Times of India | 6 months ago | 24-05-2022 | 04:39 am
Colva: The carcasses of two Olive Ridley turtles washed ashore at Benaulim on Monday afternoon. Fisherman Pele Fernandes said he was on the beach around 2.30pm when he noticed a dead turtle washed ashore, followed by a second one a little later. He said it is surprising because water sports have been stopped for the last fortnight due to rough sea conditions and also fishing canoes have not ventured into the sea. Locals said they fear that tar balls could be the reason behind these fatalities. TNN
New Delhi: The new international airport at Mopa is likely to become operational in the first week of January, possibly on the fifth, sources said.CM Pramod Sawant had said at the Times Now Summit last week that PM Narendra Modi could tentatively inaugurate it on December 11.“It takes about a month to make an airport operational after the inauguration,” sources said. “Airlines need to mark on tickets to and from Goa which airport the flight will operate from, Dabolim or Mopa. Also, CISF has to move in and take over security of the facility, which takes around 15 days. People who have bought tickets to and from Goa for the coming months will be informed by airlines via SMS in case their flights will now land at or depart from Mopa.” GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), which will operate the airport, is looking at January 5 as Mopa’s opening date. On October 26, the directorate general of civil aviation had issued the aerodrome licence to the Airport after a series of checkposts, thus, the airport was certified to be safe for handling flights. Airlines like IndiGo have indicated that they will operate from both the existing Dabolim airport and the new one at Mopa.The Mopa airport is keenly awaited as Dabolim, a Naval airport, has limited slots for scheduled commercial flights. For years, this has meant flights during limited hours of the day — and hence high fares in peak travel season — for passengers. Being a 100% civilian airport, Mopa will allow more flights to Goa — at least doubling from current numbers.The airports economic regulatory authority (AERA) this August issued an ad hoc tariff order for the GMR-developed Mopa airport. For the first few years, second airports that will soon start opening in Indian cities/regions could be relatively more expensive than the single ones operating there so far. The reason: A majority of them will need to compete for traffic with the existing ones. When Bengaluru and Hyderabad got new airports in 2009 and 2008, respectively, the exiting ones — HAL and Begumpet — were closed for commercial flights. AERA’s ad hoc aeronautical charges tariff order for Mopa includes a user development fee (UDF) of Rs 450 and Rs 1,100 per departing domestic and international passenger respectively. The GMR group that has developed Mopa had proposed a UDF of Rs 980 and Rs 1,500. The authority felt “the proposal of the airport operator is on the higher side and needs to be moderated”. The authority has decided to allow GGIAL to charge the ad hoc tariff till March 31, 2023, or if the regular tariff order is issued before that.
Vasco: The department of legal metrology during a raid at Housing Board Colony, Zuarinagar, Vasco of BPCL domestic LPG cylinders, found 13 of the domestic LPG cylinders to be underweight.On Monday, people residing in Lamani Colony, Zuarinagar raised a protest after finding some cylinders brought for distribution were short in weight.Both the delivery person and driver of the distribution vehicle abandoned the truck and fled from the site after consumers confronted the duo.Following the uproar, assistant controller, legal metrology, South Zone-I Margao, Nitin Purushan along with his team rushed to the site and conducted a raid. Purushan said that necessary action will be initiated against the gas agency as per provisions of the legal metrology rules and acts. The department has advised consumers to check the weight of a cylinder before buying it and check the verification certificate issued by the department, and also urged citizens to lodge complaints on the designated number.
Panaji: The Union environment ministry (MoEFCC) has amended the CRZ notification, 2019, to allow activities like manual extraction of sand from sandbars in rivers and setting up of temporary structures, like beach shacks, in CRZ areas.The Centre has also given local authorities almost all powers to clear projects, except in case of those coming up in ecological sensitive areas and in water.A senior government officer said the amendments will be applicable only in states where the CZMP 2019 is notified and that, in the case of specific projects mentioned in the CRZ notification, 2019, approval will have to be sought from the MoEFCC.With reference to removal of sandbars in CRZ area, the MoEFCC’s CRZ amended notification, 2019, issued last week states: “The sandbars in intertidal areas shall be removed by traditional coastal communities only through non-mechanised manual method.”It further states that state governments and Union territory administration can permit removal of sand in specified quantity and in specified time period on the condition that the extraction is being carried out by registered persons from the local community. The notification also mandates annual renewal of the extraction registration.Various organisations and citizens have opposed amendments to the CRZ notification, 2019, related to oil and gas exploration, sand extraction from sandbars and retaining shacks on beaches during the monsoon, stating that the proposed changes will spell disaster for the environment and local communities.“For projects or activities also attracting the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, the Coastal Zone Management Authority shall forward its recommendations to the central government or state Environment Impact Assessment Authority for Category A and Category B projects, respectively, to enable a composite clearance,” the CRZ amendment states.For those projects not covered under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, but attracting the CRZ amended notification, 2019, and located in CRZ-I or CRZ-IV areas, Coastal Zone Management Authority shall forward its recommendations to the Centre, the MoEFCC notification states.The Centre had received representations from different stakeholders — state governments and ministry of petroleum and natural gas — through the director of general of hydrocarbon for making certain amendments in the CRZ notification, 2019, inter-alia, for delegating the powers of giving Coastal Regulation Zone clearance to State Coastal Zone Management Authorities or state governments for small infrastructure projects located in CRZ-I and CRZ-IV areas, exempting exploratory drilling and associated facilities thereto except in CRZ-IA areas, including the provision of temporary beach shacks as already available in Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011, as amended and expanding the said provision to all coastal states, allowing removal of sand bars by traditional communities.“Projects or activities not covered in the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, but attracting this Notification and located in CRZ-II or CRZ-III areas or those projects or activities listed in sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph 7 of this notification, shall be considered for clearance by the concerned Coastal Zone Management Authority within sixty days of the receipt of the complete proposal from the proponent,” the MoEFCC notification said.
Panaji: With Maharashtra shutting down the Tillari dam for maintenance, parts of Bardez taluka are struggling for water supply. Residents in some of the wards in Porvorim said they are facing a lot of inconvenience due to the erratic water supply. Public works department (PWD) and the water resources department (WRD) confirmed that Goa and Maharashtra agreed to shut supply of water from the Tillari dam from November 11 to December 10 to carry out the annual maintenance, including the Tillari project tributaries.“There is a severe shortage of water in some parts of Porvorim, such as Pundalik Nagar Housing Board, Journalists Colony and the tail end areas,” said a resident. “This has been happening for the last 15 days. PWD does not have sufficient water tankers to supply water.”PWD officials have urged residents to use water “judiciously” till the repairs are complete. “Maharashtra stopped releasing water on November 11 and the WRD has said that the work will go on for at least a month. The WRD officials have also conducted site visits to understand the condition of the canals. Since the Tillari infrastructure is several years old, there is a lot of seepage. The maintenance work is expected to be completed by December 10,” said a PWD chief engineer.To meet the needs of water in Porvorim and nearby areas, around 100 MLD is being pumped from the Amthane dam and the balance requirement is being taken from the barrage at Assonora.
PANAJI: A mere month after the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) set out to study the presence of guitarfish in the state’s waters, it discovered a 114cm-long widenose guitarfish, the largest of its kind in the world. Most species of guitarfish belong to the shark family, and have been listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Prior to the discovery in Goa, the largest-recorded widenose guitarfish was 93cm long. “We took up the study in April 2021 and have recorded 77 individual guitarfish of different species in Goa so far,” said Aditya Kakodkar, a senior coordinator for marine conservation at WWF’s Goa office. “The most numbers were found in Caranzalem, followed by Benaulim.” “ The largest, 114cm long, was found caught in a ramponn or traditional net used by fishers at Caranzalem. It was a female and already dead by the time it was discovered.” As the guitarfish does not look very appetising, it is not of much economic value to fishers, and is largely caught unintentionally, said Kakodkar. “The fish is either sent to fishmeal plants or discarded. As its skin is tough to remove, it is hardly ever consumed. Occasionally, fishers may consume it themselves. In case of the largest female guitarfish found, we let the fishers take it away. We have another one-and-a-half year of the study left, and we will collect data and work with fishers, students, and the public at large to raise awareness about conservation of guitarfish. We want to do it without interfering with the trade of fishers,” said Kakodkar. He said that guitarfish are of great scientific value and importance to the marine ecosystem, and this makes their conservation important as they prey on unhealthy fish as well as serve as prey for larger fish. Of the seven species, six are in IUCN’s critically endangered list, while one, the white-spotted guitarfish, is also endangered as per India’s Wildlife Protection Act. In Goa, the sharpnose, widenose and stripenose guitarfish have been found so far, all in the IUCN list. “The guitarfish is mostly found in the tropical waters in intertidal zones. It is sourced to be smuggled to the far east, where its fins and gills are consumed in a soup. For this purpose, it is smuggled from India too. But we do not have sufficient data about guitarfish at present. With CSR support, WWF India wants to collect data, which will help us lobby with the government for its conservation in future.” So far, 17 coastal stretches in Goa have been scanned for the presence of guitarfish, and awareness programmes have been held for fishers operating in Caranzalem and Benaulim. On Sunday, a third awareness programme was held for members of the Siridao traditional fishermen’s association. “We interviewed 117 fishers, besides some old timers who were into the fishing trade. We were told that guitarfish were found more often in Goa earlier as compared to today,” said Kakodkar.