Times of India | 3 days ago | 24-09-2022 | 04:48 am
Panaji: The state tourism department has decided to extend the contract of beach cleaning agency, Karnataka Commercial and Industrial Corporation, by three months. Tourism minister Rohan Khaunte told TOI that the extension is being granted as the government needs time to select a new agency through tendering. The agency was appointed in November 2019.Khaunte has already made his plan public of seeking to have comprehensive beach-cleaning along Goa’s coast, which will include making beaches safe and secure for tourists. Beach cleaning is conducted from morning till sunset. There have been several complaints that shorelines are not kept clean despite waste being picked up regularly during the day. The tourism department presently spends around Rs 7.5 crore annually towards beach cleaning.Khaunte said that the department is also looking at whether waste can be picked at night, till around 9pm, so that the beaches remain clean. “I have asked the department to work on a different plan so that cleaning can be started at 6am and go on till 9 pm,” he said.
Panaji: Saligao police on Monday arrested one person for theft at a restaurant at Sangolda. Police said that Aakash Basavaiah, a native of Bengaluru and an employee of the restaurant, stole Rs 45,000 from its cash counter, and further used the restaurant scooter worth Rs 95,000 and fled, thereby causing loss to the complainant to the tune of Rs 1.4 lakh. tnn
PANAJI: In a significant victory for environmental activists and citizens, Town and Country Planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane buckled under pressure on Monday and scrapped the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. Rane, who initially announced that he would keep the contentious norms in abeyance, appears to have backed down in the face of street protests and an admonition by the BJP. Rane also announced that the TCP department has decided to scrap all approvals granted to applicants under Section 16B of the TCP Act. Rane said that the department will file an affidavit before the Bombay High Court at Goa informing the court about the policy decision. “Keeping the TCP amendments in abeyance will create more doubt so I have decided to scrap the amendments,” said Rane. “The expert committee and the TCP board will discuss these amendments.” Earlier in the day, environmentalists and concerned citizens held a peaceful protest against the draft Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations outside the TCP building. The protest was organised by the Federation of Rainbow Warriors and other activists. The activists said that the Town and Country Planning department has shown no scientific basis while framing the amendments to Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations. Over the last two weeks, several villages have also organised gram sabha meetings where locals have panned the TCP department’s move to encourage golf courses, film cities, farm houses and other mega projects in the state.
PANAJI: Revolutionary Goans (RG) hit out at town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane after the latter accused political parties of submitting repetitive objections against the Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. RG chief Manoj Parab said that the draft regulations apply to the entire state and all Goans had the same concerns. He said that Rane will be forced to apologise for introducing the draft norms. “He claims that the objections are cut and paste but I want to remind him that he has framed rules for the entire state not different rules for each village. If he has the ability to do, make plans for each village and then we will submit separate objections,” said Parab. Further, RG has demanded that Rane should translate the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations into Konkani and increase the time frame to submit objections and suggestions. The last day to submit objections and suggestions is September 28. On Rane’s recent dismissive reference to the nativist party, Parab said, “I want to remind him that we have one MLA in the assembly.”
PANAJI: Goa should focus on conserving and improving the population of sambar deer in its protected areas to help tiger conservation in the state. Sambar is the ideal prey for tigers, as it provides sufficient supply of meat for days and will allow tigers to stay and breed in Goa, said A J T Johnsingh, Padma Shri awardee, conservationist, and former dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. While subsequent ministers have often said that there are no ‘resident’ tigers in Goa and these big cats keep shifting base to the forests across the border, Johnsingh said proactive measures are required to get tigers to breed inside Goa’s protected areas. “Barking deer, spotted deer may not contribute to tiger conservation and gaurs tend to attack tigers. Sambar, once hunted, can be consumed for days. First, a detailed survey of the sambar population is required in Goa. There are sambars, but some years ago as many as 20 were poached. Sambar conservation in Goa is tiger conservation,” Johnsingh told TOI. He said the argument that a tiger reserve is not needed in Goa does not stand because though the state has almost 700sqkm of protected area, these have many human settlements within. “At least 150sqkm of core area is required with no human population. Any existing settlements should be rehabilitated. Simultaneously, efforts should be made to improve sambar population in the entire 700 sq km. And Goa will see results in five years’ time. Having a tiger reserve will earn Goa funds from the Centre for support staff, a good field director and vehicles to improve its protected areas,” said Johnsingh, who has helped shape the Wildlife Institute of India over his two-decade-long stint there. An interim cattle compensation policy is also vital for tiger conservation, Johnsingh said. “In Corbett, in the buffer area, more than 10,000 cattle have been killed over the years. But there is not a single report of tiger poisoning. This is because if Rs 20,000 is provided as cattle compensation to locals, Rs 5,000 of it is provided immediately as interim relief. Some wealthy persons from Goa should come forward to help with funds for such immediate relief in the interest of tiger conservation,” he said. Goa also needs more courageous forest officials, Johnsingh said. “We need forest officials who have courage to tell ministers what exactly is needed for Goa,” he said. Johnsingh also said Goa is not suitable for tiger safari focused tourism because of its terrain and other factors. “In Goa, one should focus on nature tourism, like birdwatching, reptile watching, amphibian watching, rather than tiger tourism,” he explained.
Panaji: Comunidades in Goa can be strengthened by approaching the courts and gaunkars of Goa should stand firm to establish their dominion of their land, said former power minister and MLA Sadanand Malik. He was speaking at the comunidade awareness fellowship held at Navelim-Sanquelim on Saturday. “The state government has no authority to amend the Code of Comunidade through the Legislative Assembly as the code governs comunidades and gaukars,” he said“The centre has never admitted that comunidade land in Goa belongs to them. So, it is surprising that the state government tries to project that it has right over land that belongs to comunidades. ,” Malik said, as he explained to the components how they are legally entitled to stop the government from “trampling over” them. Calling for unity, former Pale MLA Pratap Gawas said, “The fight now is being fought by few individuals. We need to be more cohesive and show our unity more often,” he said. President of Moira comunidade Rui Gama said that comunidades in Goa need to be “alert and active” and that “outsiders tend to think they have rights over comunidade land” because “comunidades are complacent.” The session concluded with gaunkars calling for the setting up of a legal cell and a committee to centrally coordinate problems faced comunidades in Goa.