Navhind Times | 1 week ago | 10-05-2022 | 02:22 am
He says no Goan begs in the statePanaji: Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phaldesai on Monday said that no Goan person begs in the state, and that there can be no scheme for beggars from the government side.“Every Goan is a self-respecting citizen and will never resort to begging,” Phaldesai observed, adding that those begging in Goa are from outside the state. He also admitted that the number of beggars in Goa have increased over the years.Reacting to the concern expressed by the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), during the recent meeting of its councillors, as regards the increasing number of beggars in the capital city, Phaldesai said that there can be no government scheme for beggars.“The government does not support begging and wants to alleviate poverty,” the Minister for Social Welfare said, pointing out that if there is any needy, old person in the state then there are institutions like Provedoria or old-age homes run by missionary organisations for such person. “We just cannot prepare schemes for beggars,” he maintained.On a parting note, Phaldesai lamented that the department of social welfare has no data about beggars in the state. Meanwhile, former city mayor and present city councillor Uday Madkaikar said that he had raised the issue of beggars during the recent meeting of the city councillors.“In the past, there were no beggars in the city, however their number now seems to be on the rise,” he maintained adding that these beggars seem to belong to a gang run by some person.Speaking further, Madkaikar said that these beggars, which include women with infants, are brought to the city in the early morning and then taken back late evening.“The government needs to find out about the origin of these beggars,” he demanded.Madkaikar also alleged that the beggars are involved in drugs trade and during his tenure as the city mayor; he had raided the beggars in the Campal area to find ATM card, bank pass book, cheque books and 10 to 12 mobiles with them.“As of today, these beggars have become menace for the city and are found in areas like Church Square, 18th June Road and so on,” he pointed out.Meanwhile, the CCP is in the process of setting up an internal squad to evict beggars.It may be recalled that the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar, in 2017 had admitted to rise in the number of beggars in the Goan towns, and further proposed to make the state beggar-free by establishing a full-fledged rehabilitation centre for them. The then tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar on the other hand had stated that the beggars will be stopped from begging in public places.A proposal by the Provedoria, the Institute of Public Assistance had some years ago recommended setting up a remand home for beggars to combat the beggar menace in Goa.According to information received from the Goa police, around 150 to 200 beggars are detained every year but with no facility in place, they are immediately released by the court.
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.
A plastic clean-up drive was held at Divar Island where over 50 kgs of garbage was collected. Members of the Rotary Club Panjim Midtown, students from Goa University (tourism department) and others rode for over 20 kilometres on BLive e-bikes from Old Goa Residency to Divar Island collecting plastic and waste material in an effort to amplify the message of Save Soil. Save Soil is a global movement launched by Sadhguru to save soil from extinction, and bring the necessary policies to address the catastrophic issue facing humanity. According to recent studies, soil extinction is an issue of growing concern in the state. The residents of Goa are concerned about the almost irreparable, unprecedented soil erosion seen on hills, river sides as well as other scenic locations in Goa. The quantity of plastic that makes its way into the rivers and also gets washed ashore makes for a shocking visual for the locals and tourists. Talking about the initiative, Sandeep Mukherjee, Co-founder and COO at BLive said, “BLive has been a key driver of sustainability in Goa. The 'Save Soil' effort saw participation from various volunteers and Rotary Club members who rode electric cycles across the island of Divar and collected plastic garbage amounting to over 50 kilos. We believe that consistent efforts need to be taken to spread awareness about sustainable mobility and saving the environment to make the planet cleaner and greener.” The clean up drive was also joined by John Corte, a resident of Divar Island and an environmental activist whose mission is to make the island a plastic-free zone. Said John, a resident of Divar, "However irreversible the problem may seem, there is always an opportunity for the people to do their part and contribute to aiding the planet. This clean-up initiative led by BLive has made a significant effort to spread awareness about the soil problem at hand."
Calangute: A day after Calangute residents demanded that a bar and restaurant be shut down for operating as a dance bar, the management, on Thursday, denied any illegal activities and stated that the premises have been taken on lease from former tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar. Management representative Dinesh Yadav told reporters that the entire controversy is a fallout of an assault wherein three sons of a woman security supervisor were assaulted by some locals. One of the sons has received serious head injuries following which police registered an offence of attempt to murder under Section 307 IPC against the locals. “It’s because an offence under Section 307 IPC has been registered that the locals are upset,” Yadav said. The assault had nothing to do with the bar or its customers, but was because of some quarrel between them, he said. Asked about permissions to operate the bar, Yadav said the Calangute panchayat had revoked the licence last year, but they have a stay order from the director of panchayats, so they can continue to operate. “We have been here for a long time and nobody made any complaints. It’s only because of this assault that we’re being unnecessarily dragged into a controversy,” he said. Locals who had gathered in front of the nightspot on Wednesday alleged that the place only has a bar and restaurant licence but operates as a dance bar.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant held a meeting with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Thursday to discuss efforts to attract new private investments into the state along with steps that can improve the ease of doing business for existing local industries. GCCI president Ralph de Sousa said that administrative reforms need to be introduced in all government departments so that the private sector can operate efficiently. Pointing out that the government aims to remove the need for various licences, Sawant said that the government has introduced ease of doing business reforms in the town and country planning department with more reforms planned in other departments. GCCI also urged the state government to reduce power transmission and distribution losses, obtain more power from the Centre and form district-level committees to oversee the power situation. “Regarding labour issues, GCCI requested a dialogue with the industry and government in labour-related matters. We have also asked the government to promote mass plantation of Goan fruit bearing trees along national highways,” Sousa said. GCCI has assured full support to create awareness about various schemes announced both at the state and the national level. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel along with other officials were present for the meeting. During his interaction, Sawant spoke about nurturing Goa into an agro industry state, while also facilitating growth of tourism, logistics, retail and manufacturing sectors. The chief minister also agreed to set up a Grievance Redressal Committee with GCCI members and industry stakeholders. The committee will directly connect with the chief minister’s office and discuss industry specific issues. Sawant said that the committee would aim to resolve all major concerns within six months. Sawant informed GCCI that the state government is working with the Telangana government to emulate their industrial model in Goa. He also said that a retail policy and logistics policy for Goa is on the anvil. The chief minister assured industry representatives that the Mormugao port connectivity will be completed within the next six to nine months. “This will be part of the multimodal linkage under the Gati Shakti programme and modernisation of infrastructure,” Sawant said.