Times of India | 11 months ago | 08-02-2022 | 11:51 am
CALANGUTE: Former Calangute BJP MLA and minister Michael Lobo joined Congress because he knew there was an anti-incumbency mood against him, BJP Goa election in-charge and Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday. “He thinks by changing his party people will change their minds and he will win. He claims he works for people, but in reality he’s become the boss of the people and thinks he’s the king,” Fadnavis said at the opening of Calangute BJP candidate Joseph Sequeira’s campaign office. Sequeira said Lobo has spoiled the image of Goa’s tourism hub. “Today Calangute is known for drugs, prostitution, goondagiri. That is the development he has done in the 10 years he’s been MLA,” he said, further criticising Lobo for bringing Calangute under the North Goa Planning and Development Authority against peoples’ wishes.
PANAJI: Two days after Union home minister Amit Shah said water-sharing issue between Karnataka and Goa was “resolved” by his party to allow diversion of water to Karnataka in consultation with the Goa government, two BJP ministers of the Pramod Sawant-led government came down heavily on Shah and said it was “condemnable and unacceptable” and no discussion had taken place on water diversion.“I condemn the Union home minister’s statement tooth and nail. We are not against in-basin use of Mhadei’s water. But we are against the water being taken outside its basin by Karnataka for use. It may be anybody, if they speak of out-of-basin use of water of the Mhadei, I will condemn it,” state environment minister Nilesh Cabral said on Monday.State water resources minister Subhash Shirodkar also said Shah’s statement was “unacceptable” and no discussion had taken place on diverting the Mhadei water to Karnataka when the Goa delegation had met the home minister.The ministers’ remarks come close on the heels of widespread anti-BJP sentiment on the Mhadei issue with gram sabhas across the state accusing the government of saying one thing and doing another. Cabral, who is also the law minister, said if the Centre did not support Goa, the state has plenty of legal options still available. He said that the House panel formed in Goa will be meeting Shah in Delhi shortly and will ask him when such a consultation was made with Goa.Goa has filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop Karnataka from carrying out construction activities based on the detailed project report (DPR) approved by the Centre to divert water from the Mhadei. The petition is likely to come up for hearing on February 13.“The Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal has only given permission to Karnataka to use water for drinking. Now, the statement made (by Shah) is that the water will be used for irrigation. We don’t know what this is,” said Cabral.“I have come here today (Saturday) to tell you that BJP, by finding a solution to the long-pending fight between the two states (Goa and Karnataka), provided the Mhadei water to Karnataka, which will be beneficial to farmers across many districts of Karnataka,” Shah had said at a public rally at Kittur in Belagavi district.Cabral reiterated that chief minister Pramod Sawant had not held any discussion whatsoever with Shah over diverting the Mhadei water in Karnataka’s favour.“I am backing the CM 100% on this. He has not made any such statement (before Shah) and he will not make it. I don’t know how Amit Shah is making this statement,” said Cabral.He said the Goa delegation had earlier gone to meet the home minister in keeping with the legal provision wherein the home minister holds negotiations to resolve any dispute existing between two states.“We don’t have any elections here, so I am condemning his (Shah’s) statement. We have two options. We can resolve it with the support from the central leadership. And if we don’t get support, we have the legal route. We will go to the courts. Ultimately, the judiciary will take all angles into consideration and decide,” said Cabral.“I do not accept the home minister’s statement. When we met him, no such discussion took place. He told us that there are BJP governments in Goa and in Karnataka and that our interests will be taken care of,” said WRD minister Subhash Shirodkar.
PANAJI: Old Goa police on Monday apprehended Eric Henry Vaz, 37, who allegedly cheated many persons of Rs 100 crore across the country, said North Goa SP Nidhin Valsan on Monday.Valsan said that Vaz is wanted in a cheating case registered at Golabari police station (Kolkata) and in other offences registered at Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Uttar Pradesh and other places for alleged fraud of over Rs 100 crore.“In the present case at Golabari, the accused is the sole proprietor of a firm named Gold Hill and was trading of coal and forex. Vaz invited investments from the public and he was entrusted with their funds, misappropriated the money. He cheated investors of over Rs 7 crore at Howrah, Kolkata, alone,” Valsan said.
CALANGUTE: A restaurant constructed in the CRZ no-development zone at the Calangute beach entrance was demolished on Monday.The restaurant next to Souza Lobo restaurant was demolished by the North Goa district demolition squad following a complaint lodged by the Calangute panchayat with the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) and other authorities a few years ago.The restaurant was illegally constructed in the no-development zone by flouting CRZ rules, said Calangute sarpanch Joseph Sequeira. The demolition started around 10am on Monday in the presence of the block development officer, Mapusa, and other officials, including a large number of policemen. Most of the construction in the 134sqm property was demolished by afternoon.
VASCO/MARGAO: Citizens protested outside the Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) on Monday demanding that the MPA stop coal operations and immediately shift to green cargo and cruise tourism. They said that a large number of steel and power plants, which are water-guzzling industries, have been proposed near the Malaprabha river basin, and that coal handling in Goa and the diversion of the Mhadei are linked.The protesters said that the Mhadei is being diverted only to benefit these steel plants and not for the farmers or drinking water purposes for locals, as is being falsely portrayed. The coal used by these steel plants is being transported from MPA to Karnataka via the rail network, they alleged.“If coal handling is stopped in Goa, the water consumed by steel plants, which is much more than the diversion proposed, will be available for farmers in Karnataka. If coal handling is allowed in Goa, the diversion of the Mhadei at Kalsa and Bandura and, subsequently, the diversion of other rivers flowing across state borders is inevitable,” the protesters stated in a memorandum to the MPA chairperson. A large number of citizens held a peaceful rally under the banner of United Vascokars and Goans. “The coal transportation is purely for the steel plants and the profit of private corporations. There is no benefit for Goa,” the citizens stated in their memorandum to the MPA. “The Mhadei water crises will be resolved only when coal handling and transportation are stopped at MPA,” said green activist Abhijit Prabhudesai. The protesters condemned the state government for its failure to protect the state’s interests.
PANAJI: The preliminary meeting of the House committee to study issues related to the Mhadei water diversion is scheduled on February 8 at 3.30pm. The 12-member committee is headed by WRD minister Subhash Shirodkar.The other members of the committee include Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, MLAs from BJP, Congress, MGP, AAP, RG and independent MLAs.Sardesai and Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco had written to Shirodkar to call an immediate meeting of the House committee following Union home minister Amit Shah’s statement that BJP has resolved a three-decade old issue by providing water to Karnataka with the help of Goa government.During the recently concluded winter session of the state legislative assembly, chief minister Pramod Sawant had announced a 12-member committee following demands by opposition MLAs.Former CM and ex-speaker Pratapsingh Rane had said, “The House committee must take a quick decision. We are waiting for a quick decision from the committee, else they will go ahead with the work.”