Times of India | 1 week ago | 14-05-2022 | 01:57 am
Margao: Freedom fighter Gopal Narayan Chitari, a resident of Cuncolim, passed away Friday morning. He was 87. The final rites were performed Friday evening. Chitari had participated in Goa’s freedom movement. A teacher by profession, Chitari was the recipient of the President's Award. In a conversation with TOI ahead of Goa’s liberation Day in December 2021, Chitari had expressed his disappointment over the state of affairs of Goa’s politics. “This isn’t the freedom we gave our blood and tears for,” he had said. “I sometimes wonder if we have really achieved freedom in the real sense of the term.” Commenting on political defections with scant regard to political ideologies, Chitari had said: “Democracy has been reduced to a mockery, as it’s difficult to identify who belongs to the ruling dispensation and who is from the opposition side.” Chief minister Pramod Sawant in his condolence message said that Chitari’s “immense contribution in Goa's Liberation struggle will always be remembered.” Cuncolim MLA Yuri Alemao said Chitari’s passing was “a huge loss to the historical village of Cuncolim.” “People of Cuncolim will miss his valuable advice and guidance,” Alemao said. Margao MLA Digambar Kamat also expressed his sorrow over Chitari’s death.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday held a meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and discussed the body’s proposal of establishing a Regional Indian Culinary Institute in Goa. Sawant expressed his support for the project in Goa and said that any tourism department building or a closed school building will be identified to run the institute from. The CM said CII could renovate such a structure and start the Institute after completing the required formalities. Sougata Roy Choudhury, senior director at CII, briefed the CM about the proposal. He said that the Regional Culinary Institute is planned in Goa by CII in partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne of Switzerland. This will be in addition to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Swiss Professional Diploma program being launched with IHCL (Taj Luxury Hotel properties). He said the various regional cuisines in India have a rich heritage and potential and there is a need to create this “lighthouse for regional Indian cuisines”. The CII said this will enable locals to acquire the much required knowledge and equip them for job placements in India and abroad. Roy Choudhury said this institute will train local youth to match world-class standards in the hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise-lines, catering and travel industry.
Panaji: The state’s plans for heli tourism that were grounded since 2016 following protests by Sinquerim locals, took off on Friday after a private agency, Blade India, an urban air mobility company, launched the state’s first helicopter service from the helipad at Aguada. The Blade India announced three rides — connecting airport to South and North Goa, charter service from Maharashtra and within Goa and a 10-minute experiential flights giving a bird’s eye view of the state’s coastline. Five years ago, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had to discontinue the project after local fishing community and villagers, supported by some local politicians, raised objections to the use of the same helipad. The GTDC tried to operate the service by moving it to South Goa, but it had to be discontinued for logistic reasons. Chief minister Pramod Sawant who launched the service exuded confidence that there won’t be “opposition” now and appreciated Blade India for taking the risk. “There was an opposition, then but I don’t think people will oppose these kind of services, now,” Sawant said replying to a query. Last year, the GTDC had commissioned a helipad at Old Goa and declared that it will re-launch the helicopter service. Sawant said that it could not start since permission from CRZ authority is awaited. In the past, the project was delayed as GTDC had to finalise a location for a helipad and later since it had to retender to select a service provider. Having a helicopter service in Goa, Sawant said, will boost tourism and help the tourists explore the hinterlands of the state. “The government will help the agency in getting permissions required to commence operations,” Sawant said. Blade India has identified landing points in Surla and Sanquelim in North Goa. The company’s founder Karanpal Singh said they will use the present infrastructure and also create new helipads with the help of the government. Blade India’s strategic partner Airbus Helicopters’ India and South Asia head Sunny Guglani said despite having rich flora and fauna, the country has not been able to attract more tourists as it is hard to reach the interiors. “We need solutions to connect potential tourists both foreign and Indian and create economic opportunities. Goa has beautiful beaches, forts and waterfalls. I think helicopters can play a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of Goa,” he said. Goa can lead the way for the rest of the country, Gunglani said. Copter service can be used for medical emergencies: CM TNN Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said Blade India’s helicopter services in the state can be used in case of medical emergencies, an option that was not available in the past. “In a medical emergency, where a patient needs to be immediately shifted to a hospital, wherever needed, the helicopter service can be availed. Sometimes, it takes two hours to transport a patient to a medical facility via road,” Sawant said. Goans and other travellers, he said, will also have the option of choosing helicopter service to visit nearby cities in Maharashtra or Karnataka, and help increase connectivity and also promote medical tourism. The chief minister said people from other neighbouring cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka will certainly use the helicopter services.
Chief officer lodged 6 complaints with the policeMargao: Chief officer of the Margao municipality Agnelo Fernandes on Thursday disclosed that he filed six complaints with the Margao town police during his tenure of 19 months on important files going missing from the office of the civic body.Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Fernandes said that important files going missing from the MMC office has become a regular feature.“I was disturbed when the officers concerned passed the buck on the missing files, which forced me to file complaints with the police. I also ignored phone calls that were made after the police complaints were filed,” said Fernandes, who has now been transferred as the member secretary of the Goa State Commission for Backward Classes.The files that went missing pertained to the approach road to the Sonsoddo dumpsite, procurement of grass-cutting machines, purchase of fire extinguishers for the dumpsite, truck hiring for municipality works, purchase of three garbage compactor trucks, construction of a shed for the material recovery facility and well cleaning, reliable sources revealed. Interestingly, the MMC chairperson and councillors have been making light of the files going missing.It has been alleged that that the important files “disappeared in pursuance of protection of someone’s interests, bribery or harassment of some people”.After the complaints were registered, two files were traced within the MMC office. Interestingly, no new file has gone missing in the last four months, the chief officer clarified.He also said that there has been rise in the number of cases filed in the court of the MMC chief officer.Every month on an average 15 new cases are filed in the court of the chief officer, while at least 10 cases are disposed of. Most of these cases pertain to illegal constructions and illegal vending. Cases are also filed against encroachments and blocking of way.Fernandes admitted that there has also been rise in pendency of cases during his tenure as the chief officer.“There were 300 pending cases when I took over. Their number has risen to 550. Nevertheless I succeeded in settling 50 cases in these 19 months,” he disclosed.
Bicholim: Following a demand by mining union workers to know their fate after June 6 when the government will take over lease areas, chief minister Pramod Sawant assured to protect their interest. Sawant was responding to a delegation that met him at the Sanquelim Ravindra Bhavan and submitted a memorandum calling upon the government to take care of workers’ interests. The workers demanded that existing workers get the opportunity to work even after the leases are handed over to a third party. They also said that they should continue to get salaries and those without salaries should be aided through the workers' security fund. “The government should extend full cooperation towards the education of workers’ children, and workers should get employment at the same place after the corporation is formed,” they said.
Margao: Two prime accused in the inter-state fake currency racket busted by Karwar police earlier this month were arrested from Margao on Thursday. Police gave the names of those arrested as Mushtaq Hasan Beg, 43, and Afzal Hasan Beg, 45. Two of their family members, Seema Mushtaq Beg, 40, and Asma Afzal Beg, who were also involved in the racket have been arrested, police sources said. Fake currency notes of 500 denomination, printers, laptops and other equipment used for printing the counterfeit currency were also seized. Following a raid at a place in Karwar, the Karwar police had busted the gang by arresting four persons, two of whom were from Margao, and one from Fatorda. The fourth was from Karwar. Police were on the lookout for Mustaq.