Local Goa News

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hefty water bills ‘haunting’ installation of new JICA meters

MARGAO: A ‘ghost’ of hefty water bills has alerted the consumers in Comba, Aquem, Margao and Agalli-Fatorda, who are now refusing to get new JICA meters installed for their water connections.
PWD officials, on a condition of anonymity, have confirmed it, further adding that the refusal to get the JICA meters installed has put their staff in an embarrassing position.
So far, the PWD has fitted nearly 8,000 water meters in Margao and Fatorda areas, and another 16,000 odd meters are yet to installed.
Each water consumer, who used to receive a water bill of Rs 800 a month is now getting a bill of Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500.
Sources revealed to this daily that the message on ‘faulty mAeters’ has alerted the water consumers in Comba, Aquem, Margao and Agalli-Fatorda, who are now refusing to get their old connections fitted with new JICA water meters.
They refused to get the old meters replaced, alleging that the company which has supplied the water meters has been blacklisted.
Sources informed that the PWD workers were driven away in a couple of such incidents during the last week.
Sources informed that of the installed meters (8,000-odd) nearly 60 per cent are running at a high speed, giving shockers to the water consumers, and that on every passing day, the PWD (water division) receives on an average eight to ten complaints.
“Why should we suffer? The new meters are running at a very high speed. The bill amount is shocking. PWD is asking us to pay the amount and then seek verification, and this made us argue at the PWD office. Is this how the government functions?” asked Sunita Naik, a housewife from Aquem, Margao.
She was one of the many water consumers who received a hefty water bill. Joseph Rodrigues of Fatorda said that he received three consecutive water bills of hefty amount.
“I enquired with the PWD. The officials assured to check the water meter. They took it. And, after some days, it was re-fitted, but there was no difference,” he informed. A BJP leader from Margao, Pandurang Naik said that the meters are running at a spiralling speed and gives shocking readings.
“My meter reading showed that 4000 liters of water is consumed every day. The JICA meters fixed at various dwellings in Margao and other places in South Goa are showing readings which are approximately 10 times more than what the old meters did,” Naik added.
Naik, who had announced to stage a morcha to draw the government’s attention to the issue, said that he will meet the Chief Minister, and even then if the things do not improve, he would stage morcha with the people of Margao.
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat held a meeting with PWD engineers during the last week to discuss on how to resolve the issue.
However, sources said that nothing positive has come out of it as the engineers have expressed their helplessness in resolving the issue.
“Water supply division should take a decision on it. I held a couple of meetings with the engineers, and they had assured to work out a mechanism to sort out the issue, but all in vain,”Margao MLA said. The sources informed that the contract worth Rs 58 crore for supplying JICA water meters was awarded to a Pune-based company, which has been blacklisted for compromising on product quality.
It is learnt that there is shortage of equipment to test the `faulty meters, and this has added to the woes of the water consumers. The concerned PWD engineer could not be contacted as he is on leave.
However, a technical section official, Yogesh Desai said that water meters are checked in presence of consumers and those found faulty are being repaired.

Herald Goa News

PM Narendra Modi to seek support for NSG membership during his five-nation tour

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his five-nation tour later this week, which will include Switzerland , where he will push for effective bilateral mechanism to share tax-related information in keeping with the BJP government's mission to bring back suspected black money of Indians stashed away in Swiss banks.
Switzerland has hardly been chosen by Indian PMs as a destination en route to the USA in the past, or during visits to Europe, but Modi's trip has a clear domestic and strategic agenda.
His trip to Switzerland will have another element: Swiss support is being viewed important for India's much desired membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
This grouping works by consensus. Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee during his just concluded trip to Beijing, asked its leadership to support India's case after it announced to block India at NSG.
NSG plenary meeting will be held in June in South Korea where India's membership to the body could be discussed.
Modi had promised to bring back black money from abroad during his election campaign in 2014. Preventing corruption has been his slogan in most campaigns and was the highlight of his speech at India Gate on Saturday night. This will be high on the PM's agenda when he lands in Switzerland from Qatar en route to the USA.
Earlier this year, speaking to a media group here, Swiss envoy to India Linus von Castelmur hoped that his country would complete formalities regarding automatic exchange of tax information (AIE), following which tax authorities from the Western European country will be able to exchange information under this mechanism with their Indian counterparts.
The AIE mechanism would enable greater Indo-Swiss cooperation in this government's fight against suspected black money in Swiss banks in future.
According to Castelmur, Switzerland has provided data of some existing bank accounts to India during the past year. Berne has also exchanged data with New Delhi on some HSBC accounts of Indians.
Meanwhile, Mexico will be Modi's last destination in this trip. He had earlier planned to visit Mexico City at the time of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington early April following an invite but it was postponed.
Mexico is also a member of NSG. Indo-Mexican bilateral trade has grown rapidly in recent years. At $6.45 billion in 2014, it is still well below its potential and may well reach $10 billion by 2018. India is the thirdlargest buyer of Mexico's crude oil , according to MEA data.
Investments from India in Mexico are growing. Most of the leading Indian companies have invested in facilities and plants in Mexico, taking advantage of its strategic location, large market and investment friendly policies.

TOI Goa News

Man quizzed for bringing 12 kids to Goa

PANAJI: The women's police station, PANAJI , has initiated an inquiry against a Brazilian , who runs an unregistered, Mumbai-based NGO , for bringing 12 children into the state from Mumbai a month ago. The children were not found with him when the police raided his residence. As per documents recovered during the raid, most of the children hail from Maharashtra.
Police said the state commission for children received a tip-off that many children had been residing with a foreigner at Porvorim. North Goa SP Umesh Gaonkar , said the women's police station is questioning the Brazilian national for bringing the children to Goa. He is believed to have stated that he got the children's school admission done in Goa at the cost of 5 lakh. As he is unemployed, police are now ascertaining his source of income.
Police said the NGO was not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, nor were the children produced before the child welfare committee at Mumbai. The NGO started its activities in 2008. No case has been registered in the matter so far.

TOI Goa News

Illegally staying Nigerian held for raping woman

Was staying without a visa; lived and moved in Goa freely, was trying to escape from the country through other routes; nabbed at Panvel railway station

PANJIM: Mapusa Police have nabbed a Nigerian national accused of raping a 31-year-old woman from Mapusa. Mapusa police arrested Kennith Upwhegha, 41, at Panvel railway station within 48 hours of the crime being committed. They were assisted by Mumbai railway police. Police sources said the accused was attempting to escape from country.
The Mapusa Police Inspector Tushar Lotlikar said that the Nigerian was staying without a valid visa. The investigation will proceed once the team reaches Goa with the accused.
He said a separate offence will be registered for violating the visa terms and conditions under the Foreigners Act.
A 31-year-old woman from Bardez was allegedly raped by a Nigerian after being kidnapped at knife point from Parra. According to the survivor’s complaint, the incident took place between 4.15pm and 7pm on Saturday. She was riding her scooter and was stopped at a junction in Parra by another scooter with two Nigerians on it. One of them sat on her scooter and took her to Assagao at knife point. She was then taken to his rented room in Doshishir at Assagao where she was allegedly raped.
Following the complaint Mapusa police inspected the site and registered the case. Teams were dispatched to Mumbai on receiving information that the accused had crossed the border and was on the way to Mumbai.
Sources said the accused kept moving and changing his location frequently. A Mapusa police team was sent Sunday evening and with the help of Panvel Police the Nigerian national was arrested on Monday afternoon.

Herald Goa News

Nadkarni dispels Goans’ fear over dual citizenship

State Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni, who has been recently elevated to the position of the Additional Solicitor General of India, in an exclusive interview with ‘The Navhind Times’, speaks to Ramnath N Pai Raikar about the impact of the dual citizenship on certain Goans vis-à-vis registration of their births at the Central Registry in Lisbon. He also shares the legal side of the demand for granting special status to Goa and challenges he faced as the state Advocate General, among other topics

Q: Now that you have been entrusted with the responsibility of Additional Solicitor General of India and will have to shift to the national capital, how do you see in hindsight your four-year tenure as the state Advocate General, especially the state-related issues, which posed challenges before you?
One of the most challenging issues was getting to set up the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal because we had to be literally after the central government for the purpose. And then, from 2007 onwards, the Karnataka government had started construction of the channel – interconnecting duct – in Kankumbi, which had almost reached completion, and in the normal course water would have started flowing in it. At that stage, we applied for an injunction, argued the matter and got an injunction against Karnataka that it should not divert the water of Mhadei river. This was the second challenge. Similarly, Maharashtra had already completed its entire dam construction except the gauge portion in the middle. Once the gauge portion was constructed, the flow of water to Goa would have been stopped. Again we got an injunction in this case. It’s only because of our efforts and the case that we could put up, we succeeded. And I must mention that we received active support from the former chief minister Manohar Parrikar and even the present Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who went all out supporting the cause.
Then the appointment of Lokayukta and that of the chairman of the Goa Public Service Commission was challenged in the court, the cases in which we again succeeded. The government also succeeded in the case about the so called, alleged scam pertaining to the construction Miramar-Dona Paula road, with the High Court dismissing the related petition. Furthermore, the matter as regards construction of the third bridge on the river Mandovi was cleared by the National Green Tribunal. And then the case against the garbage treatment plant at Saligao was also won by the government. We too succeeded before the National Green Tribunal in the forest classification matter, so that the criteria are not changed of the forest.
Some of the issues are however still pending before the court like the cases pertaining to the proposed Mopa airport and Terecol bridge. All these were definitely legally challenging issues.

Q: Do you foresee that many of the important cases you were handling as the state Advocate General on behalf of the Goa government would be affected due to your departure from the particular post?
Not at all! I do not think so. Honestly speaking, when somebody takes up the matter with seriousness, and fights it out with all dedication and sincerity, I believe that there will be no adverse effect due to my absence. And then, as and when the state government wants my help, I am always there for Goa, because of my love for Goa and Goans.

Q: Are most of the legal hurdles before the state government as linked to the Goan mining industry over? Or does the state government have to still wait for disposal of mining-related cases pending before the Supreme Court for gaining a clear field?
As you have seen, Goa government got a complete victory in the writ petition 435 of 2012. Every matter was left by the Supreme Court to the Goa government for determination, thus showing tremendous faith and trust in the state government machinery. We had projected before the Supreme Court name wise disposition and the political dispensation, which was there from 2005 till 2012, and then 2012 onwards. Furthermore, in the affidavit of the state government we had stated as regards the new government taking over, etc. The Goa government had framed the 2012 rules, which along with related policies were accepted by the Supreme Court, and further directed the mining to be carried on in accordance with the same. Secondly, I had specifically stated that the central empowered committee be kept out, which was also agreed to, with the Supreme Court not imposing CEC on the Goa government. Thirdly, the state got back the e-auction money, which otherwise would have gone to the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) Fund.
Of course, the issue is not over and presently we are continuing to face challenge, but that matter would also be handled and fought out.

Q: You had once mentioned that the role of the Advocate General was to inform the state government when it was “crossing the line”. Did the government actually do it at any time?
Frankly speaking, no! They did not cross the Laxmanrekha at any time.

Q: One of the important legal matters hounding the state government is the dual citizenship issue related to Goans who had registered their births at the Central Registry in Lisbon, although there is also a constitutional side to this matter. The central government has recently informed about setting up an authority in Goa to decide the contentious issue. Does the law permit such individuals, with double citizenship to stay in Goa minus their voting rights? Or they will have to quit the country and move to Portugal?
As far as the issue of residence is concerned, it is not linked to the citizenship; even a non-citizen can stay in this country. But yes, if one is not a citizen then he or she would not enjoy certain fundamental rights and certain other constitutional rights. However, the stay in Goa – in this particular matter – is not affected. What has happened in the state today is, on account of perhaps not being cognizant of the implications of registering one’s birth in Portugal, certain views are being expressed in certain quarters. Under the Portuguese law, registering of the birth in the registry amounts to acquiring a citizenship of that country. But under Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, which governs India, a person is required to give up his citizenship, and this giving up action must be expressed. This is the requirement of Indian law. Simultaneously, as far as Goa is concerned, the Liberation of Goa has been held to be a conquest of the Indian Army by the Supreme Court in its judgment. If it is a conquest, then between the conquest and the Liberation there is a vacuum, and after the Liberation, it is a military rule. There is a government of India’s Citizenship Order, which had given a choice to the Goan citizens, and which said that if you do not avail yourself to go back to Portugal or take citizenship of Portugal within six months of Liberation, then you are deemed to be a citizen of India. Frankly speaking, people in South Goa have nothing to worry because they have been citizens of India, they have never expressively given up their Indian citizenship, they have continued to be the Indian citizens, and therefore, merely recording an event which has taken place prior to Liberation, in the Portuguese registry, cannot deprive them of Indian citizenship. This is the exact legal position of the particular issue.

Q: The Constitution of India has laid down certain specific guidelines for granting special status to the states in the country. Goa has been coming out with this demand for long and is unsuccessful till now. In your opinion, is such a decision entirely based on the Constitution, or does the will of the central government to grant special status to a state also matter?
Firstly, the protection to a state by way of a special status is required to be looked into from different angles. One, economic angle; two, socio-cultural angle; three, geographical location; and finally, one has to make out a very special case for special status. Some politicians shouting in the media and saying that they will ask for special status obviously cannot get Special Status to the state. For this, one has to make out a case that the state is economically weak, or socio-culturally so threatened that it needs protection, so that only Goan residents can be allowed to purchase properties in Goa, and outsiders cannot be allowed to do so, on the lines of Himachal Pradesh and so on. The geographic location can also be utilised to prepare a case for special status, like was done in case of Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Lakshadweep Island, where although the landmass is surrounded by water, construction is allowed, even on riverine or sea portion. Goa, in fact is a peninsula, a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland, and so the restrictions, if any, are to be relaxed, one has to make out a special case. But merely steering this particular argument that we will demand special status – I have seen many politicians and political parties talking about it – has no meaning. One has to have a constitutional understanding of the entire matter, and only when one has a conceptual clarity, he can demand a special status. It is true that there are constitutional provisions, and it is also the will of the central government to grant it. However, to grant such a special status, we are required to make out a case, a very special extraordinary case to show why and for what reasons we must be granted the special status.

Q: Finally, how do you look at your new responsibility?
I am all set to commence my term in the new responsibility. I am grateful that such a responsibility has been bestowed on me. I look forward, and determine to work with all dedication, sincerity and integrity in the new office. It’s a challenging job, which I have accepted.

NT Network Goa News

State gets its first ultra-modern garbage treatment plant

Plant will have Mechanical Biological Treatment process with proper segregation, recovery of recyclables and bio-methanation technology

PANJIM: The newly-constructed Solid Waste Management Plant, the first of its kind in the country, was inaugurated on Monday, Goa Statehood Day, by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, addressing the gathering, said that the ultra-modern waste management plant is based on German Technology under the Make in India Programme which is Asia’s biggest and most ambitious project.
“The treatment facility planned is a state-of-the-art, modern facility based on the Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) process with proper segregation, recovery of recyclables and bio-methanation technology. The waste treatment technologies have been borrowed from different parts of the world. The machinery that has been installed has come from Germany and Italy,” he said.
Mr Parrikar, during whose chief ministership the plant was planned, asked the authorities to gear up for another such project in Curchorem. “Depending on the success of this plant I request the Science and Technology Department to start work on the Curchorem plant,” he said.
At a special briefing on the occasion, the media was informed that the facility will have minimum human intervention, enclosed sheds, and computer-controlled equipment for handling different types of input material. The functioning of the plant and selection of technology has been done on the basis that all issues of odour, unsightly garbage mounds and leachate generation are addressed and handled with the aim of minimising the same.
He said the electricity produced in-house from the organic fraction of the waste will be used to power the plant’s operation. Composting and maturation of dewatered sludge will help produce manure.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, speaking to reporters, said the inauguration is just half the work done and it was now the responsibility of the panchayats and government to get the garbage to the plant.
“The chief minister has written to the panchayats to get the waste segregated but it isn’t possible and the government has to now step in and put up garbage stations on main roads of every village from where the garbage can be collected,” Lobo said.
He also said the government needs to give a truck to each panchayat with leachate tanks so that the garbage is brought to the station in a segregated and scientific manner.
DyCM Francis D’Souza, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, Science & Technology Minister Alina Saldanha, Panchayat Minister Rajendra Arlekar, GSIDC chairman Dr Pramod Sawant, vice-chairman Sidharth Kunkolienkar and Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar were also present.

Herald Goa News

Goa Forward promises 1 pao

Panaji: With the youth as its primary focus, Goa Forward promoted itself as an 'alternative' regional party for the upcoming 2017 assembly election.
Some youth members of the Congress party tendered their resignation on Monday and joined Goa Forward.
Those who joined Goa Forward include Congress youth leader and former NCP national secretary Tanveer Khatib, vice president Makdai block Congress committee and former panch Talaulim Sandeep Naik, chairman minority block Mapusa and treasurer Mapusa block Congress committee Firoz Khan, secretary IT cell GPCC Keshav Desai, secretary GPCC Durgadas Kamat, social worker from Mormugao Vikram Naik, and North Goa president National Students Union of India Prajay Vaigainkar. Commemorating Goa Statehood Day with a State youth conclave on Monday, Goa Forward resolved to enhance the quality of education to international standards and develop the state as a knowledge hub with quality institutions to empower youth in the modern age of technology and competition.
Goa Forward also promised free WiFi facilities for the entire state, replacement of the Madhya Pradesh Control of Music and Noises Act with a law that is conducive to Goa and an all out war on proliferation of drugs.
Where Goa's environment is concerned, Goa Forward promised to protect agricultural land being sold or transferred to non locals, tighten rules governing conversion of agricultural and forest land, declare a land acquisition policy giving land losers a stake in the project, make coconut tree the state tree and repeal the recent amendment with respect to the tree and revamp tourism with focus on Goa as a peaceful, creative and pious destination.
Where employment and entrepreneurship is concerned, Goa Forward's prime agenda will be implementation of a policy of 80% job reservation to Goans in private sector and cent per cent in public sector, enforced by watchdog committees of youth and young to facilitate skill development and entrepreneurship among the youth.
Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai pointing out that old leaders will not be able to solve the problems that they themselves have created over the years said Goa needs a militant youth movement.
The state doesn't need to be ruled by a high command sitting in Delhi, but by a regional party led by a Goan leader. Besides corruption, Goans are also grappling with an identity problem he said, criticising Parsekar's recent comments on special status.
If special status can't be granted by the centre there are laws that can be introduced by the state to ensure that the identity and land of Goans are protected he said.
Sardesai promised subsidised fish and subsidised local bread (pao at Re 1) and promised to demolish the slums and provide alternate accommodation for its dwellers. Prabhakar Timble said Goa Forward would encourage fresh young faces and focus on quality in education.
Tanveer Khatib said as a member of the minority community the Congress party treated him like a stooge and always played "vote bank and accommodative politics" giving tickets to those who didn't deserve and were not likely to win.
Dr Francisco Colaco said the state desperately needs young leaders in a country where majority of the population is below 40, but elects leaders who are over 60.
MLA Naresh Sawal also said it was time to do away with high commands in Delhi and vote for a party that could take immediate decisions on its own.

TOI Goa News

Universal medical scheme launched, but local grey areas prominent

Private insurance company to manage the scheme, promise of roping in pvt hospitals to be tested after they agree to be empanelled

PANJIM: The Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojna, the government’s ambitious Universal Mediclaim scheme, which will cover the State’s entire population, was launched on Monday, but there are many grey areas in the scheme.
Speaking at the function Dy Chief Minister and Health Minister Francis D’Souza said the government will tie up with private hospitals in the State as well as outside so that people will be able to choose where they want to be treated.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said Goa is the only State where the entire population is being covered under such a scheme in which income limit is not the criteria. “This scheme will reduce the load on the existing government hospitals and especially GMC Bambolim. This scheme will give a person choice to take treatment in which hospital,” Parsekar said.
The government has tied up with a private insurance company to meet the medical expenses of patients. Parsekar said that Rs 3206 will be paid by the government to the insurance company annually for the scheme.
The scheme covers families in two categories. A family of three and less members will get benefits up to Rs 2.5 lakh of insurance cover annually whereas a family of four and more will benefit by treatment of Rs 4 lakh annually.
The scheme, which will be implemented from August 15, 2016, will also include mental and ayurvedic treatments. The process of issuing insurance cards will be completed by August 15, the Chief Minister said and added that there will be centres in all talukas where people have to enroll for the cards.
Fees for the card have been fixed and a family of three and less members has to pay Rs 200 and a family of four and above has to pay Rs 300. The government has given 50% relaxation to SC, ST and physically disabled people.
The main criteria to avail of the scheme is that the individual should have valid proof of five years residence in Goa.
Union Defence Minister Parrikar, used the government function to announce the State scheme to make a political pitch. “In the last 50 years, BJP had formed the government only on four occasions and development in Goa has come only during BJP rule,” Parrikar said.

Herald Goa News

Fishing ban in state from tomorrow

VELIM: The 61-day fishing ban will come into force from tomorrow. Nearly 80 per cent of the trawlers have call off operations. The uniform fishing ban will be in force all along the western region of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka from June 1 to August 1.
The president of the Cutbona Boat Owners Association Savio D’Silva informed that a majority of boats have already returned to the jetty while a few which are out at sea will return by tomorrow.
He said that the workforce will start returning to their native places in the next few days as closing operations are in progress.
Commenting on the fishing season, D’Silva said that the fishing season was bad as compared to previous years in terms of catch from the deep sea, adding hopefully the new season will bring more joy to the fishing community. Meanwhile, a few boat owners want the fishing ban extended by another 15 days.
They pointed out that even while the fishing ban is lifted on August 1, it becomes next to impossible to venture into the sea immediately as it remains rough during those days and also the workforce mostly, from Orissa, Jharkand, etc, does not arrive by that time, and hence it makes sense to extend the fishing ban till August 15.

NT Network Goa News

भाषा सुरक्षा मंचतर्फे पणजीत दुचाकी रॅली

प्रतिनिधी गोवन वार्ता पणजी : भारतीय भाषा सुरक्षा मंच तिसवाडीच्यावतीने सोमवारी सायंकाळी पणजीतील हेडगेवार हायस्कूल ते आझाद मैदान अशी मोटारसायकल फेरी काढण्यात आली. यामध्ये मंचचे समारे ५० कार्यकर्ते सहभागी झाले होते. या फेरीचा समारोप आझाद मैदान येथे करण्यात आला. त्यानंतर उपस्थित कार्यकरत्यांना मार्गदर्शन करताना उदय शिरोडकर म्हणाले की, सरकारने नवीन शैक्षणिक वर्ष सुरू होण्यापूर्वी इंग्रजी माध्यमाच्या शाळांना दिले जाणारे अनुदान बंद करावे आणि कोकणी-मराठीच्या विकासाला प्राधान्य द्यावे. असे न केल्यास मेळावा आयोजित करून तीव्र आंदोलन छेडण्यात येईल. वासुदेव भट यांनीही उपस्थितांना मार्गदर्शन केले. आंदोलनाची पुढील दिशा ठरविण्यासाठी ११ जून रोजी सायंकाळी ४ वाजता मळा येथील हेडगेवार हायस्कूलमध्ये कार्यकर्त्यांची बैठक आयोजित करण्यात आली आहे, अशी घोषणा यावेळी करण्यात आली. या बैठकीत सर्व विषयांवर सविस्तर चर्चा होणार आहे. या बैठकीला भाषाप्रेमींनी मोठ्या संख्येने उपस्थित राहावे.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Nuclear-armed Pakistan can 'target' Delhi in 5 minutes: Abdul Qadeer Khan

ISLAMABAD: Nuclear-armed Pakistan has the ability to "target" the Indian capital Delhi in five minutes, the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has said.
Addressing a gathering here on the 18th anniversary of Pakistan's first nuclear tests, which were carried out under his supervision in 1998, Khan, said Pakistan could have become a nuclear power as early as 1984 but the then President General Zia ul Haq "opposed the move".
The 80-year-old nuclear physicist said General Zia, who was Pakistan's President from 1978 to 1988, opposed the nuclear testing as he believed that the world would intervene militarily.
Further, it would have also curtailed international aid Pakistan was receiving due to the ongoing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
"We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984. But President General Zia ul Haq had opposed the move," Khan said on Saturday.
Khan also said that Pakistan has the ability to "target" Delhi from Kahuta near Rawalpindi in five minutes.
Kahuta is the home to the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan's key uranium enrichment facility, linked to the atomic bomb project.
Khan was disgraced in 2004 when he was forced to accept responsibility for nuclear technology proliferation and was forced to live a life of official house arrest. In 2009, the Islamabad high court declared Khan to be a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement inside the country.
He regretted the treatment and said Pakistan would never have achieved the feat of becoming first Muslim nuclear country without his "services".
"Without my services Pakistan would never have been the first Muslim nuclear nation. We were able to achieve the capability under very tough circumstances, but we did it," said Khan.
Referring to the treatment meted out to him during Gen Pervez Musharraf's era, Khan said nuclear scientists in the country have not been given the respect that they deserve.
"We are facing the worst against our services to the country's nuclear programme," he added.

TOI India News

Drive from Monday to curb traffic violations

PANAJI: In a bid to ensure road safety, Goa police will undertake another comprehensive drive against traffic violators.
A 17-day comprehensive drive, which commences from May 30 will concentrate largely on traffic offences such as rash and negligent driving, dazzling lights, driving without proper lights, carrying excess pillion riders, improper number plates and tinted glasses. Apart from this, people will also be booked for other type of traffic violations, police has said.
The special drive against traffic violators will commence from May 30 and conclude on June 15.
According to information, the drive will be organised on the major roads and in the vicinity of police stations jointly by the concerned police stations and the traffic cells.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Bosco George, who is holding the additional charge of Traffic, in a note issued has instructed police stations and traffic cells to organise the special drive at least for 3-4 hours every day. The in-charges of police stations and the in-charges of traffic cells have been directed to utilise maximum strength from their resources to book cases.
Last month, a similar drive was conducted from April 15 to April 30 wherein a total of 56,297 cases were booked. Out of this, 45,636 violators were booked for not wearing helmet, 285 for driving without licence and 324 persons were booked for driving/riding under the influence of alcohol. Around 10,052 cases involved other traffic offences.

NT Network Goa News

Usgao student crushed to death, locals block mining trucks

PONDA: After a 19-year-old resident of Usgao-Ganjem was crushed to death by a speeding mining truck at Tisk-Usgao, irate locals took to the streets and blocked mining trucks on Saturday. They also warned the Mines Department to either regulate the speed of the trucks or stop ore transportation through Usgao.
The accident took place at 9.15 am opposite Kamla Theatre in Tisk-Usgao. Shubham Shashikant Sakhalkar (19), a college student, was travelling on his Access scooter from Ganjem to Tisk when a truck carrying ore from Codli to Amona collided into him and dragged him for around 15 mts.
After the incident, Usgao locals took to the streets and stopped ore transportation through the village for many hours. They also raised questions over the working of speed governance system initiated by the Mines Department.
The blocked truck drivers, after being given a warning against speeding, were finally allowed to leave Usgao.
Incidentally, this is the third incident of a two-wheeler rider being crushed by a truck in Ponda in two months; the first was at Farmagudi and the second at Bonbag-Durgabhat.
It may be recalled that the Directorate of Mines and Geology had issued a suspension of work order to 538 trucks in the mining belt after public protests over speeding trucks in April. Two women had died in Tilamol after an ore-laden truck ran over them, following which the speed governor system was introduced for the trucks.
Usgao locals have questioned whether this system is working as many trucks still continue to speed. They claimed that truck drivers were speeding to make more trips daily and earn more, and in the process, they caused accidents.
They have stated that there is no control on the speed of mining trucks, which they claimed transported ore even late night and early morning.
The villagers also accused the Mines Department of failing to take action against speeding trucks.
Mahesh Kumar, a local, stated that a few months ago, the Mines Department had imposed a speed limit of 40 kmph and would challan violators. He said this was an eyewash and questioned how trucks were travelling at over 60 to 70 kmph if the Mines Department was really interested in people’s safety.
The locals have demanded that the government either look after the people’s safety or stop ore transportation through Usgao.
It may also be recalled that several people have died in Usgao after being hit by speeding mining trucks over the last decade. Although the Supreme Court had ordered the creation of special mining corridors, no efforts are being made for the same.

Herald Goa News

Five booked for cheating woman

MARGAO: Maina Curtorim police have registered an offence against Tony White and four others for allegedly inducing a woman to deposit cash in their account and cheating her to the tune of Rs 3,47,400. Maina Curtorim police have registered the offence under section 420 readwith 34 of IPC.
The names of other alleged accused were disclosed as Raja Sharma, Mohit Goyal, Sandeep Kumar and Harish Ktariya.
According to the police, Jenifer Sequeira, 44, of Bamborda-Verna, has lodged a complaint in this regard. Police said that during inquiry it was found that from May 1 till date Tony developed friendship on a social networking site and contacted the woman on her cell phone and induced her to deposit cash on the pretext of giving her a gift.
However, as they failed to deliver the gift and also return the money she lodged the complaint against the above persons, the police said, adding the alleged accused, by their act, with their common intention cheated the complainant. The case is under investigation. NT

NT Network Goa News

Rape case involving Babush: victim’s fresh statement confuses cops

PANAJI: In a new twist to the minor girl rape case involving St Cruz MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, the victim has provided a fresh statement pertaining to the incident, in total contrast to her previous version.
Sources said that the victim is now mentioning some other dates of occurrence of the incident. Sources said that the victim has even told the investigating agency that she was angry with her mother as she was against her lifestyle.
Owing to this fresh development, police are now in a dilemma. In her fresh statement, recorded a couple of days back, there is no mention of Rs 50 lakh. Sources said that her statements were recorded owing to a number of contradictions in her previous statements and other loopholes in the case.
According to information, earlier, March 6 and March 8 were said to be the two days in question. However, now the victim is said to be mentioning some other dates, sources said.
Sources said that the mother was trying to put restrictions on the victim owing to her alleged unconventional behaviour. Angered over her mother’s opposition, the victim in her previous statement had told the police that accused Rosy had informed her that her mother had sold her to Babush for Rs 50 lakh.
It may be recalled that police had registered an FIR based on the facts disclosed by the victim in her first statement (which was treated as the complainant’s) and subsequently her supplementary statements were recorded. Later, statements were also recorded before JMFC Panaji under CrPC 164. However, there was no consonance in her statements and in her CrPC 164 statement, the victim had not mentioned about Rs 50 lakh.
The Children’s Court had on May 18 granted conditional bail to Babush and the other two accused, the victim’s mother and Rosy Ferros. According to sources, police are unlikely to challenge the order of the court. However, the investigation will continue and the charge sheet will be filed as per the offences based on which the FIR was registered.
Babush and the victim’s mother were in custody of the police from May 5 whereas Ferros was arrested on May 7.
It may be recalled that the bail was granted virtually tearing apart the prosecution case wherein acting judge of the Children’s Court, Pramod Kamat, in the order had observed that “the investigation so far carried out is tainted, polluted and fragile in nature and as such, there is no justification to allow the applicants (accused) to continue in custody (police).” The judge had also observed that the investigating authority had failed to disclose a prima facie case against the accused or reasonable grounds to detain them or any one of them in custody.
It may be recalled that an offence was registered on May 4 on the basis of statements given by the victim in the presence of child welfare committee. The FIR was registered at Panaji police station and subsequently transferred to Panaji women’s police station.

NT Network Goa News

Friday, May 27, 2016

ISIS jihad video under home ministry scanner, says Kiren Rijiju

PANAJI: The video released by the Islamic State (ISIS), in which about half a dozen fugitive Indian Muslims threaten to wage jihad against India has come under the scanner of the home ministry, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said.
"The matter came to us and is in our notice," Rijiju said responding to a question during a press conference in Panaji on the ISIS video .
He asserted that those who are involved in these kind of activities would be dealt with strongly to make the country safe.
He also said that "we have already stated earlier that by and large, the Indian society as a whole does not subscribe to that kind of violent ideology".
Stating that a large section of Muslim community in India "does not support this kind of activity," Rijiju pointed out that the community leaders have come out strongly condemning attempts of ISIS to lure the Indian youths.
He also said that we have registered six cases against those are involved with the ISIS. "Many arrests have been made and investigations are on," he said.
"It is out of frustration they are coming with such type of videos and this is not going to affect our security system," he added.
"Since the NDA came to power, we have been dealing very carefully and our process of de-radicalization and counter radicalization steps have been effective," Rijiju said.

TOI Goa News

Spurious liquor seized in four excise raids in South Goa

Panaji: The excise department on Friday suspended licenses of four wine stores in South Goa for selling spurious liquor in bottles of a liquor brand. Show cause notices have been slapped against the stores located one each in Benaulim and Chinchinim and two in Margao.
All the four stores were operating as 'Anand Wines'.
Show case notices were issued to Arvind B Gadvi for his Margao store, Senthil Kumar for his two stores one each in Gogol, Margao and Benualim, and Jose Vasco Ferrao for his Chinchinim store, as to why the licenses issued to them should not be cancelled and liquor seized should not be confiscated in favour of the government.
The notices were issued for violation of provisions of sections 7, 9 rules 16, 19 and 101 of the Goa Excise Duty Act and Rules, 1964. They have been asked to appear before commission on June 14 for a personal hearing.
Excise commissioner Menino D'Souza said they found that alcohol sold at the four stores was duplicate. The registered manufacturer was asked to ascertain the genuineness of the seized liquor and the distributor was questioned as to whether he had supplied alcohol to these four wine stores.
The distributor confirmed that he had not been supplying alcohol to any of the four stores and the company has given its report making it clear that the seized alcohol was not their product D'Souza said, adding that excise inspectors were keeping a watch on wine stores and would conduct more raids shortly.
All brands are manufactured to specific quality and standards as recommended by the company. Every item that goes into the manufacturing of their brands are thoroughly quality controlled to ensure that these items meet quality standards recommended by the company. The company has set very specific norms for the packaging material to be used, the manufacturer has informed the excise department.
Next, D'Souza said, the department will find out from where the four license holders procured their stock.
During the raids liquor without any valid bills and permits were seized, said an excise official.

TOI Goa News

Mechanised fishing ban in Goa from June 1 to July 31

PANJIM: The Fisheries Department issued an order on Thursday imposing a 61-day long ban on mechanised fishing in Goa from June 1 to July 31.
Director Fisheries Shamila Monteiro said that government hereby prohibits fishing by fishing vessels fitted with mechanical means of propulsion and by means of trawl-net and purse-seine net, along the sea coast and the territorial waters of the State.
The ban has exempted fishing by registered motorised canoes using gill nets only and fitted with outboard or inboard motors.

Herald Goa News

Facebook friend dupes Verna woman of Rs 3.47 lakh

MARGAO: In a bizarre case, a woman hailing from Bamborda in Verna was duped of Rs 3.47 lakh after being lured into a scam running on Facebook.
Maina Curtorim police have registered offences under section 420 read with 34 of IPC in connection with the case.
According to the police, one Tony White developed friendship with Mrs Jenifer Sequeira through Facebook and induced her to deposit cash in the bank accounts of four persons, by promising high returns and gifts.
Accordingly, Mrs Sequeira deposited Rs 3,47,400 in the bank accounts of Raja Sharma, Mohit Goyal, Sandeep Kumar and Harish Ktariya
However, Tony White neither paid any high return on the cash deposited by Mrs Sequeira nor sent her any gift.
Following this, the victim who is a business woman, lodged a complaint with the police.

Herald Goa News

Goa to get four special boats for coastal security

PANAJI: To enhance the coastal security preparedness of Goa, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will provide additional coastal surveillance boats and funds for training and to procure equipment.
Addressing the media at the BJP’s state office, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju Friday said that Goa would be provided with four coastal surveillance boats each worth Rs 4 crore to enhance the state’s capacity in securing the coastline.
Presently, the Goa coastal police has nine boats of which six are of 12 tonne capacity and three of 5 tonne capacity each.
Rijiju said that his ministry has made a proposal to the Finance Ministry and once approved, the central government would be able to provide more funds to the states. “We always perceived that the coastal states were safe. But the recent threats received from the sea have made us enhance the security along the coastline,” he said.
When the minister was asked about the anti-terror squad (ATS) lacking the basic equipment such as bulletproof jackets, he said that due to financial constraints, the states have underfunded the police. The Union ministry in its security proposals for the country has demanded additional funds to finance the states in strengthening the security, he said.
Stating that Goa, being an international tourist destination, is being backed by robust security arrangement, Rijiju said that a multi-agency system is in place to monitor the security of the state. There is proper coordination and sharing of information by the agencies, he said.
Responding to queries on the misuse of social media and the relative threats by people trolling and stalking individuals, especially women, he said that the matter was discussed during a recent conference of all top officials of internal security agencies. He said that the state police needs to augment its capacity in handling threats from social media, and train the police force with the latest advancements in technology. He also advocated the need for more police training colleges equipped with technology-driven instructions.

NT Network Goa News

Villagers hold protest to demand mining bypass

Appeal to stop ore transportation; may approach SC to find solution

PANJIM: Over 300 people from the mining belt of Sanguem and Quepem taluka held a protest in the state’s capital on Friday demanding mining bypass. The villagers from the mining affected areas had recently submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar demanding a ban on mining activities till a bypass is constructed.
Convener of Mission Bypass Pradeep Kakodkar said: “We are not against mining. Every individual has a right for business and trade. What we are demanding, however, is to provide proper infrastructure and then proceed further with the transportation of ore”.
He said there are hundreds of deaths taking place in Sanguem and Quepem due to the intense and rapid transportation of ore.
“We demand a dedicated bypass to mining. We want to live, allow us to live. You have no right to kill the basic right of a human being,” Kakodkar said.
The people have been demanding the mining bypass since 2008.The previous Congress government had also worked out a plan but the BJP government has done nothing even after a foundation stone was laid by then chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
“Laying of the foundation stone was just an eyewash to fool the people during the election,” Kakodkar said.
Kakodkar informed that they are also trying to explore the possibility of approaching Supreme Court of India for a solution but the court should be aware of the ground reality whether the rules are being adhered to here by the state government.
The proposal of the mining corridor came to a grinding halt in the state after the mining activity started. The first phase of the tender was already completed and work had started on the project. But midway, the contractor abandoned the project and soon thereafter, mining was banned in the state.

Herald Goa News

Nigerian arrested for assaulting Korgao local

Mapusa: Pernem police arrested a Nigerian national for allegedly assaulting a Korgao native. Pernem police said Satish Narse, a resident of Bhatwadi, Korgao, filed a complaint stating that Nigerian national Vgochukwu John Naedi, 30, residing at Arambol, assaulted his relative Sajjan Narse with a glass bottle on Thursday. During the course of the investigation, police found that Naedi had entered India without a valid visa and continued to stay in the country without a visa. Police registered another offence under the Passport Entry into India Rules 1950, Passport Entry into India Act, Foreigners Order 1948 read with Section 14 of Foreigners Act 1946 against the accused.

TOI Goa News

Cops intensify drive against prostitution

PANAJI: Goa police has intensified the drive against prostitution and officers claim that a raid is conducted every third day wherein victims are rescued.
However, with a rise in the number of the raids conducted, the pimps have now changed their method of operation due to which the police are unable to nab them in many such cases, claim officers.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dr Muktesh Chander’s message is clear. “They just can’t operate,” he said referring to those indulging in flesh trade activities in Goa.
Apparently, it is for the first time that action has been stepped up by the local police against flesh trade activities in the state. Earlier, it was the Crime Branch police, who were proactive against flesh trade while action from the local police stations was found wanting. However, soon after taking charge as the Goa DGP last month, Dr Chander has clearly instructed his men in uniform to “take proactive measures to curb prostitution in the state.”
“In fact, the number of raids says it all,” said Chander. “If you see, there have been a number of cases against flesh trade activities since the last several days. Every second or third day, police are conducting raids,” he said adding that he has already instructed the local police and Crime Branch to initiate stern action against prostitution activities. “We can’t tolerate such things (prostitution activities),” said Chander.
It may be recalled that last year, Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ), in its annual report on the human trafficking issue had said that action from the local police was lacking. Anyay Rahit Zindagi is the nodal non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the anti-human trafficking unit of Goa police. “Most of the girls rescued are by the Crime Branch. There have not been many rescues by the local police stations. This shows that the local police intelligence system is either not good or they are not inclined to rescue the girls,” says the report released by ARZ.

NT Network Goa News

Central Authority to solve dual citizenship issue, in Goa

Goans who have registered their births in Portugal will not have to suffer; notification to be issued soon

PANJIM: Ensuring that Goans, who have registered their births in Portugal will not be made to suffer, the Union Government on Friday announced to set up a special Central Authority in the State to deal with the long pending issue of dual citizenship. The solution to contentious dual citizenship issue is one of the major promises of the BJP-led government during 2012 polls.
Addressing media persons in Goa, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that central government constituted committee to study and recommend solution to the dual citizenship issue is ready with the report and a notification would be issued soon.
“It is very unfortunate that many people of Goa have been victim of provisions of Law of our country as well as Portugal and are facing problem,” he said.
The minister said that the Central set up committee has finalised its report and are soon going to notify an authority, to be set up in Goa, to deal with the issue in the State itself. “It is a state issue and it needs to solve in the state only. We don’t want people to run around in Delhi,” he said.
Rijiju said that government wants to ensure that due to the difference between the law, people of the country should not suffer. “I will ensure that no genuine Indian is made to suffer due to the dual citizenship issue anymore,” he said.
Government statistics peg around 40,000 Goans as having registered their births in Portugal -- a provision offered by the state's former colonial rulers to those born before Goa's liberation in 1961 and to their children -- but holding neither a Portuguese passport nor a 'bilhete de identidade' (ID card). Thousands of names have already been deleted from the electoral roll, losing voting rights.
Goa has a raging dual citizenship issue, as several of those who have registered their births in Portugal -- and this includes politicians, police personnel, bureaucrats and even the common man -- have also gone to get a Portuguese passport or the ID card, which are seen as tickets to working in Europe.
As an election promise, BJP government had in the past petitioned former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on this issue. Government was of the view that under section 8 of the Indian Citizenship Act, a person is deemed to be Indian citizen provided he does not renounce citizenship and also obtain citizenship of some other nation.
Government was clear that there are cases wherein births (of Goans born before 1961) have been registered in Portugal by a third person or some agent without their knowledge and hence these people need protection.

Herald Goa News

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DGP for internal inquiry into sexual abuse of rescued prostitution victims

PANJIM: Director General of Police Muktesh Chander has called for an internal inquiry into a serious allegation against a police inspector and constable of sexually abusing two rescued victims of prostitution.
Reliable sources stated the victims – natives of West Bengal had named the officer and his subordinate of sexual abuse and extortion in their statement recorded before a panel headed by sub divisional magistrate at Protective Home, Merces.
“I have asked the concerned officer to inquire into the allegations,” Chander told Herald declining to divulge details. “The report is sought within 15 days. Everything will be taken into account while conducting the inquiry.”
Sources had told Herald that the victims had even alleged that Anjuna police tried to sabotage the case against their colleagues by refusing to name the duo-men in khaki in the FIR.
The girls were rescued in a raid near Anjuna petrol pump at Anjuna last month.

Herald Goa News

Work on new Zuari bridge in two-three months: PWD

PANJIM: The work on the new Zuari bridge would begin in next two-three months, PWD officials have said.
Madhya Pradesh-based Dilip Buildcon Limited, a leading private sector road-focused engineering procurement construction company, has won the contract to construct a 640-long, eight-lane cable-stayed bridge across the  Zuari River.
PWD Principal Chief Engineer (officiating) Uttam Parsekar told Herald that the work order for the project has been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and it has already issued the work order to the contractors.
“The work on equipment mobilisation and soil testing has already begun,” he said.
He further stated that the contractors are now finalising the design, which should be completed in next two months.
“The actual work on the bridge should commence in about 2-3 months,” Parsekar said.
The project will entail the construction of a 640-metre-long, eight-lane cable-stayed bridge across the Zuari River and a 450-metre-long elevated approach road to it. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,700 crore.

Herald Goa News

FDA asks Goa bread units and poders for pao samples

Panaji : In the light of the study that says that breads in India contain carcinogens, the food and drugs administration (FDA) has ordered its food inspectors to collect bread samples from bakers and bread manufacturing companies across the State.
FDA director Salim Veljee said he has issued the directions following media reports of a study released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) that says that most breads by Indian companies contained chemicals such as bromate and iodate. These chemicals damage human health and could also lead to cancer. Leading bread brands tested positive for both chemicals.
Veljee said it will be days before the results of the bread samples tested are received.
An official, on condition of anonymity, said the use of potassium bromate came under the list of additives permitted by the food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI). With no ban on the use of the two chemicals, the official said they would able to take action against a bread manufacturer only if his products contained either of the two chemicals in quantities beyond the permissible limit of 50 parts per million.
Some local bakers in the State have denied using the chemicals in either their bread or in any other bakery product. A member of the All Goa Bakers Association said that they do not use potassium bromate or potassium iodate, only yeast. "Other ingredients used are water, salt, sugar and flour," the member said.

TOI Goa News

A priest backing a political party is not surprising

PANAJI: Priests and religious must move out of the walls of their institutions and share the suffering and joy of the people and be relevant to the times, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) coordinator for Dabolim Fr Michael Fernandes , believes.
He joined the AAP last year after he was attracted to its 'swaraj' ideology. "People's participation in governance is very important. Inspite of the party's limited means, and obstacles from the Centre, it was able to implement its ideology in Delhi, and I was convinced. AAP is a huge relief to the state and the country," says the diocesan priest, who will complete 40 years of priesthood next year.
Serving as the parish priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church , Batim , for a little more than a decade, Fernandes is also a practising lawyer and has an office in Vasco. He takes up civil issues and a stray criminal matter when an accident case arises. Ever since he began practising, in 1990, he has chosen to represent the landless, with tenancy and mundkar cases being his forte.
When one party doesn't perform, people vote for the other in the next assembly election and get frustrated when it doesn't live up to its promises. This, he says, is the vicious cycle he fell into.
A priest supporting a political party is nothing to be surprised about, he says. "After Vatican II, the Church stated that the religious shouldn't be confined to the walls of the Church but must reach out to people. This gave a strong boost to movements in South America and in South India, too, where many priests joined people and started pursuing the issues affecting them."
As AAP coordinator for Dabolim, he says it is his job to mobilize the constituency and pinpoint a suitable candidate. When asked whether he will contest, he says it's too early to tell. "Whoever its Dabolim candidate is, AAP will give Mauvin Godinho a good fight," he asserts.
Fernandes served as assistant parish priest in Vasco for 15 years and at St Jacinto Island for 13.
"As Christians, we believe in justice. The party, too, is against corruption and believes in equitable distribution. The root cause of the malfunctioning of major political parties is corruption. AAP strikes at this root. The party is working towards making the socialistic pattern of this Constitution a reality," he says.
Fernandes has been actively supporting local issues since 1982, when riots broke out in Zuarinagar between locals and slum dwellers. He took the side of the slum dwellers, putting pressure on contractors to care for them. He has also supported the fight of the traditional fishermen against mechanized fishing in Vasco.
A priest doesn't require permission to contest an election, he says. Only once elected, permission is necessary to participate in governance.
Fernandes says the late Bismarque Dias was a friend who highlighted the dangers of hill cutting at Batim and whose protests of the Regional Plan opened his eyes.

TOI Goa News

Army pays tribute to late jawan Naik Mahadev

VASCO: Army on Monday paid a befitting tribute with full military honours to its valiant soldier Naik Gawade Pandurang Mahadev who had attained martyrdom on Monday during an operation in Kupwara Sector.
The press information bureau defence wing has disclosed that homage was paid to the valour and sacrifice of the late soldier in a solemn ceremony held at Badami Bagh Cantonment Srinagar on Monday.
Naik Gawade Pandurang Mahadev had been critically injured in a fierce encounter which resulted in the elimination of five heavily armed terrorists on May 21 in Durgmulla Kupwara.
“The soldier was part of the column which initially located and engaged the terrorists hiding in a cluster of houses. He was evacuated to the Military Hospital but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries on Monday. The martyr is survived by his wife and two young children,” stated the press release.
Pride and honour for the martyr were all palpable as the Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Satish Dua and all ranks of Chinar Corps laid wreaths to salute the soldier in his last journey.
The Corps Commander said that such exemplary acts always serve as an inspiration to the present and future generations and that such sacrifice will never go in vain.
Meanwhile, the mortal remains of the soldier were expected to reach Dabolim airport by Indigo airlines during the late night on Monday. The mortal remains will be further taken to the native place of the solider in Amboli village of Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra for the final rites to be held on Tuesday with military honours.

NT Network Goa News

PANJIM TO FINALLY GO ‘SMART’

Panjim ranks 8 among 13 cities selected under the Fast Track competition list; Lucknow tops this selection of cities to be included in the list of ‘smart’ cities

PANJIM: The Capital city Panjim on Tuesday got selected along with 13 more cities for development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Smart City Development Mission’ project. Ranked at eighth position under the Fast-track competition, the City Rs 1775.12 crore project got clearance from the Union Ministry for Urban Development.
Included in the list of 100 cities under the Mission, Panjim had failed to find a place in the first 20 cities selected for Smart City Mission in January. Panjim then got a second chance under the Fast Track Competition list and was allowed to replace its bid.
Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday morning announced the names of 13 selected cities with Lucknow topping the list. The other cities include Warangal, Dharamsala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad.
“Panjim is ranked 8th among the 13 cities selected under the fast track mode. Compared to last proposal, the Union Ministry noted nine per cent improvement in our new proposal,” GSIDC Vice Chairman Siddharth Kunkolienkar told media persons on Tuesday afternoon.
“The proposals were judged and selected on credibility of implementation, city vision and strategy, economic and environmental impact, cost effectiveness, innovation and scalability and processes followed including citizen implementation,” Kunkolienkar added.
The Smart city proposal (SCP) drafted by the consultant ICLEI South Asia, has pegged the project at Rs 1775.12 crore, which includes Rs 778.55 crore convergence, Rs 534.12 crore SCP component, Rs 396.83 crore through PPP and Rs 65.62 crores as maintenance and operational cost. The State and Centre share would be Rs 534.12 crore over next five years.
“The first installment of Rs 100 crore is expected in next one month, soon after constitution of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV),” Panjim MLA said. He said that State government has assured to provide necessary funding for the project, wherein in the first year it has already made a budgetary provision of Rs 80 crore.
The entire project is divided under two concepts -- Pan City and Area Based Development. Under Pan City, the focus would be on introduction of hop-on hop-off bus transport, pedestrian roads and smart component to the solid waste management.
Under Area Based Development, an area of 2 sq metres has been identified, which would be development for improved quality service.

Herald Goa News

Parasailing joyride proves fatal for West Bengal tourist

COLVA: A parasailing joyride ended in tragedy for 46-year-old Shashi Shekhar Prasad from Karakpur, West Bengal, after he drowned following a fall into the sea while parasailing off the Colva coast on Tuesday evening. He was declared brought dead upon arrival at the Hospicio Hospital in Margao.
Shashi was down in Goa to attend a conference of cloth merchants in a starred hotel at Utorda. He is survived by his wife Preeti (42), daughter Khayali (15) and son Sarthak (12).
The incident occurred around 4.45 pm when Shashi, along with his wife, had gone for a boat ride but instead opted for parasailing as boat rides were not available at Colva. The fastening rope snapped barely 50-100 metres after the takeoff and Shashi fell into the sea.
Eyewitnesses said that the life jacket worn by Shashi came off. They said that he remained in the water for nearly ten minutes before help could arrive after which he was brought onto the shore by locals and efforts made to revive him before being rushed by lifeguards to a hospital. Eyewitnesses said that the weather was pretty rough and the wind pattern changing frequently. However, the water sports operators ignored the changing weather conditions and continued with the activities, they said.
Recounting the tragic incident, wife of the deceased, Preeti, said that she and her husband had come to Goa along with a group of 34 members from West Bengal to attend the conference and had landed in the state on May 22. She said her husband had returned from the conference around 3.30 pm on Tuesday and wanted to go for a boat ride, while she wanted to proceed to Panaji for shopping. Conceding to her husband’s demand, she went to Colva along with him around 4.30 pm. However, Shashi was disappointed as boat rides were not available there.
She said that the water sports operators suggested that he could try parasailing to which she had objected as he was hefty. However, the water sports operators assured them that people much ‘heavier’ could also go parasailing. She said, “Barely after taking off, may be after covering about
100 metres or so, he suddenly fell into the water. We cried for help but no help arrived for nearly ten minutes. Finally, he was brought onto the shore and rushed in a lifeguard jeep to a hospital, only to meet 108 ambulance on the way. He was transferred to the ambulance and taken to a private hospital where they refused to admit him. Later, he was taken to Hospicio Hospital where he was declared brought dead.”
Sources in Colva police said that so far a case of unnatural death has been registered while investigations are on to ascertain if the mishap occurred due to negligence on the part of the water sports operator. Police said that the statements of the kin of the deceased have been recorded. They said that the body has been kept for post-mortem examination at the Hospicio Hospital.
Meanwhile, the mishap has raised several questions on the safety of water sports activities being carried out on the state’s beaches. A domestic tourist R
Krishna (name changed) said that the weather in Goa has been changing since the last few days but no precaution has been taken by the authorities to stop the water sports activities as the monsoon is round the corner.
Another tourist Ajai, who was an eyewitness to the mishap, said that the sea was rough when the incident occurred. “Waves were lashing the shore and the wind pattern was changing constantly. Besides, I had also heard that the water sports activities were to draw to a close by May 15. The authorities should investigate if the mishap could have been avoided,” he said.

NT Network Goa News

Goa Board to announce SSCE results today

Panaji: The anxious wait will be over for Class X students when the results of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education are declared on Wednesday at 3pm.
The exam results are being awaited by 20,806 students this year - 10,387 girls and 10,419 boys.
The distribution of passing certificate cum statement of grade/marks to schools will take place on May 27 between 10am and 1pm, after which students will get their marksheets.
The Class X exam was held from April 1 to 22 this year, across 26 examination centres in Goa.
Students will be able to access the results through the websites www.ExamResults.net, www.Goa Education.net, http:// Results.GoaEducation. net,www. KnowYourResult .com, www. Goa12.KnowYourResult .com, www. indiaresults .com, and www. jagranjosh .com.
Student can also access result by sending a SMS GOA12SEAT NUMBER to 56263, GOA12SEAT NUMBER to 58888 and GOA12SEAT NUMBER to 5676750.
2015 saw 85.15% clearing the Class X exam, a 2% improvement over the numbers that passed the test in 2014.The record of highest ever pass percentage at the Goa board Class X exam of 86.05% in 2011 remains unbeaten so far.
The board's recent schemes like the sports merit marks has helped more students clear the exam in recent years. The pre-vocational scheme is another such concession, where students can drop either math, science or social science in favour of vocational subjects like cookery, garment design, etc.
In 2016, part of the exam answer sheets were corrected using a computer-assisted system for more accurate results.

TOI Goa News

Monday, May 23, 2016

Good news for diabetics in form of herbal drug

PANAJI: In one of its first, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched the first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug BGR-34 in Goa.
The medicine has been researched and developed jointly by the CSIR Laboratories, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP).
Addressing the media at the launch of the medicine in Panaji, senior principal scientist at CSIR-NBRI Dr A K S Rawat said that the country is facing the danger of being the diabetic capital of the world soon with more than 6 crore adults in India found to be diabetic already. The number is expected to reach to 10 crore by 2030.
“There is no effective solution for diabetes as yet. After having carried out in-depth studies on over 500 renowned ancient herbs, six best herbs listed in ayurvedic ancient texts for various ailments were identified for developing the medicine,” he said.
BGR-34, which is blood glucose regulator with 34 identified active phyto-constituents from herbal resources, contains daruharidra (berberis aristata), giloy (tinospora cordifolia), vijaysar (pterocarpus marsupium), gudmar (gymnema sylvestre), majeeth (rubia cordifoila) and methika (trigonella foenum-graecum).
Stating that modern diabetes drugs are known for side effects and toxicity, Rawat said that BGR-34 works by controlling blood sugar and limiting the harmful effects of other drugs. He said, “We are sure that eminent medical professionals will recommend it to their patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes mellitus for quicker and consistent response.”
He further said that the herbal drug has been priced at Rs five per tablet and is packed in a box of 100 tablets available in the market for Rs 500. “Compared to the latest DPP4 inhibitors globally, we have priced the tablet on the lower side to pass on the benefits to a larger section of the society and the poor can avail it,” he added.
Dr Sanjeev Kumar Ojha, senior scientist at CSIR-NBRI, said that the habit of eating more than what one can consume is at the core of embolic diseases. He said the greed to eat more, laziness to undertake physical activity and stress lead to metabolic diseases. “BGR-34 manages the lives of humans suffering from diabetes and enhances insulin secretion. The product has passed several tests and showed hypoglycemic activity in experimental subjects,” he said.
Dr Daya Nandan Mani, senior scientist at CSIR-CIMAP, said that pre-clinical studies of this anti-diabetic formulation revealed significant reduction in high blood sugar level in diabetes-induced experimental subjects. He said, “At the CSIR-CIMAP out-patient department (OPD), about 80 per cent of the diabetic patients who have been administered BGR-34 have responded positively.”
For the purpose of commercial production and market distribution, the CSIR has transferred the rights of the research technology to AIMIL Pharmaceuticals (I) Ltd.

NT Network Goa News

Terminating casino licences will send wrong signal: BJP

PANJIM: Stating that the party cannot protest against its own government and demand the shifting of off-shore casino vessels out of River Mandovi, the BJP on Monday claimed that terminating the licences of the off-shore casinos would send the wrong signal to the investors desiring to invest in the State.
“If we arbitrarily suspend or terminate the operation of these off-shore casinos, then it will send the wrong signal to investors. People may have to rethink on investing in the State,” BJP president Vinay Tendulkar told media persons.
He said that the government is nevertheless in the process of relocating the vessels to some other waters in the State. “We had identified some places, but then the local bodies and people objected,” he said.
When asked why his party had assured to shift the casinos without identifying alternate locations, Tendulkar said, “You give us an alternative location, we will shift the off-shore casinos.”
Responding to a question on why the BJP was silent on its government failure to move these vessels as promised in the 2012 election manifesto, Tendulkar said, “How can we protest against our own government?”
Incidentally, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday accused the BJP government of “backstabbing” and “cheating” Goans on the promise of shifting the off-shore casinos.

Herald Goa News

Catholic voters looking for alternative in AAP

Panaji : Even as he welcomed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's announcement that AAP will contest all seats in the state for the next assembly election, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday said that party will not be able to open "its account" in the state.
Parsekar told TOI said APP's contesting assembly elections 2017 would damage the Congress party as a sizeable part of those who attended the AAP meeting on Sunday comprised of minority voters. "The party that created the political vacuum will be affected. BJP has not created any political vacuum and neither has it ignored any constituency," he added.
AAP, Parsekar said, would create inroads in Congress constituencies as the Catholic voters were in search of an alternative, quickly adding that the educated Catholic would never vote for the AAP.
"Some Catholics are disgruntled with the BJP and are testing AAP as an alternate option, and even then they will not accept AAP in Goa," Parsekar said. People of Goa do not vote on "emotions", they only vote for sincere candidates, he opined.
He recollected how 25 years ago when former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and senior BJP leader L K Advani would come to Goa to deliver speeches they would draw a 20,000 to 50,000-strong crowd, but come ballot time this would translate to hardly some 250 votes.
AAP brought in people from Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi, Parsekar said. "People of the state will not fall prey to Kejriwal's nautanki style," he added saying that banners, posters and hoardings will not garner votes for AAP.
"AAP should forget about this assembly elections. It should work sincerely for the next five years to win seats in the next assembly election."
When questioned about Kejriwal's statement that it was defence minister Manohar Parrikar who was running the state government, Parsekar said that it was simple a matter of not having any allegations to make against him. "Saying that it is Parrikar who is runnng the goverment was the last option left to Kejriwal to hit out at me," he said further questioning sarcastically if Parrikar has a magic wand by means of which he could run the state government from Delhi.
"I have been working day and night in clearing files and running the state."
On Kejriwal's comment that tourism in the state was being promoted as sex, drugs and gambling, Parsekar said that while he agreed that illegal activities were carried out in the state, the BJP government was not using drugs, sex and gambling to promote the state's tourism industry.

TOI Goa News

Issue of inflated power bills to be resolved by June

PANAJI: Amidst the growing number of complaints by domestic consumers of electricity, state power secretary Kunal has assured the citizens of Goa to resolve the issues related to billing by June.
After holding a meeting of the power department officials at the Vidyut Bhavan in Panaji on Monday, Kunal informed the media that issues with the power bills, including inflated bills arose due to the billing software, which is currently being modernised.
“We are completely modernising our systems under the restructured accelerated power development and reforms programme (RAPDRP). So there were certain issues with regard to the billing software,” he said.
He said that the new system has already been introduced in three divisions and the old system of Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) will be continued until a smooth migration, by the month of June. “So from June onwards, this problem of billing will not be there,” he said.
Stating that in Tiswadi taluka, bills were last generated for the month of January, he said that the consumers would now receive accumulated bills for four months. However, he stated that on case to case individual basis, if there are individual issues for payments, the department would have deferred payments.
Clarifying over the confusion about online payment of bills, the power secretary informed that currently there are two different modules of payments for the electricity bills, GEL and RAPDRP. “Till the time both these modules are combined together from a single source, this will continue,” he added.
The consumers have to select the module of payment as per their location. The RAPDRP module has been currently activated only for consumers of Tiswadi, Ponda and Verna, while the rest have to make payments through the GEL’s www.upaygoa.com module. Both the modules can be accessed from the department’s website, www.goaelectricity.gov.in.
Kunal further said that the department will begin the distribution of LED bulbs under the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme from June. “We have already signed the agreement. The approval has also been given and the distribution is expected to start in two weeks’ time. We are targeting to be the first state to have 100 per cent households with LED lights,” he said.
The power secretary also took stock of the progress of the pre-monsoon works across the state. He said that in all the divisions, most of the works have been carried out including trimming of branches and cutting of trees wherever necessary. He said that the department personnel will audit the transmission and distribution by conducting random inspection of the distribution transformers which concern the localities and inspection of the sub-stations by officers of other divisions.
“In the next fortnight, we will have a complete inspection of our assets which will ensure that in the coming monsoon season, Goa will get quality and consistent power supply,” he said.

NT Network Goa News

GOA SOLD: 200 hou­ses illegally built in Pedamol comunidade land by migrants

Power, water provided on urgent basis; ruling party linked comunidade attorney’s hand suspected in sale of land, government knows but is silent

MARGAO: This could well be the mother of the Monte Hill land grab. In fact it could be the mother of all comunidade land grabs in Goa. There are 200 houses built in violation of all norms, on the land of the Shirvoi Comunidade, in Pedamol and they have no sale deeds.
These houses have been constructed on and illegally “sold” mainly to migrants from Karnataka, obviously with the direct connivance with influential people in the comunidade. Over the last six years, houses have been constructed, almost entirely by migrants. One can only see Karnataka registered vehicles in these areas. Still, the local administration treats this land scam like a sleeping dog. It just allows it to lie.
The houses presently standing in Pedamol have no documents. Some people here are from Margao Monte hill and rest are from Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal and other areas.
The Mamlatdar had conducted a survey and prepared a report detailing the illegalities, a year ago. According to him (see box), this report has been lying with the Deputy Collector for well over a year now with no action taken. This is a repeat of the manner in which illegal encroachments have been allowed to flourish in Monte hill.
But while the beneficiaries of this illegal largesse are non-Goan migrants, their benefactor is very much Goan, and a man whose duty is to protect comunidade land from being misused. This Pedamol land has seen a keeper of the Comunidade, who himself has facilitated the grabbing of this huge land mass. Pedamol was once a place known for its Dhangar community inheritance. But now it has turned into mini Monte hill like Margao and is soaring by the day.
The role of the husband of a former Councillor of the Quepem Municipal Council, who has been affiliated to BJP Goa, has surfaced in this case for being a player in the wholesale selling of this land mass. He happens to be the attorney of the Shirvoi Comunidade. The rampant “sale” of comunidade land under his watch has happened in Survey number 96/1 (about one lakh square metres) and 88/1 (93,359 square metres of land)
The original habitants of this land, who have been living here by means of cashew plantation and animal herding, were fighting a case in Quepem court, against some persons who were claiming rights on these lands. The Court while deciding on the case had maintained the rights of 12 of the inhabitants, but other than having a house the court denied them from any other rights to the land. But the court had also mandated the people not to obstruct the tenants of this land while executing any job. This very case had given the Attorney his rights to the survey number of the land.
Obeying the Court order several people who the Court did not give rights, had surrendered their land to the comunidade in the past. But the attorney of this comunidade sold this very land to several non-Goans, in a manner not permissible. Comunidade land cannot be transferred or bought by anyone whatsoever. In the seven and a half years gone by, this land now has over 200 houses standing tall on the property.
Goans have to run from pillar to post to get power and water connections but not for these houses. These houses have got power and water connections on urgent and important basis.
Elections of the state are near and there is a possibility that they also get ration cards and election cards of the Government of Goa. A social worker has also gone ahead and even presented an ambulance to this group of houses.
But this fraud will not be restricted to Pedamol alone. The move of the Government to regularise illegal houses is now set to finish the Comunidade lands of the state illegally usurped by, like the one in Pedamol. Several people have handed over their lands to Comunidades in the past. Now there are moves to convert these lands and make residential plots of the same and sell them subsequently.
The government sees all this but is a shameless spectator allowing the sale of Goa, bit by bit.

Herald Goa News

Work of phase I, phase II of mining corridor will be re-tendered in 3 months: Cabral

CURCHOREM: Tension erupted at Tilamol-Quepem, on Monday morning, following a verbal clash between the supporters of Mission Bypass and truck owners.
Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral had called on the supporters of Mission Bypass on Monday morning at Tilamol.
The supporters of Mission Bypass are agitating for the last one month demanding construction of mining corridor and stoppage of ore transportation, following the death of two women in an accident involving a mining truck at the Tilamol junction.
Cabral was accompanied by the CCMC chairperson Vishwas Dessai, councillors, Xeldem and Assolda sarpanchas, panchayat members and others.
The Curchorem MLA informed the protestors that the construction work of phase I of mining corridor from Guddemol to Capxem and phase II from Ugem to Guddemol will be re-tendered within three months.
He said that he has proposed a flyover to the Chief Minister, and it is under consideration.
The convenor of Mission Bypass Pradip Kakodkar said that the core committee will discuss the suggestions put forth by Curchorem MLA and decide on the further course of action.
Till that time the ore transportation should not be started, he stressed.
The secretary of South Goa Progressive Truck Owner Association Cajiton Fernandes said that the demand for the construction of a bypass road is being made since 2002.
“Several meetings were held with the government. We are left with no income for the last four years and nobody thinks about our condition,” he said demanding that the construction of bypass may be made at the earliest. The crowd disappeared after the discussion.

NT Network Goa News

BJP condemns Kejriwal’s remark

PANAJI: The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, on Monday, condemned the statement of Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal portraying Goa as a land of sex, drugs and gambling.
The party demanded an apology from the AAP leader.
Addressing the media at state BJP office in Panaji, the party’s state unit president Vinay Tendulkar said, “Kejriwal tried to create a picture that Goa is only famous for sex, drugs and gambling. We condemn this statement.”
Demanding an apology for the statement made during the AAP’s public meeting in Panaji on Sunday, Tendulkar said, “He should apologise to the people of Goa as he has insulted them with such statements. Or else be ready to face the consequences which will definitely be bad.”
Kejriwal on Sunday had stated that the Congress defined tourism as sex, drugs and gambling, and “the same definition continues even after BJP came to power.”
He had further said that “Goans want tourists to enjoy the beauty of the state.”
Challenging the AAP leader to approach the Lokayukta for the alleged corruption charges leveled against the BJP-led state government, Tendulkar said “We challenge him. Instead of making baseless allegations, he should approach Lokayukta if there are any incidents of corruption.”
Responding to Kejriwal’s jibe at the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of cheating the people of Goa, he further said that while Parrikar has an experience of 25 years in politics, Kejriwal is just an RTI activist.
“In 2012, Goans reposed faith in Parrikar and gave BJP a clear majority for the first time”, he said.
Daring the AAP to save the deposit money of the candidates during the state assembly election in 2017, he said, “Today, he does not have any representation even at the panchayat level and he is planning to contest from all 40 constituencies. I challenge him to save the deposit in even one constituency during the upcoming assembly elections.”
Taking a dig at the Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, he said that it is a nautanki government.
Tendulkar further demanded a public account of the expenditures incurred on the public meeting held on Sunday.
He said, “They had brought people from Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka for the meeting. They should tell the people of Goa how much money was spent on these people who have been working on planning the rally for the past 15 days.”

NT Network Goa News

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Won’t let Mauvin to contest on BJP ticket: Deepak

Says that unemployment is the biggest problem in Goa; To contest the forthcoming election from either Shiroda or Cumbarjua if Priol was reserved for the ST community

PONDA: MGP leader and Priol MLA Deepak Dhavalikar, at a press briefing on Sunday, stated that unemployment is the biggest problem in Goa and that the MGP would not allow MLA Mauvin Godinho to contest the 2017 election from Dabolim constituency on a BJP ticket. He also stated that if Priol was reserved for the ST community, he would contest the forthcoming election from the nearest constituency – either Shiroda or Cumbarjua.
When asked about Godinho’s announcement that he would contest from Dabolim constituency on a BJP ticket, Dhavalikar stated, “Mauvin should not forget that he is elected on a Congress ticket. BJP gave Dabolim to MGP for contesting the election. Mauvin should forget about contesting the election from Dabolim on a BJP ticket. This constituency is favourable to the MGP and our candidate is sure to win the election from there.”
He continued, “Mauvin might have switched to BJP to get done his work and everybody knows about it. He should not forget that he was elected as a Congress MLA. We will not allow him to contest from Dabolim on a BJP ticket; he should adjust himself at any other nearby constituency. If the BJP is willing to give him a ticket, he should be given a suitable seat other than Dabolim.”
Speaking about the unemployment problem, he said, “We have infrastructure to provide education, but no infrastructure to provide sufficient jobs. Our educated youth go outside the state in search of jobs. We will have to handle this issue on priority.”
He also criticised NGOs for coming in the way of development and industrial projects, which diminished the employment opportunities in Goa. He said, “NGOs should think of the unemployed Goan youth before coming in the way of industrial projects. We will have to think more about how we can reduce unemployment. Though there is a lot of educational infrastructure, Goa lacks infrastructure to provide jobs to the educated youth, who are increasing in large numbers every year.”
When asked about his candidature if the Centre sanctioned the reservation of Priol for the ST community, he said he would prefer to contest from either the neighbouring constituencies of Shiroda or Cumbarjua. He also said the MGP hoped to win at least 12 to 13 seats in the forthcoming election.
He said the work of the Cumbarjua-Gaundalim bypass would be sorted out in a year, and that the work from the Khandola Bridge to Cumbarjua-Gaundalim would be possible with the govt’s new land acquisition policy.

Herald Goa News

People of Goa tune in to Mann ki baat

Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) member of parliament from Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, said that Goa and Punjab have much in common. "There is a drug problem in Punjab, as in Goa. You have mining, we have sand mining," he told the AAP rally in Panaji on Sunday.
"You have BJP, we have BJP plus Akali in Punjab," said Mann, sharing some similarities between the two atates. Both states are heading towards elections together, and now it's Goa's turn.
Mann kept the audience enthralled with his wit and recited a few couplets as he criticized both national parties who he said ridiculed AAP when it was formed and they had started preparing for the elections.
When former chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit was asked what she thought of the candidature of Arvind Kejriwal at an election booth in 2013 assembly elections, she retorted, "Who is Arvind Kejriwal?"
The AAP won 28 seats in the election while the ruling Congress was diminished.
"I'm sure now she will never forget who Arvind Kejriwal is," he said.
Mann specifically pointed out how the AAP was ridiculed by allthe media as well as established political parties. Everyone had to eat a slice of the humble pie after the stupendous success of AAP in Delhi, he said.
"They all under estimated AAP. Don't under estimate the public," warned Mann, reminding the public how Congress fortresses have crumbled. This is what happens when politicians and political parties try to rule people rather than win their hearts, he said.
He urged the people of Goa to wake up, and join the revolution.
Others who spoke at the rally were advocate Satish Sonak, Dinesh Waghela and Pankaj Gupta

TOI Goa News

Lifeguards end strike, to resume duty from today

Will resume agitation if govt fails to meet their demands

PANJIM: Ending their three-day long token strike called on Friday, the lifeguards have decided to resume duties from Monday on the condition that they will agitate again if government fails to fulfill their demands.
“The lifeguards will resume duty on Monday. We are monitoring the reaction of State government. If they fail to fulfill our demands, we will agitate again,” Suhas Naik, State secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said.
More than 600-odd lifeguards had struck their duties from Friday leaving the beaches unmanned. Goa police were deployed to stop the tourists from venturing in the water as the sea was rough on Saturday and Sunday.
The lifeguards employed by private firm Drishti Lifesaving Services are demanding regularisation of their services and hike in the pay scale.
Naik said the union will also keep a watch on Drishti management’s behaviour once lifeguards resume duties on Monday. “If there is any retrenchment or harassment to the workers, all the lifeguards will strike indefinitely,” he said.
The lifeguards, had on Friday, protested outside the Tourism Department head office in Panjim, which was followed by a huge rally in Calangute.
On Sunday, the lifeguards protested at Colva beach pressing for their demand.  They held a public rally which culminated into a public meeting near the Colva junction. The rally was addressed by MLAs Aleixo Reginaldo (Curtorim) and Vijai Sardesai (Fatorda) and other leaders.                        
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has refused to intervene in the demands of lifeguards claiming that the services have been outsourced and it is the spat between the workers and company management. He had even opined that the lifeguards are free to approach Labour Court for justice, if feel they are been ill-treated by the company.

Herald Goa News

Finally Mormugao expects to get 24x7 water supply

Vasco: The induction of the new water treatment plant at Selaulim a couple of days ago, is expected to provide relief to Mormugao with additional supply of 10-15mld of water to the taluka. This will sort out most of the water-related problems here and the taluka can expect 24-hour supply in the near future, after sorting out certain minor issues, public works department (PWD) officials said.
According to water department assistant engineer Vishwambher Bhende , "By the end of this month, additional water supply should reach Mormugao. In fact, at a later stage, we will get 20mld more, making it about 90mld per day, whereas, our present requirement is 68mld."
The taluka used to get about 68mld, but in the summer season, it gets only about 58-60mld. Residents of Vasco, Sada, Mangor Hill, Baina, and others store the water that is supplied only for a few hours.
With the extra supply, PWD will be able to give water to the Mormugao Port Trust, Navy, Verna IDC and other places where earlier they couldn't supply, to meet the domestic demand. In this way, more revenue will be generated.
The department, however, has some hurdles which are being sorted out to build itself so as to receive the additional supply and distribute it smoothly. The old pipelines will not be able to carry the added pressure of water. Hence, the old pipelines need to be replaced.
Secondly, in order to store the water, the department needs reservoirs. Besides, the existing reservoirs in Gomantak and Mangor, new reservoirs are being built at Sada, New Vaddem, and proposals for Dabolim and other places are in the pipeline.
Thirdly, an additional water pipeline from Verna to Sada of 16km is being laid down. The work is almost over except for two stretches that are being completed.

TOI Goa News