Times of India | 3 days ago | 23-09-2022 | 11:13 am
PANAJI: As part of a long-term butterfly monitoring programme in protected areas of Goa, the state forest department will begin conducting surveys in these areas with help from citizen volunteers. The first survey of this programme will be held at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary on September 24 and 25. The survey is being conducted by the forest department in collaboration with the Arannya Environment Research Organisation. “A unique opportunity for everyone in Goa. Come be part of an initiative that shapes conservation management strategies in Goa and be a stakeholder for wildlife conservation. Please note, that there are limited slots for volunteering, which shall be confirmed only through a confirmatory email,” the forest department said in its call for volunteers. Interested citizens can fill an online form or call 9022174196 / 9545326415 to participate. With the Western Ghats running through Goa, the state sees a good butterfly diversity. The world’s largest moth, the Atlas moth, and Asia’s largest butterfly, the Southern Birdwing, are among some that can be spotted in Goa. Goa has a lone state-run butterfly park at its Cotigao wildlife sanctuary at present, and earlier this year the state forest department has proposed a second government-run butterfly park at Mollem with central funds provided under the compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority (CAMPA).
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: 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.
Panaji: GFP on Sunday questioned if locals stand to benefit from the tourism department’s jetty policy. Party president Vijai Sardesai also asked if the state government would share revenue with the village panchayats.While agreeing that river transportation could ease traffic congestion, Sardesai made it clear that he saw the jetty policy as a step towards the introduction of offshore casinos in other parts of Goa.“I feel some issues remain ambiguous,” he said. “Once a cruise terminal comes into existence, how long will it take for offshore casinos to mushroom in other rivers across Goa?”To back his suspicions, Sardesai asked the government if it has data on the number of Goans employed in the local cruise sector. He also pointed out that the government has not shown a preference for locals while issuing licences for cruise boats and jetty operations or for jobs created by the sector.Sardesai said his party welcomes the importance being given to river transportation, which is in line with eminent architect Charles Correa’s vision. He said that if the state government is serious about water transportation and cruise tourism, it should promote Mormugao Port as a cruise ship terminal instead of a coal terminal.