoi said 15 people have been arrested in cases of 93 properties allegedly grabbed illegally, involving nearly 1.5 lakh sq metre land.“In some of these cases the property belongs to its real owners, but in some [other] cases we are yet to find the actual owners. What is to be done for that (these properties) is to be decided by the government,” Bishnoi said. So far, the accused have executed 71 illegal sale deeds with forged documents, he said.According to Bishnoi, 40 cases are under SIT’s probe in connection with the 93 properties — in 26 of these, the “real owners” were the complainants and police are yet to receive complaints from “authorised complainants” in the remaining 67 instances. Bishnoi said, “We have received over 230 petitions. We are in the process of identifying whether these are real owners or third parties.”Most cases under the SIT’s scanner are in Anjuna, Assagao, Badem, Calangute, Mapusa, Nerul, Parra and Reis Magos areas of North Goa and some from Vasco and Margao in South Goa.“Efforts are on to find the accused who have fled abroad and several teams are working to nab those in the country,” Bishnoi said.The SIT, constituted on June 15, is led by Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Nidhin Valsan and includes members from the state’s Archeology and Revenue departments and the state registrar. Chief Minister Sawant had earlier said that he will personally monitor the cases being probed by the SIT.

After SIT, Goa panel under HC ex-judge to probe land grabbing cases
Save Mollem group condemns dilution of Goa’s tree act
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: The Save Mollem group has condemned the state government’s dilution of the Goa Tree Preservation Act, including the requirement to carry out a tree census. In the public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the high court by the Living Heritage Foundation, it had stated that for 37 years the Goa Government had not undertaken a tree census as required by the act. In the PIL, the Goa government told the HC that tree census work has already begun in all 12 talukas of Goa. “Two days after informing the Goa bench of the Bombay high court that the tree census data will be uploaded every four months, the Goa Government, on August 19, flouted the order and amended the Goa Preservation of Trees Act saying there was no need for a census. When the matter came up for hearing on August 17, the court was kept in the dark about the amendments, which were notified two days after the hearing,” the group said. The group said that the court was not informed of the amendments even though a meeting was convened of the North Goa and South Goa tree authorities on July 29 during which it was concluded that amendments to the act be informed to the HC. As per the compliance report filed by the state in the HC on February 25, the tree census exercise has started in all 12 talukas. In July, the state government sought an extension of one year to complete the census. “It is pertinent to note that before the amendment tree census was needed to be carried out only on land outside government land and notified forest land as per Section 30 of the act. The latest amendment has, however, removed ‘government’ from the relevant section.” Following HC orders, the state government had already started conducting a census after studying the attributes of similar census done in cities like Pune, Mumbai and Thane. They said that apart from the census, another provision of the act required tree authorities to undertake critical studies of proposals and projects. “While the government had earlier told the court that critical studies would be conducted for all proposals that required cutting of trees, except in the case of standalone houses, the amendment now states that studies would be carried out only for projects that cover a land measuring more than one hectare,” the Save Mollem group said.

Save Mollem group condemns dilution of Goa’s tree act
Take up health, edu projects in mining belt, CM to DMFs
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday directed the chairmen of both the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) to take up projects in education, health, water and sanitation, among others, in the mining belt as around Rs 248 crore has been collected under the district mineral fund.Sawant, who is chairman of the state-level monitoring committee of the DMF, reviewed the 63 projects that have already been taken up by the DMF. Of the total funds collected only 50% of the funds can be utilised to take up projects.The chief minister directed the DMFs to complete the ongoing projects and take up new projects as funds were available.“We have given approvals to some projects at the meeting,” Sawant said. Of the 63 projects taken up, 41 are in North and 22 in South Goa. Some of these are projects have already been completed, some are in the ongoing stage and others are new sanctioned projects. The state government has clarified high-priority projects and priority projects. Under high-priority projects, the DMF can take up projects in sectors like education, health, drinking water, women and child welfare, sanitation and welfare of disabled, among others.Priority projects include environment preservation, pollution control, other physical infrastructure, irrigation, energy and watershed development.The DMFs were introduced in the Mine and Minerals Development Regulation (Amendment) Act in 2015 to create a district-level entity for welfare of mining affected persons to which contribution is directly made by the holders of mineral concessions.

Take up health, edu projects in mining belt, CM to DMFs
To win Margao seat, need to rebuild org here: Tanavade
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Margao: After losing the Margao seat in the last assembly elections, the BJP leadership seems to have finally put its finger on why victory has been eluding them in this constituency, and has decided to chart out the roadmap for success in Margao for the next assembly elections.“We get good votes for the Lok Sabha elections in Margao, but haven’t been able to win the assembly seat,” BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said. “When we keep on losing for a while, karyakartas also tend to get a bit frustrated. So we have decided to rebuild the organisation right from the booth level, the way it exists in other constituencies. Unless we reach down to the booth level and gain the trust and confidence of the karyakartas, we will not be able to get success.” BJP’s candidate for Margao, Manohar Ajgaonkar, was defeated by Digambar Kamat of Congress by a mammoth margin in the last assembly elections. Tanavade, however, exuded confidence of winning the Margao seat in the next assembly elections. “I am confident that BJP will win the Margao seat in the 2027 election. We will create that kind of atmosphere,” Tanavade said. He also said that BJP will win both the Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 polls. “We will penetrate into more areas of Salcete by reaching out to people.Stating that it was not right to term BJP’s attempt at attracting minority votes as Mission Salcete or something, Tanavade said that it has always been BJP’s endeavor to support any “minority leader” who comes forward to work for the party as was done in case of Velim when Savio Rodrigues was nominated as its candidate there. Earlier, at a function held at the South Goa party office in Margao, several people from Velim constituency were welcomed into the party fold.

To win Margao seat, need to rebuild org here: Tanavade
Relief for tourism sector, 2019-22 shack policy gets year’s extension
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: The state cabinet on Wednesday granted an extension to the beach shack policy 2019-2022 for erection of temporary seasonal structures such as beach shacks among others for the upcoming 2022-2023 tourism season.The cabinet also took a decision not to allot 33 shacks for this season as the allottees have not yet remitted the renewal fees for 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. “The said shacks will not be erected in the coming tourism season,” the cabinet note said.The state government had formulated a three-year beach shack policy for the 2019-22 seasons for erection of temporary seasonal structures including beach shacks, deck beds, umbrellas, huts and other structures. As per the policy, 259 shacks in North Goa and 105 shacks in South Goa were permitted on identified beach stretches.The Shack Owners’ Welfare Society (SOWS) had informed the government that shack allottees had faced huge financial losses due to delayed allotment of shacks for the 2019-2020 season as well as the Covid-19 lockdown. They had submitted a proposal requesting a waiver of fees for shacks and deck beds as well as excise fees for the 2020-21 season. Subsequently, the tourism department had granted a 50% concession in renewal fees.Meanwhile, 21 shack allottees from North and South Goa had not remitted the renewal fees for the 2020-21 season while 33 had not done so for the 2021-22 season. This is despite the additional relief provided by the state government by extending the time period to remit renewal fees of the respective seasons. They had also not erected their shacks for the respective seasons. As a result, the government has taken a decision to forfeit the security deposit of the defaulter allottees to the treasury, the cabinet note said.The beach shack policy 2019-22 culminated on May 31, 2022. However, SOWS requested the tourism department to grant an extension for a further period of at least two seasons on the same terms and conditions so that they can get an opportunity to make up for the losses suffered over the last three seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relief for tourism sector, 2019-22 shack policy gets year’s extension