Times of India | 1 week ago | 19-09-2022 | 07:49 am
PANAJI: In a worrying trend, an independent research firm has pegged Goa’s unemployment rate at 13.7% in August, much higher than the national average of 7%. Job creation in the state appears to be a problematic issue as the unemployment rate has remained in double digits for more than two years, with states like Bihar succeeding in creating more jobs than Goa. Except for a sharp drop in June, when agricultural activity picks up, joblessness in Goa remains stagnant suggesting that efforts to upskill and create jobs for locals has yet to pay off. Monthly data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt Ltd (CMIE) shows that Goa’s unemployment figures have been marching upwards since the start of 2022. Joblessness stood at 11.6% in January, peaking to 15.5% in April before easing a bit as summer tourism picked up and the monsoon activity kicked in. Business sentiment remains muted with entrepreneurs hesitant to expand their operations, Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) president Damodar Kochkar told TOI. “The optimism in Goa is missing. There is no income for the companies, so why will they create more jobs?” she said. Goa’s unemployment rate remains among the highest in the country with just five other states faring worse than the sunny state. Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan are the top three states with the highest unemployment followed by Jharkhand, Tripura and Goa. The figures prompted the opposition to question the Pramod Sawant government’s priorities. “As Goa crosses Bihar in unemployment, and continues at almost double the national average, Pramod Sawant is hard at work to collect more MLAs so that he has a job,” said GFP president Vijai Sardesai. “How long will he hide behind ‘atmanirbhar’ and ‘swayampurna’ before the youth start taking to the streets?” Kochkar said that the industry is waiting for the new industrial policy, the new logistics policy and other reforms to kick in before taking a decision about expanding operations in Goa. “Unless they put things in order, why will industry will come and expand. Industry is hesitating to expand. There is no incentive to expand because they are not getting plans approved on time,” he said.
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: 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.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said that during the tenant verification exercise in Goa around 20 Bangladeshis have been found so far residing illegally and without any valid documents. One of them has also been found with an Aadhar card. Sawant said that these illegal residents will be deported and the landlords who rented them rooms will be investigated by police.“There are people around without valid documents. I ask people renting their homes to either carry out tenant verification or do not keep tenants at all. We have found more than 20 illegal Bangladeshis residing in Goa. Work is on to identify others. We will deport them back to Bangladesh. We have sent a report to the home ministry,” Sawant said.He said that a report has also been sent to the home ministry regarding the misuse of Aadhar card by such illegal residents.“Those who had rented their premises to such illegal immigrants will also be investigated as to why they rented rooms without verification, since when, for what reason, whether they were aware of their background. Various wings of Goa police are working on identifying such illegal residents,” Sawant said.Such illegal immigrants are found to be working in businesses such as illegal scrapyards, the CM said. “We have passed the tenant verification bill in the assembly, after which the tenant verification exercise began across Goa. During the exercise we saw that many have no permanent address. These people are employed in illegal scrap yards and other illegal businesses. I appeal to those renting their houses to verify where their tenant is coming from,” Sawant said.
Panaji: The Porvorim police have booked an unidentified man, who introduced himself only as Dhairya, after he tried to enter a nightclub free of cost by claiming that he was the brother of chief minister Pramod Sawant. Although he was subsequently denied entry, he tried to forcefully enter the club. Sawant said he has instructed the police to nab the accused immediately.As per a complaint lodged before the police, a tall person called Dhairya, who had a strong build and fair complexion, and was dressed in a short-sleeved white shirt and trousers appeared at the entry counter of LPK Waterfront – a club that is located at Nerul – at around 12am on September 20. He claimed to be the brother of the chief minister in order to avoid being charged for entry into the club, the complaint stated. The club’s security in-charge, Pavan Rozer, said that the accused also promised ‘help’ in exchange for being let into the club. However, when he was denied entry, he attempted to use force to get into the club and even threatened the staff there with dire consequences, the complaint added.
Panaji: The cabinet has approved only 30% posts recommended by the Goa police for the Mopa airport police station and a traffic cell there.Goa police had submitted a proposal for creation of 160 posts for Mopa airport police station and 47 various posts for the traffic cell at Mopa airport. However, the administrative reforms department has recommended creation of 43 posts for the police station and 21 posts for the traffic cell.“Cabinet approved creation of 43 posts for Mopa police station and 21 posts for traffic cell at Mopa,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said.The 43 posts sanctioned for the police station include one police inspector, two police sub-inspectors, three assistant sub-inspectors, 14 head constables and 23 constables, including three drivers. Similarly, the traffic cell has been sanctioned one PI, two PSIs, three ASIs, six head constables and nine constables.Mopa airport police station will have 14 villages under its jurisdiction — Warkhand, Nagzar, Uguem, Mopa, Tamboxem, Torxem, Patradevi, Wazari, Casarvarnem, Hassapur, Chandel, Ibrampur, Hankhane and Alorna.In March, Goa police issued an order attaching 23 police personnel to Mopa airport police station with immediate effect.