Times of India | 4 days ago | 06-08-2022 | 04:58 am
Panaji: Goa Forward Party said on Friday that the state government is continuing to turn a blind eye to Karnataka’s attempt to divert water from the Mhadei basin. Party president Vijai Sardesai said that the government is doing nothing to stop the neighbouring state’s attempt to build bandharas to divert the water, and demanded the chief minister conduct a site inspection.“Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant should go there immediately and inspect the site. He roams with so many policemen, so now he should take those policemen and hold an inspection,” Sardesai said.In a letter to chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel, Sardesai said that the government must lodge a strong protest against Karnataka’s move. “The Karnataka government has started building bandharas to divert water from the Mhadei river,” said Sardesai.Given that the Karnataka assembly elections are scheduled around May 2023, Sardesai said that the state BJP is keeping silent about the diversion attempts, since Karnataka also has a BJP-led government, which is looking to win again.“We all know that the Karnataka assembly polls are being held in 2023, and it has to be seen whether BJP here in Goa will help BJP in Karnataka by completely selling Mhadei. The chief minister needs to take steps, escalate the issue and approach the tribunal and the Supreme Court to bring all this to light,” Sardesai said.In his letter to Goel, Sardesai said that Karnataka’s actions pose a “severe threat” to the Mhadei river that flows through North Goa. “Prior to this, the Karnataka government has shown that it does not care about the law and they are willing to, by hook or crook, divert Mhadei, which is our lifeline,” he said.The Fatorda MLA also said that Karnataka is building small bandharas instead of a large dam, because the construction of a dam requires environmental clearance.
Panaji: Hitting out at AAP, chief minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that government and local institutions are capable of running the primary schools in the state. AAP should first see the condition of schools in the state where they have a government, he said. Sawant said he did not need political advice to run the schools.The chief minister, who also holds the education portfolio, said that the state government has started a survey to identify government primary schools for amalgamation and not a single school has been closed so far. He said that the government has started speaking to teachers. “The merger of schools is at the planning stage,” Sawant said.“If there are only four students and primary schools are in a 2km radius we want to merge them and provide four teachers and improve the infrastructure,” the chief minister said.He said that the state government is capable of running government primary schools and in the last 60 years it has done so. Sawant said that if the parents are ready to take responsibility to run the schools, then the government will help them with additional teachers. “There is no need for any political party to take over government primary schools to run and the government is committed to run the schools.” AAP on Tuesday requested director of education Shailesh Zingade to reverse the decision of merging government primary schools in the interest of public and students. In a memorandum, AAP offered to “adopt” these schools which are to be merged and “show how the enrolment in these schools can be increased by providing futuristic facilities in these schools”.The chief minister said that first they should see the bad condition of schools in the state which are run by their party. Sawant said that AAP only wants publicity and to print some news in Delhi. The chief minister said that out of 540 high schools, the state government runs only 10% of high schools. “Institutions and the government are capable of running the schools, there is no need for political parties to get involved. The government will not allow any political party to run the schools,” he said.
Panaji: All government land that has been encroached on will be reverted to its original position, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday. “I will not allow anyone to grab government land,” Sawant said.A special investigation team (SIT) has registered a first information report against an unknown person for allegedly illegally selling 73 properties belonging to the state government in Sanguem taluka. The Goa legislative assembly passed the Registration (Goa Amendment) Bill, 2022, to empower the authorities investigating land grab cases to file a case before the appropriate court or tribunal to determine the veracity of documents.“The investigating authority shall file a case before such a court or tribunal only after ascertaining on exhaustive investigation that the document registered with the registering officer is fraudulent,” the bill states. “The court or tribunal may, upon such enquiry as it deems fit, order cancellation of a document which is found to be fraudulently registered, and it may also order restoration of property in the name of the original owner on cancellation of such document.”The officer must revert the land to its original owner within two days of the court order declaring a document forged, the Bill states. The chief minister had also said that not a single person has approached the SIT to claim ownership of the land being investigated by them. “Anonymous properties, whose owners are in foreign countries or whose owners do not exist, such properties have been sold or illegally grabbed. This will not be permitted. Such properties will belong to the state government,” the chief minister had said.Elaborating, the CM said that in case there are illegally grabbed properties of Goans who have surrendered Indian citizenship and moved abroad, then the government may also think of taking over these properties. Sawant said that the state government will sign a memorandum of understanding with Isha Outreach for the Save Soil Movement started by Sadguru. He said that under this program there will be exchange of expertise, training and empowerment of stakeholders and public awareness. “It will help us in achieving sustainable goals in Goa,” he said. Sawant said that Isha Outreach will share its soil policy with the state.
PANAJI: A Mapusa court has dismissed the application of former Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar who was seeking directions for an FIR to be registered for cheating and forgery against 10 of its former MLAs who merged with BJP in 2019. Chodankar had alleged that they forged documents for the purpose of producing it in a disqualification petition which was then pending before the speaker of the legislative assembly. The court relied on the order passed by the high court in a writ petition between the same parties in which the order of the speaker was maintained by the high court. “Thus, there is no element of forgery for which no direction can be given to the respondent to register the FIR,” stated Shilpa S Pandit, JMFC, A-Court, Mapusa. “Merely because the letter head and the seal of the said committee is used for preparing the resolution, it cannot be said that the persons named therein have committed any forgery in creating the said resolution. That being so, no cognisable offence is made out in the complaint of the applicant. Hence, no FIR can be registered for any such offence alleged in the application,” the court added. The court observed that on July 10, 2019, when the resolution was passed to merge with BJP, all the persons who allegedly committed forgery were members of the GPCC and that being so had access to the letter head and seal of the committee. Public prosecutor R Barreto contended that none of them have alleged that their signatures on the resolution are forged. “That being so, it is an admitted position that said letter is signed by them all. Hence, there is no question of any forgery for which the complaint can be registered,” the court held. Chodankar had lodged a police complaint on April 20 last year alleging that the 10 MLAs conspired and fraudulently created a false document claiming to be a resolution of the GPCC and purportedly passed in the meeting of the GPCC held on July 10, 2019 to merge GPCC with BJP. He alleged the resolution was falsely created using counterfeit letter head and counterfeit seal of GPCC. Despite Chodankar’s complaint no FIR was registered, his counsel S Vaingankar submitted to the court.
After receiving state party status in Goa, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday that the “Broom” party will soon become a “national ” party. The Election Commission of India (ECI) declared AAP a state party in Goa, after reviewing its performance in the February Assembly polls.Congratulating party workers, Kejriwal posted a communication the party received from the Election Commission and said, “After Delhi and Punjab, AAP is now a state recognised party in Goa too. If we get recognised in one more state, we will officially be declared a national party.”He further added, “I congratulate each and every volunteer for their hard work. I thank the people for reposing faith in AAP.”
Margao: President of BJP’s Margao mandal, Rupesh Mahatme, on Monday said that the speculations about Margao Congress MLA Digambar Kamat joining BJP were just that, speculations, and that such “rumours” were being spread by Kamat’s own workers.“Kamat doesn’t dare to join BJP. No leader from Goa, not even from Margao, has any knowledge about Digambar joining BJP. If he does join BJP, we will declare our stand at that time,” Mahatme said. He said that four councillors of the Margao Municipal Council were likely to join BJP any time. “Two councillors joined BJP soon after the civic polls, and four more are likely to join soon. Once that happens, the strength of BJP councillors ill go up to 13 and come into majority,” Mahatme said. The development has come at a time when a change of guard in the council is due soon as chairperson Lyndon Pereira’s term, as per an unwritten agreement among councillors, ends this month.In the civic polls held last year, Margao Civic Alliance, a coalition between GFP and Model Margao propped up by Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, had won 17 of the 25 seats, defeating BJP’s panel which had to contend with just seven seats.