Local Goa News

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bardez sees rise in HIV cases

MAPUSA: Bardez taluka has been seeing a rise in HIV cases in the last few years. Latest figures with the State AIDS Control Society records 18.4 per cent of HIV cases in the taluka, even as officials have claimed that fewer locals are diagnosed with the disease in comparison to migrants.

Campal garbage not our job to clear, says commissioner Dessai

PANJIM: Stating that the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) cannot intervene in the Campal parade ground garbage mess, Commissioner Deepak Dessai categorically stated that shifting of the waste to the solid waste treatment facility at Saligao will turn the site into another ‘Sonsodo’.

Kejriwal too finds MoI a hot potato

Refuses to commit on absolute freedom of choice for parents for English in primary schools, takes govt line that present grants won’t be withdrawn; no word on candidates or leader yet; buoyant with grass root response

Goa Tourism sees red over film depiction

Will move Centre Board of Film Certification seeking censorship of dialogues and scenes depicting Goa in negative light

Panjim pollution 3 times natl average

Transport, domestic and commercial sectors biggest emitters of greenhouse gases; study recommends measures to reduce the GHG emissions

Delhi chief minister meets archbishop to ‘seek blessings’

Panaji: Delhi chief minister and national convener of Aam Aadmi Party, Arvind Kejriwal called on the archbishop Patriarch of the archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao, on Thursday - the third and last day of his second Goa visit -- before returning to Delhi. Kejriwal said, the closed door meeting with Ferrao at the Bishop's House in Altinho that lasted for over 20 minutes, was meant to "seek his blessings".

Berger case: ED quizzes Kamat for 8 hrs

Panaji : Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Digambar Kamat, the main accused in the Louis Berger bribery case, was questioned on Thursday by the enforcement directorate (ED). The local ED office is probing the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

A secular aam aadmi to be AAP face in Goa: Kejri

Panaji : Arvind Kejriwal 's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) does not have a face to lead its election campaign for the 2017 assembly polls in Goa, but the party is confident that soon there will be a "secular aam aadmi" who will take charge to fight the "corrupt" BJP and Congress. "There are no dearth of leaders," the Delhi chief minister said.

Petrol prices cut by 89 paise, diesel by 49 paise a litre

New Delhi:  State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has cut the price of transport fuel effective on Friday by under a rupee each, of petrol by 89 paise a litre and of diesel by 49 paise, both at Delhi with corresponding decrease in other states.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TALEIGAO HOUSES IN ANKLE-DEEP WATER

A woman moves a cylinder as her house is filled with ankle-deep water. She had to save other household items from damage by keeping them on a bed and chair

Narvekar ‘feigns ignorance’ over TV subsidy cheque

PANAJI: Former Goa Cricket Association (GCA) president Dayanand Narvekar has said that he is unaware of the Rs 2.87 crore cheque that was sent to the GCA by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Narvekar interrogated in GCA fraud case

Cops yet to gather any definite evidence; still attempting to find out who collected the cheque from BCCI

Goa govt to extend 7th pay commission benefits to employees: CM

PANAJI: Reacting to the union cabinet decision to approve implementation of seventh pay commission, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said that the state would like to extend similar benefits to government employees.

750cr burden on Goa for 7th pay grade: CM

Panaji: Reacting to the Union cabinet decision to approve implementation of seventh pay commission, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said that the state would like to give similar benefits on the lines of the Union government.

Kejriwal ditches protocol, stays at friend’s house in Taleigao

Panaji/Ponda : Living up to the image of an aam admi, Delhi chief minister and AAP national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, is staying at a flat of one of the local AAP leader in Taleigao, near Panaji, during his two day visit to Goa.

Major fire destroys Cansaulim supermarket

Cansaulim: A major fire in a supermarket in the heart of the village raged for an hour and damaged property worth a few lakhs of rupees.

7th Pay Commission: Here's why the government may just pull it off

One of the questions thrown at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the press conference to announce the cabinet decision to implement the Seventh Pay Commission report was: You have given government employees a pay hike but have you thought about how the resultant inflation will break the backs of other groups? But did the government have a choice about whether or not to implement the report? Could it (or any other dispensation in its place) actually have dared to say that it will not implement it?
The previous government cleverly announced the constitution of the commission a few months before the 2014 elections when there was no hurry to do so, putting whichever government that would come to power in a bind. Once the report is out, any government would be in a damned-if-it-did-damned-if- it-didn’t situation.
The very people raising red flags about inflation and the fiscal deficit would have slammed the government for being unfair to government employees. At best, it could have delayed implementation – the Sixth Pay Commission award was implemented after 32 months – but that would only have built up a crippling burden of arrears; the arrear burden this time is much less than that of previous pay commissions.
So, the government had no choice but to walk the tightrope between perking up the economy with a much-needed consumption boost and unleashing the just-tamed inflation dragon as well as wrecking public finances. Will that tightrope walk be successful or will the economy fall into an abyss from which it will be difficult to climb back?
Well, the government may just pull it off.
There is no doubt that this will give a huge consumption boost to the economy; with all kind of global headwinds affecting India’s exports, a domestic demand spurt was necessary. Imagine 1 crore people (47 lakh employees and 53 lakh pensioners) suddenly with more money in their hands to spend. Exciting times could be in store for automobiles, housing, consumer durables.
It is not just central government employees who will have more money in their hands. Pay revisions of state government employees, central and state public sector employees, urban local bodies, autonomous bodies and universities will also happen sooner rather than later. Many state governments follow the Central Pay Commission recommendations, while a few have their own pay commissions.
Karnataka and Kerala revised their salaries in 2012 and 2014 respectively, many have not done so since 2006. According to Devendra Pant, chief economist and head, public finance, of India Ratings, the demand boost to the economy coming from the pay revisions of all these categories could be four times that of the Seventh Pay Commission award. He expects a consumption boost of around Rs 45,000 crore or 0.3 per  cent of GDP.
Of course, not all the 1 crore will spend all the money they get. Many of them are going to save as well. Saumya Kanti Ghosh, chief economic adviser, State Bank of India, believes the award will also give a savings boost more than a consumption boost. Looking at the trend of previous pay commission awards, he points out in an Ecowrap report that the growth rate of household savings sees an increase in the year immediately after the submission of the report over the year preceding it. On the other hand, the growth rate of private final consumption expenditure has fallen in all the years following a pay commission award, barring the Sixth Pay Commission. Since that came around the time of the global financial crisis, he argues, risk aversion levels were higher, and people may have preferred to focus on consumption rather than investment.
A likely increase in savings, he writes, is welcome in a year when bank deposits have touched a 53-year low and the impending FCNR (B) redemptions could also lead to outflows from banks in September. He does not put a number on likely savings, but Pant of India Ratings estimates an increase of around Rs 30,000 crore or 0.2 per cent of GDP. For the Indian economy, especially the infrastructure sector, this will be as welcome as a spending boost.
But let’s not overlook the likely flip side. First, the worries on inflation, which could be very real. Earlier pay commission awards have seen a spike in inflation. Inflation levels have come down since the double digit days of two years back, but retail inflation has started inching up recently, and so have global oil prices.
Economists, however, are not losing sleep over this. The increase will be muted and tempered, Saugata Bhattacharya, senior vice-president of Axis Bank pointed out on television, because the new consumer price index is different from the old one in many ways.
It is not just about statistical nuances. Demand push inflation could definitely occur when there is too much money chasing not much supply because factories are not producing more. That is not the case currently. Factories have over-capacity because of lack of demand; capacity utilisation is around 70 per cent. So there is a lot of slack which could keep inflationary conditions under check. Remember, also, that the government could spread out the pay arrears over a period of time and has not yet taken a decision on allowances and when it does it will be implemented with prospective effect. So the effect of a lot of money sloshing around could be staggered.
Besides, the effect of Brexit on global oil and commodity prices is still unknown. Oil prices did fall a bit immediately after Brexit and if the European economy slumps, this could act as a dampener on price rise. “A rise in demand is likely to not only increase capacity utilisation but may also help revive the investment cycle earlier than expected,” according to Pant.
And what of the fiscal deficit? Does the government have the money for this bonanza (there will be an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore) or will it have to miss the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent? Doing so will be bad news and a wrong signal to send out.
Actually, the government has factored a large part of the pay commission award in the 2016-17 budget. There are varying estimates (from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 38,000 crore) of how much of a gap there will be in the budget. How the government handles this will be the key.
It is not certain, for example, whether the arrears (from January to July) are to be given as a lump sum or spread out over a couple of years. Most analysts feel it will be staggered over the next two years. In that case the impact on the exchequer and inflation will both be muted. Besides, there will be an increase in tax revenue from more income tax collection (due to higher salaries) and excise duty collections – or GST, if it comes – from increased consumption.
Pant estimates that the tax revenue of the centre (after netting out the states’ share) could be around Rs 14,100 crore or 0.09 per cent of GDP. Along with other means to bump up tax revenues as well as non-tax revenue (spectrum sale, disinvestment) the outgo on account of higher salaries and allowances could be made up to a fair extent.
Sure, things could still go awry. Global oil and commodity prices could go up. The monsoon could fail. There could be other shocks to the economy, meaning lower revenue collections and higher expenditure.
The government’s economic managers will need to keep a close watch on the negative fallouts of the pay commission award implementation and act quickly to neutralise them. Otherwise all the gains will be lost.

Firstpost India News

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

AAP will win Goa polls with absolute majority: Kejriwal

VASCO: Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said that the party will win 35 out of 40 seats in the forthcoming state assembly polls slated early next year. He also said that the party will spoil the prospects of the two national parties.

MEA petitioned on Brexit fallout on Goans

MARGAO: Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been petitioned by South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar seeking swift intervention on the Brexit issues with a request to take up the matter with the UK administration on behalf of over 20,000 Goans residing in the UK.

CM’s bribe taking bro-in-law back at work, other suspended officers kept hanging

Two officials and a peon of transport dept still on suspension; CM’s brother-in-law enjoys full state patronage; Reinstated and disproportionate assets case not registered against him inspite of recovery of unexplained cash worth lakhs

‘Retain voting rights of Goans registered in Portugal’

Panaji: MP Shantaram Naik appealed to the election commission (EC) not to delete the names of Goans who have registered their births in Portugal, from the electoral rolls. He has recently given a notice of a Private Member Bill

Velingkar quits CM’s b’day committee

PANAJI: Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief in Goa Subhash Velingkar , on Tuesday resigned from chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar's 60th birthday celebration committee.

Rajdhani rolls down, gives passengers quite a scare

Margao: Anxious moments were witnessed by passengers of the Margao-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express on Monday after the train ran down a slope, apparently uncontrolled by the loco driver, for quite a few kilometres near Chiplun following engine failure.

India to get access to almost 99% of US defence technologies: US official

India will be the only country outside US' formal treaty allies that will gain access to almost 99% of latest America's defence technologies after being recognised as a 'Major Defence Partner', a senior Obama administration official has said. "India (now) enjoys access to (defence) technologies that is on par with our treaty allies. That is a very unique status. India is the only other country that enjoys that status outside our formal treaty allies," the official said explaining what 'Major Defence Partner' status means for India.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Goa to host 12 BRICS events

PANAJI: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday reaffirmed that the BRICS Summit 2016 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be held in the state.
Goa will host 12 events related to the BRICS from August to October this year including the leaders’ summit.

Operator claims he had informed Mayor about machine’s carrying capacity

PANAJI: Mayor of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) Surendra Furtado ignored the warning from de-weeding machine operator that the machine could take only two persons on board at a time.

SP to inquire into PI Rane, Constable Naik case

PANJIM: Goa Police are yet to appoint an officer to inquire into the case of sexual abuse of commercial sex workers by Police Inspector Nilesh Rane and Constable Vinod Naik, and receiving taking protection money from pimps.

Sanads will be issued in Mayem evacuee property: CM

PANAJI: With only few months to go for the assembly election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state executive committee meeting decided to issue sanads to owners of the houses existing under custodian of evacuee property of Mayem from August 15.

Unreported income must be disclosed by Sept 30

PANAJI: The income tax department is on a drive to create awareness among eligible tax payers to take the opportunity to disclose unreported income during the financial year 2015-16 and earlier. Sources in the department warned that the last date to file undisclosed income was September 30 this year.

Goans continue to queue for Portuguese passports

Panaji: Braving the monsoon, fighting off sleep and largely unperturbed by Britain's decision to exit the European Union (EU) three days ago, Goans continued to queue up outside the Portuguese consulate at Altinho early Monday morning.

Monsoon session of assembly to begin on July 25

PANAJI: Governor Mridula Sinha has summoned the legislative assembly of Goa to begin its monsoon session on Monday, July 25. The 15-day session will end on Friday, August 12.

Portugal to its citizens in UK: Get permanent residence cards

Panaji: Portugal's secretary of state for communities Jose Luis Carneiro has advised Portuguese nationals, including those of Goan origin in the UK to obtain a permanent residence card and also seek dual nationality to ensure that all their rights are protected.

Wilful defaulters, I will show you what law can do, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he would give willful defaulters a taste of the law, work towards bringing back black money, continue engage China and Pakistan, and also urged media not to make heroes of those diverting from politics of development to that of religion and hatred. Speaking to a TV channel, he also took to defence of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, saying that those creating controversies are doing great injustice to him.
peaking on former IPL chief Lalit Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, both of whom fled to London after committing alleged financial frauds, Modi said: "Kanoon kya hota hai, yeh mein un logo ko dikhaoonga (I will show them what law can do). The public are sure that if anyone can do this, it is Narendra Modi and I would certainly do it."

On black money hoarded by Indians abroad
"Our sincerity can be judged from the decision to set up an SIT at the first Cabinet meeting itself. Yet another big outcome during my recent trip to Switzerland is the deal on automatic exchange of information to get names of all those hoarding money in banks there. Further, steps have been taken to ensure no more black money is generated in India that can be illegally taken abroad.

On promise to put Rs 15 lakh in bank account of every Indian
Leave it for the Opposition to make an issue of it.

On failing to clinch NSG deal
It' is true that my trip to the United States, my speech at the US Congress and the respect they showered on India created a lot of hype. Had it not been hyped so much, there would not have been so much criticism on the NSG issue. Government is being criticised not for mishandling the NSG issue but because we were so successful over there (US). The process has begun on a positive note. Everything is governed by its own rules. Things will move forward as per rules.

It is true that after this government took over, SCO has been achieved, MTCR membership has been achieved. I am fully confident that we have begun efforts in the direction of the NSG (membership), formally. The process has begun on a positive note.

On RBI governor Raghuram Rajan
Those who are creating controversies are being unjust to Raghuram Rajan. I believe Rajan's patriotism is no less than any of ours. It will be doing injustice to him if one says that he will serve the country only if he is in a particular post. As much as I know Rajan, whatever post he holds, wherever he is, he is someone who will continue to serve the country. He is someone who loves his country. Therefore, it's not like the nation won't get Rajan's services, Rajan is not that kind of a person. He is a person who loves the country. Those who speak such language are doing great injustice to him. My experience with him has been good. I appreciate the work he has done. And my good wishes will always be with him...

On dealing with the dragon
We have initiated a dialogue process with China and it should continue. It's not necessary to have similar views for holding dialogue. Even when there are difference of opinion, talks are the only way forward. It's not just one problem, we have a whole lot of problems with China. There are so many issues... slowly and steadily we have to find solutions to them, one by one.

On Laxman rekha for Pakistan
I would especially like to appeal to my country's media that we stop tagging ourselves with another country and try do things.

...With whom in Pakistan you will talk and decide on Laxman rekha – with an elected government or with other actors? India will have to be alert and conscious all the time. Because of consistent efforts like the visit to Lahore and inviting the Pak PM here, we no longer have to convince the world about India's stand on terrorism.

Pakistan is finding it difficult to answer. If we remain an obstacle then we will have to convince the world that we are not like this. Earlier, the world would not buy India's theory on terrorism and sometime it would even treat it as law and order problem. Now the whole world is accepting what India says on terrorism. It is accepting the loss terror caused to India and to humanity.

On his diplomacy, outreach
The world did not know me. The world wants to know who is the head of the state. If the world know Modi through the eyes of the media, it would be disillusioned. I am not from a political family. I was not born into a political family. So meeting world leaders was not something I was accustomed to.

"I came without a baggage. I can talk to Saudi Arabia, US, Russia... with the same amount of respect. I do not consider small countries insignificant. We have been living under the shadow of bigger countries, I changed that. Geo-politics has changed. World is more inter-dependent and interconnected. People-to-people ties matter tremendously.

On Parliament's functioning...
It's wrong to blame the entire opposition for creating trouble as it was basically the Congress that was not allowing debate. I agree there are a lot of problems. Whether we should be blamed or others, I leave it to the people to decide. The sad part is they are running away from debate. This is a serious issue for a democracy. Parliament is there for debate and to express one's opposition. The responsibility of saving this spirit of Parliament is with all those who support democracy.

On hotheads in his party
Do not make heroes of people who politicise religion. I'm of the firm belief that the nation should progress on the issue of development. I would like to call upon the media not to make heroes out of such people.

Humour in public life
There is no humour left in public life because of the fear factor. Everyone is scared. Me too. My speeches used to be humorous. I see it in Parliament... no humour is left there. It's a matter of concern...

DNA India News

GFG hits out at ordinance to regularise illegal structures

Says it is a move to build a vote bank of migrant voters; seeks a law to stop the sale of land to outsiders

MARGAO: Goans for Goa (GFG) opposed the cabinet decision to pass an ordinance to regularise all illegal structures and houses built in private lands. They said this is yet another attempt by the BJP government to lure migrants and get their votes.
“By regularising these illegal structures through an ordinance the BJP government is actually rewarding the wrong doer and punishing the genuine Goan landowner, whose lands have been usurped by these unscrupulous elements,” GFG president Kennedy Afonso said.
GFG demanded to know from the chief minister, whether there is a provision in the local law to regularise illegal houses built by outsiders, on someone else’s land? “If not, how come the cabinet approved this ordinance to regularise illegal houses built by migrants, on land owned by Goans? This is akin to granting Special Status to illegal encroachers,” Afonso said.
GFG referred to the recent judgement passed by the Bombay High Court that such illegal structures cannot be regularised and compared the situation to Goa where the State government with an eye on vote bank politics is going ahead with such a controversial ordinance.
“If the government can pass such an ordinances to protect the interests of migrants, why can’t the BJP government draft a similar  bill, with a provision that will stop the sale of Goan land to outsiders, to protect the interests of Goans, until Special Status becomes a reality?” he asked.
GFG said that this exposes that the BJP government is working against the interest of Goans, and is going all out to pamper migrants with an eye on the forthcoming elections.

Herald Goa News

‘Smart’ Mayor, 6 others slip into St Inez Creek

Taleigao MLA criticises 'joyride', says vessel was overloaded

PANJIM: A major tragedy was averted when Corporation of City of Panjim (CCP) Mayor Surendra Furtado and six others, including a video journalist, slipped into St Inez creek during a de-weeding demonstration on Sunday morning. Fortunately, all escaped unhurt but electronic devices like cameras and mobile phones they carried, were damaged in the accident. Incidentally, Sunday also witnessed heavy rainfall.
The incident happened when the weeding machine, mounted on a vessel turned turtle while trying to lift a pile of garbage and other waste dumped along the creek side. All seven persons on the vessel fell into the murky water as a result of overloading.
The machine operator had initially demonstrated the de-weeding process after which the Mayor along with others, including a video journalist boarded the vessel to witness it. However, after traversing a little distance and at the time of clearing the dumped waste, the vessel lost control and capsized.
Taleigao legislator Jennifer Monserrate criticized the manner in which the demonstration was carried out.
“It was a very wrong decision to take so many people (on to the vessel) into the nullah. This machine is not meant for joy ride but was meant only for the operator and a helper. If there was a need, one person should have been taken at a time,” she said adding, “I had informed the Mayor not to take more than two persons. Nonetheless, I am glad no one is hurt.”

Herald Goa News

Don’t let Goa become an ‘Udta Punjab’: Goa DGP

PANAJI: Director general of police (DGP) Muktesh Chander on Sunday urged the people of the state not to allow Goa to become 'Udta Punjab' in terms of the narcotic trade.
'Udta Punjab' is a movie based on drug abuse in the state of Punjab. Speaking on the occasion of International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, at Panaji, Chander appealed to the people of the state to immediately inform police about any activities related to drugs so that the law enforcers can crack down on those activities.
"As and when we get information about the drug trade, the anti-narcotic cell (ANC) of Goa police immediately take action," he added.
Chander recently directed the ANC and coastal belt police stations to intensify action against the narcotic trade. The direction was given after the DGP reviewed drug cases in the state.
Over the last three years, Goa police has seized 10 different types of narcotics worth a total of over Rs 16 crore. The drugs seized include ganja, charas, cocaine, LSD papers, amphetamine, ecstasy tablets, heroin, methoxybenzyl (phenethylamine) and LSD liquid.

TOI Goa News

Caretaker kills elderly woman, pockets cash of Rs 9lakh & gold

Panaji: A caretaker, in alliance with two accomplices, allegedly murdered an elderly woman for monetary gain. The police said caretaker Dileshwar Patra, a native of West Bengal, met Natividade alias Nettie Teodora Fernandes, 87, at an old age home in Moira. Police said her body was found buried at an isolated place in Mayem.
The police arrested the two other accused involved in the crime — Narayan alias Prathamesh Naik, 21, from Ratnagiri and a resident of Mayem, and Chandrakant Bhise, 22, a resident of Vasco and from Dharwad, Karnataka. Police have sent a team to Mumbai to arrest Patra, who is untraceable.
On June 14, 2016, Jose Heredia from Porvorim filed a complaint before Porvorim police station that Patra kidnapped his friend (Fernandes) and wrongfully confined her at an unknown place.
Based on the allegation, the police started the investigation and found that the caretaker met Fernandes at an old age home where he became pally with her. Due to Patra's unruly behaviour with the other staff of the old age home, he was evicted on February 28, 2016. While leaving the old age home, Patra took the victim's cell number. Later, Patra allegedly convinced her to leave the old age home and stay with him in a flat at Socorro.
Porvorim police station PI Jivba Dalvi said the caretaker took Fernandes into confidence. The victim started issuing him cheques and the accused withdrew around 9 lakh from different bank accounts besides stealing her gold ornaments.
When Fernandes started suspecting him of cheating, she started being vocal about it which led the accused to kill her, sources said. Patra contacted former jail inmates Bhise and Naik and carried out the murder on the intervening night of May 2 and 3 by smothering her with a pillow. Her body was allegedly carried to an isolated cashew plantation site in Gavlan, Mayem, in a car and then buried. The police recovered gold ornaments worth 8 lakh sold by the accused to different jewellers. They also recovered some more gold, which the accused kept in a bank to get a loan of 1 lakh.

TOI Goa News

‘Escort websites still drive prostitution biz’

Panaji: While the central government may have blocked 237 websites running escort services, hundreds of similar websites remain up and running and drive most of the prostitution dealings in Goa, crime branch officers said.
With technology driving the world's oldest profession, cops agree that cracking down on escort service websites, many of which have servers in other countries, is difficult.
Over the last couple of months, Goa police has started cracking down on prostitution rackets operating in the state. Speaking to TOI, superintendent of police (SP), crime branch, Karthik Kashyap said that it has been revealed that most of the prostitution rackets are being run through escort services.
"This year, Goa police busted 15 prostitution rackets operating through escort websites," he said.
After raids, when Goa police verify cell numbers used by the pimps to contact customers, it has come to the notice of investigation agencies, that those are the same numbers which are available on websites running escort services.
Kashyap said that most of the websites are operated from outside the state. "When any customer calls the cell number available on the website, it is connected to those persons sitting in Delhi, Mumbai and other places and who are operating the prostitution business," he added.
Explaining further, Kashyap said that after a pimp sitting in Delhi strikes a deal with the customer, he, through a local contact, supplies the girl to the customer in Goa.
Last year, after two Delhi-based escort girls were gangraped at Arpora, Goa police had come up with a strategy to clamp down on escort businesses operating through websites.
In another case that was registered at the Panaji police station, police informers had contacted a Bollywood actor, through a pimp, by getting her number through a website.
Police said that there are thousands of websites that provide escort services to tourists visiting the state. As and when a case is reported, the police recommend that the site be blocked.

TOI Goa News

I don’t have much faith in court: Hartman

Panaji: "More Goans need to learn how not sit on the fence. People turned a blind eye, when unregulated mining took place in Goa. It was the age of greed," said Hartman de Souza, speaking about his book 'Eat Dust: Mining and Greed in Goa' at the Goa book club. He added that Goans who had travelled abroad, had not travelled the length and breadth of Goa and did not know what was happening to their land.
De Souza, a former journalist and theatre director of Space Theatre Ensemble said he doesn't believe in courts but in people's power which was lacking during the years illegal mining took place. "I don't have faith in courts as much as I do in agitation. People need to come out on to the streets to make their voices heard," he said.

TOI Goa News

Creek show: Joyride turns disaster for Panaji mayor

Panaji: Panaji mayor Surendra Furtado, along with six others, had a narrow escape on Sunday when the de-weeding machine that they were on turned turtle in the St. Inez creek. All the seven, who most likely violated safety norms, were pinned down under the machine for a few moments even as onlookers watched aghast. All of them lived to tell the tale with a few bruises to prove their ordeal.
The incident occurred along the St. Inez Creek near the Mercedes Benz workshop around 12:30 when Furtado was demonstrating the capability of the amphibious vehicle to journalists. Furtado, accompanied by former councilor Bento Lorena and two other journalists, stepped onto the amphibious machine. The operator of the vehicle and the project head for the de-weeding exercise were also onboard along with an unidentified male.
Things began smoothly with the amphibious vehicle, along with the seven occupants, easing into the water near the Sewage treatment plant at Tonca. The mayor then instructed the operator to proceed upstream.
Along the way, the operator kept warning the occupants not to touch the controls, once even going to the extent of switching off the engine.
After proceeding a good 75 meters upstream from the starting point, the operator decided to turn the amphibious vehicle around. At that moment, a few occupants on the vehicle asked the operator to demonstrate the de-weeding capabilities of the machine. All this while a local TV channel editor onboard the vessel kept the camera rolling.
The trouble began when the machine sank its hydraulic teeth into the weeds and attempted to yank them out of their roots. Given that the amphibious vehicle was already overloaded, the vehicle dipped slightly on its right side. Panic ensued and even as one member of the party fell into the water, the mayor tried to scamper towards the other side of the vehicle, inadvertently holding on to the joystick controls for grip.
Disaster struck immediately as the weight imbalance and motor controls forced the machine to turn turtle, with all the occupants pinned underneath. Thankfully, all the seven managed to free themselves and wade to the bank of the creek.
The amphibious vessel has been imported from Sweden by Benaulim-based entrepreneur Caesar Fernandes.

TOI Goa News

Border dispute, ‘emerging new issues’ major challenge for ties with India: China

China has said the vexed border dispute with India and some 'emerging new issues' pose a 'major challenge' to the development of bilateral ties.

"As the two neighbouring countries, China and India have historical issues such as the border dispute and also some emerging new issues with the development of the relations between the two countries. How to deal with these issues is a major challenge for the relationship between the two countries," Chinese Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Li Huilai said.

"The two sides have agreed to strengthen communication and dialogue, and to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through friendly consultations, and to manage and control these issues so that the overall development of the relationship between the two countries is not affected," he told PTI.

The Minister, however, did not specify what are the "emerging new issues" faced by the two countries.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was on a five-day visit to China last week, had said on Friday that the differences between India and China on the boundary issue and other matters may have "some marginal effect" on bilateral trade but businesses between the two sides have been expanding.

The two countries held talks in April this year to resolve the vexed border dispute. While China claims the border dispute is confined to 2,000 kilometres, mainly Arunachal Pradesh in eastern sector which it claims as part of southern Tibet, India asserts the dispute covered the whole of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including the Aksai Chin occupied by China during the 1962 war.

The Chinese Assistant Minister also said that the main task that lies ahead for both China and India is to implement the consensus between leaders of both countries and strengthen the good momentum of the development in their ties.

"Over the past years, China and India have kept their relationship developing in a sound and steady manner. The leaders of the two countries have successfully exchanged visits and met repeatedly, reaching an important consensus on deepening the strategic partnership between China and India and building a closer partnership for development," said Li.

Asked why Beijing blocked India's bid to get Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN, he said, "China supports the fight against terrorism in all forms and advocates strengthening international counter-terrorism cooperation. We support the UN in playing a central coordinating role in the international counter-terrorism campaign."

"The Chinese side always follows facts and fairly handles the listing matter of the 1267 Committee in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and rules of procedure. China is in sound communication with all parties including India on this matter. We also encourage direct communication of the parties concerned and enhancing mutual understanding, and work to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation," Li said.

Replying to a question on China's opposition to India's entry into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), when most of its members, including the US, are in its favour, he said, "NSG members remain divided on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries. Therefore, we call for further and thorough discussions within the group in order to make decisions based on consultation."

"China's position applies to all non-NPT countries and targets no one in particular. The fact is that many countries within the group also share China's stance," he said.

DNA India News

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rs 5 pao to hit the shelves next month

MARGAO: In an apparent move to offset losses, state’s traditional bakers have decided to introduce 50 gram ‘pao’ from July 1 which will be priced at Rs 5 each. The 30 gram ‘pao’ that is presently offered by the bakers will continue to be sold at Rs 3.

GCA trio walks out on bail

PANAJI: The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Panaji on Friday granted conditional bail to the GCA president Chetan Desai, secretary Vinod Phadke and treasurer Akbar Mulla in the alleged misappropriation of GCA’s Rs 3.13 crore.

2200 Goans with Portuguese citizenship could lose voting right

CEO awaits Central communication to delete names from electoral rolls; around 26,500 names of Goans holding dual citizenship already dropped

PANJIM: Uncertainty looms for 2000-odd Goans, who have obtained Portuguese nationality, as the Chief Electoral Office (CEO) is awaiting communication from the Centre before deleting their names from the electoral rolls. So far around 26,500 names of persons who have obtained dual citizenship have been deleted.

Minor girl’s statement to be recorded once again

Panaji: Police will record the statement of the minor girl who was allegedly raped by St Cruz MLA Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate afresh. The survivor was hospitalized last week to be treated for depression.

School girl raped by headmaster

MAPUSA: A head master of a government high school in the Pernem taluka has been booked for allegedly raping a minor girl of standard I.

‘Will continue Portuguese passport process’

Panaji: Despite the uncertainty arising from the UK choosing to exit the European Union (EU), there's no reason to believe that Goans will stop queuing up outside the Portuguese consulate in Altinho, Panaji.

Over 20,000 Goans in the UK clueless about their fate

Panaji: Even as the dual nationality issue rages on in Goa, the fate of over 20,000 Goans living and working in the UK hangs in the balance as Britain took a historic, decisive vote to leave the European Union (EU) on Friday.

Portuguese consulate issues 50 passports a day

Panaji: Despite the apprehensions surrounding the Brexit referendum, Portugal continued to issue nearly 40-50 Portuguese passports per day to Goans, sources have revealed citing data available with Goa Police, the Goa Passport Office and the Office of the Portuguese Consul General.

Goa govt regularizes unauthorized constructions

Panaji: Any unauthorized construction on a private property done before February 28, 2014, will now be regularized as the state government on Friday, approved the Goa regularization of unauthorized construction ordinance through circulation.

A terrible day for Britain and Europe: Keith Vaz

Goan-origin MP in the UK, Keith Vaz, on Friday, expressed disappointment over the Brexit referendum result.

If invited for Global Entrepreneurship Summit, would try to stop by India: Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama today said he might visit India next year if invited for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

TCP files complaint against illegal land filling

Town and country planning (TCP) department has filed a complaint against accused in an alleged illegal land filling case in Bastora.
Senior town planner, TCP Mapusa, complained that prior to April 1 at Deusawada in Quitla, Aldona, accused Omprakash Pariani and Bharat Pariani filled a lowlying paddy field without the required permissions. The accused are owners of property in the village. Mapusa police have booked the accused and are investigating the case.
Siolim resident booked for allowing minor to ride motorcycle: Pernem police have booked Siolim resident, Renuka Chitkal, for allowing a minor boy to ride a motorcycle without a valid driving licence. A Rajasthan native suffered grievious injuries after the minor collided with him near Chopdem in Siolim.
ACB registers FIR against former housing board officials: The anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the directorate of vigilance registered an FIR against former chairperson of Goa Housing Board (GHB) Nilkanth Halarnkar, former GHB managing director and joint secretary, Elvis Gomes and another on Wednesday, in connection with a housing project under the provisions of The Prevention of Corruption Act. An ACB official said a complaint was lodged in February. The complaint states that while land was identified for a housing scheme project in Margao, the process was allegedly scraped without following proper procedure.
Western Naval Command flag officer on three-day visit to state: flag officer commanding-in-chief (FOC-in-C) of the Western Naval Command vice admiral Girish Luthra arrived on a three-day formal visit to the Goa Naval Area on June 21 to oversee the Indian Navy's operational preparedness and to interact with the naval and defence civilian community at Goa. A specialist in navigation and direction, Luthra took over as the flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Naval Command on May 30.
Councillors want honararium increased: The ministry of urban development has proposed a raise in honorarium paid to municipal councillors. The urban development department has submitted the proposal to the government after requests were received from municipal bodies. Some municipal bodies including the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) have had resolutions passed seeking increment in honorarium. Director of urban development Elvis Gomes said he has submitted the proposal to the urban development secretary. Currently, members of 'A' class municipalities are paid honorarium of 8,000, members of 'B' Class get 7,000 and class 'C' members 6, 000. It has been proposed to hike honorarium of members of Class 'A' municipalities to 20,000, and that of head of the council 25,000.

TOI Goa News

GCA chief’s advocate alleges a ‘boss’ behind fraud probe

Points out that his client’s panel had defeated panel which had BJP members on it; suggests that DCB bank manager be interrogated

PANJIM: Arguing the bail application on behalf of Goa Cricket Association Chetan Dessai, his counsel said there is some 'boss' behind the investigation carried out by the Economic Offences Cell (EOC) of Goa Police. He also named BJP MLA Subhash Faldesai and Dr Shekhar Salkar, who he claimed is a BJP man.
“There is some boss behind this investigation. That is clearly stated in the police say (submission before the court opposing bail). The say mentions that over directions of superior, the investigation is carried out by police sub inspector in this case,” argued Advocate Surendra Dessai representing Chetan in the JMFC Court Panjim.
During arguments before JMFC Vijayalaxmi Shivolkar, Adv Dessai alleged that the police were trying to keep aside the complaint lodged by Chetan in connection with the siphoning off the money, but were entertaining the second complaint against Chetan in the same matter.
Chetan, along with GCA Secretary Vinod Phadke and Treasurer Akbar Mulla, have been arrested by EOC for misappropriating a sum of Rs 3.13 crore.
Advocate Dessai said that Chetan, Phadke and Mulla had filed their complaint on misappropriation of funds on May 9 and it was registered as an FIR on June 2, hours before the second case against them was filed by GCA life member Vilas Desai.
“Kindly consider the fact whether the government had stopped them from registering a FIR into the complaint by Dessai, Phadke and Mulla. I don’t blame the police as they are under the Home department,” Adv Dessai told the court pointing out that all three had defeated the GCA panel which had BJP members on it.
“Panel headed by BJP functionary Shekhar Salkar which had party’s MLA Subhash Faldessai and wife of BJP minister Rajendra Arlekar was defeated by my client during the last election. There is a possibility of victimizing me by getting arrested,” the lawyer said.
Stating that his client was not involved in the forgery and misappropriation of funds, Adv Dessai said, “GCA seems to have been taken for a ride by some person who is connected to it (GCA).”
Adv Dessai argued that manager of Development Credit Bank, who allowed the fake account to be opened and money to be withdrawn, should be interrogated by police.
The court adjourned the case for Thursday evening for further arguments. Public Prosecutor Poonam Bharne will be arguing on behalf of the State.

--

EOC team leaves for Mumbai to get details from BCCI

PANJIM: A team of the Economic Offences Cell (EOC) of Goa Police has been dispatched to the BCCI office in Mumbai to get details of the cheque which was allegedly deposited in a fake account and the money siphoned off.
EOC has arrested GCA President Chetan Dessai, Secretary Vinod Phadke and Treasurer Akbar Mulla for misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 3.13 crore.
“The misappropriated sum includes a cheque of Rs 2.83 crore which was released by BCCI to GCA,” the investigation officer said. He said the team will get details of transactions between BCCI and GCA during 2007-08 when the forgery happened.
“The records of BCCI will be crucial evidence in this case. Once we get details of the cheque the investigation will get impetus,” the officer said.

Herald Goa News

On D-day, British Goans on Portuguese passports fear Brexit

Goans midway through applying for Portuguese passports now unsure; Over 20,000 Goans with Portuguese passports live in UK, Goans fear Brexit will lead to difficult job prospects and ease of living

PTI, LONDON: Thousands of Goans who migrated to the UK on an EU passport using their Portuguese ancestry are hoping Britain votes to remain in the 28-nation bloc in tomorrow's referendum over fears their immigration status could change in the event of a British exit or ‘Brexit’.
According to the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS), there are around 20,000 Goans holding Portuguese passports who live and work in the UK.
 They used their right of freedom of movement within the EU to settle in Britain over the years but now fear their immigration status could change after the referendum in the event of a British exit from the European Union.
“There is a lot of ambiguity. Forget Goans, even British citizens are not clear what a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in the referendum would really mean. In the process it causes a lot of concern and unease among Goans who have made the UK their home with their families,” said Ravi Vaz, president of the Goan Association (UK).
The association, founded in 1966 as a cultural and professional hub for Goans across UK and Europe, said Goans in India in the process of applying for their Portuguese passports have also been affected.
“There were many Goans mid-way through this process suddenly left unsure about their future. They may have applied after narrowing down job opportunities here but are now no longer sure what the future would hold in the UK,” he said.
The UK has been the first choice for Goans who acquire their Portuguese nationality mainly due to the comfort of the English language and a strong Goan community in Britain, concentrated largely in Swindon, southwest England, and parts of London.
They are mostly employed within the catering and hospitality sector in customer service roles or as chefs but also as IT professionals and labourers.
“Most of the Goans based here are professionals who come with a particular skill set or are entrepreneurs. They have moved here to improve their circumstances and not for the benefits system. In the event of changes following the referendum, they will still be part of the EU and may look at going to Germany or France or other EU countries that have job opportunities,” said Flavio Gracias, a Goan who has been based in London since 1968.
According to data from the Election Commission of India, 11,500 Goans surrendered their Indian passports in favour of Portuguese citizenship in the five years between January 2008 and January 2013.
This figure is now estimated to be closer to 24,000, many of whom have settled in the UK.

Herald Goa News

ACB registers FIR against 3 including former minister

PANAJI: The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Directorate of Vigilance has registered an FIR against a former minister, a senior Goa civil service officer and another individual on alleged charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and under prevention of corruption act.
The alleged accused have been identified as former minister and the then chairman of Goa Housing Board Nilkanth Halarnkar, the then managing director as well as joint secretary of Goa Housing Board Elvis Gomes and an individual Vincent Gracias.
The matter is pertaining to alleged malpractices in the Goa Housing Board especially pertaining to dropping of land acquisition. The period in question is between 2007 to 2011.
A land admeasuring 30,256 square metre in Margao was identified for implementation of housing scheme, however, the process for land acquisition was allegedly scrapped without following a proper procedure.
According to V Gupta, Superintendent of Police (SP), attached to ACB, a complaint was lodged in February this year by an individual, and that, after a preliminary inquiry the FIR has been registered. “Halarnkar, Gomes and Gracias are the accused in the case. There is substance in the case as such the FIR was registered,” Gupta told media persons.
The FIR was registered last month under sections 420, 120-B of IPC and prevention of corruption act.
Referring to the case, Gupta said that, in December 2007 the Goa Housing Board decided to acquire land in Margao region for implementation of the housing scheme. The land was identified and subsequently, after four months (in August 2008) NOC was obtained from TCP, Margao, wherein land was earmarked as settlement zone. Then, in September 2009, the Goa Housing Board deposited Rs 21,80,000 as 25 per cent of the cost of land with the EDC.
Thereafter, the Housing Board requested the revenue department to issue notification for land acquisition. “Till here, everything was okay, only notification was to be issued. However, from 2009 to 2011 nothing happened,” said Gupta, adding that, “at this time one Vincent Gracias moves a ‘single-page’ application to the managing director, Goa Housing Board requesting not to acquire land as he along with some more people are the cultivators of the said property. Incidentally, Gracias had no authority over the land.”
Soon the chairman of Housing Board calls a meeting without any agenda and says request of the applicant (Gracias) may be considered pending final decision of the government, informed Gupta.
Gomes was said to be the MD as well as joint secretary of Goa Housing Board. “The matter was not placed before the secretary for decision, which actually should have been done. Joint secretary grants approval and refers matter back to MD,” said Gupta.
The Goa Housing Board decides not to go ahead with the project and a message is conveyed to Gracias, Gupta said.
It is interesting to note here that in 2008, from settlement zone (land which was to be acquired), it is changed to commercial zone in 2010 and much before the government decided to drop the processes, the land is sold by some private party, informed Gupta, adding that, “further investigation is in progress in the case.”

NT Network Goa News

Cops seek details about BCCI funds allotted to GCA

PANAJI: The Economic Offences Cell (EOC) of Goa police probing the multi-crore fraud in the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to provide financial details about the amount of funds given to the GCA.
Sources claimed that the details have been sought for a certain period from 2006 onwards. Police in its letter has also sought cooperation from the BCCI. In this connection, a team has been sent to the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai to gather necessary documents pertaining to the case.
Without giving much details, SP EOC Priyanka Kashyap confirmed that the team has been sent to Mumbai BCCI office to collect evidence.
EOC on June 15 had arrested GCA president Chetan Desai, its secretary Vinod Phadke and treasurer Akbar Mulla’s in the alleged misappropriation of GCA’s Rs 3.13 crore. All the three are currently in police custody.
Police are also examining another complaint which alleges misappropriation of over Rs 5.87 crore. These incidents are said to have been reported between 2006 to 2009, as such police have sought details from the BCCI especially of these particular years in question.
Meanwhile, sources informed that police has recorded statement of one more bank employee which too is said to have supported the claim of the then bank manager that the three accused in question had opened the bank account.
According to the police, the accused had claimed that a fraudulent bank account was opened using forged signatures by unknown accused persons and money (Rs 2.87 crore) was withdrawn and misappropriated
However, the probe has ruled out this theory as a then bank manager had confirmed that Dessai, Phadke and Mulla had signed the account opening form as well as submitted their ID proofs.
The JMFC on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on the bail applications of the three accused Dessai, Phadke and Mulla to Thursday.

NT Network Goa News

No change in govt stance: D’Souza

PANAJI: Stating that the commencement of talks between the government and the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) leaders is a welcome occurrence, Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza said that these leaders should however understand the genuine difficulties faced by the government in accepting the BBSM demand and withdrawing its grants to the 100-odd English primary schools.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the BBSM leaders should also comprehend that the government just cannot withdraw its grants to an institution overnight as there could be administrative and legal implications to it.
“They should further know that the government is not functioning for one community or one group, but the entire state, as also take into consideration the needs and requirements of every Goan, even though all Goans may have not voted for the political party to which the government belongs,” he observed, pointing out that the Bharatiya Janata Party, in its manifesto for the 2012 state assembly election had not taken a hardliner stand on the MOI issue, and clearly stated that the party, if voted to power would take a related decision only after consulting all the stakeholders.
Speaking further, D’Souza recalled that the BBSM leaders had welcomed the decision of the then chief minister and education minister Manohar Parrikar, when he had come out with the State MOI Policy in 2014, which laid clear guidelines for funding primary level schools. “If they had accepted and welcomed this policy when it was announced, then why objection to it now,” he questioned.
The deputy Chief Minister also hoped that the ongoing talks between the government and the BBSM leaders would proceed in the positive direction, and a mutually acceptable solution would come out. “At least I am optimistic about it,” he noted, maintaining that “Well begun is half done.”

NT Network Goa News

First round of govt-BBSM talks on MOI end inconclusively

PANAJI: The talks between the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) leaders, held on Wednesday, to discuss the withdrawal of government grants to 100-odd English primary schools run by the Diocesan Society of Education, remained inconclusive.
The Chief Minister, briefing about the interaction said that the talks are not over yet, and he would invite the BBSM leaders again for second round of talks. “I am quite optimistic that a solution would be reached to the Medium of Instruction (MOI) problem,” he added.
BBSM co-ordinator Subhash Velingkar, told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the Chief Minister, during the meeting went roundabout the issue, without touching upon the actual demand. He also said that the talks did not proceed on a positive note.
Maintaining that the BBSM is firm on its demand, Velingkar said that the agitation would continue till the demand is met. “In fact, we will further intensify the agitation in the coming days,” he warned, stating that the BBSM is however open for second round of talks with the Chief Minister, and in all probability, will meet him soon.
Velingkar also reiterated that the BBSM is all ready to provide modalities to the government as regards withdrawing government grants provided to the particular group of schools. “But then the government should first agree to withdraw the grants,” he quipped.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had agreed to meet the BBSM leaders after the Manch sent a reminded memorandum – a copy of the memorandum presented to the Chief Minister in the past – to the Chief Minister recently, and further stated that the government should take into consideration the intensity of the BBSM agitation, which has increased from June 18, and immediately meet the BBSM leaders so as to take up official talks with them, on the MOI issue.
Another senior member of the BBSM, who also attended the meeting with the Chief Minister, told this daily that no concrete assurance has been given by the Chief Minister to them, in connection of their demand. “The Chief Minister made no specific statement on the issue,” he informed, adding that if the BBSM leaders are again invited by the Chief
Minister for further talks, they would definitely oblige him, as doing otherwise would be nothing less than showing disrespect to the chair of the Chief Minister.
“But the BBSM agitation would go on till the government grants to English primary schools are withdrawn, and there is no compromise on the issue,” the BBSM member stressed.

NT Network Goa News

Swamy wastes no time in firing latest salvos at Arvind Subramanian

It's been barely a day since the BJP's big guns (read as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) came out in defence of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian — with Jaitely telling the press that the party had 'full confidence' in Subramanian. After stating that "(t)he party has said that they don’t share (Swamy’s) view," Jaitely added somewhat ominously, "I would also add one more fact. From the point of view of the discipline of Indian politicians. to what extent should we attack those, the discipline and constraints of those whose offices prevent them from responding, and this has happened more than once.”
It's been barely a day since the BJP's big guns (read as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) came out in defence of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian — with Jaitely telling the press that the party had 'full confidence' in Subramanian. After stating that "(t)he party has said that they don’t share (Swamy’s) view," Jaitely added somewhat ominously, "I would also add one more fact. From the point of view of the discipline of Indian politicians. to what extent should we attack those, the discipline and constraints of those whose offices prevent them from responding, and this has happened more than once.”

Firstpost India News

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Resumption of mining affecting wildlife badly

Bicholim: Since the resumption of mining activities, leopards and other wild life have been threatened inside the mining belt of Bicholim.
Before the mining industry began operations, many areas in Bicholim were the natural habitats for different species of wild animals.
With haphazard mining, there has been a a gradual destruction and degradation of natural habitats and also corridors that animals use in between connected habitats.
Amrut Singh of the Animal rescue squad of Bicholim was speaking to TOI, said, "For the last 3 years, our observations have revealed wild animals like leopards, bisons, jungle cats had a new lease of life with the closure of the mining industry. But now with the resumption of mining industry and transportation, the threat posed to these animals has again returned."
A female leopard with two cubs had been sighted on many occasions in Mayem and surrounding areas.
Two months ago, one of the cubs was badly injured while crossing road when it was hit by a motorcycle. Though, the cub was taken to Bondla zoo for treatment, it did not survive for long.
A fortnight ago, a jungle cat died on the spot when it was hit by a mining truck in Surla, Bicholim.
"Mining trucks hardly follow traffic rules and regulations, and this has increased death rates amongst wild animals like monitor lizards, monkeys, leopards", says Gajanan Shetye, a wildlifer from Keri.
Girish Bailudkar, the Range forest officer (RFO) of Keri told TOI, "Since our staff has received information about increasing movement of leopards in the mining belt, we have visited these areas and instructed mining officials about the presence of leopards.
They have also confirmed (the sightings) and agreed to co-operate in protecting leopards and other wild animals."
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In Lamgao area of Bicholim, residents have sighted leopards on many ocassions.
When mining activities were on in full swing, Bicholim and surrounding areas had witnessed increasing incidents of man-animal, especially leopards, conflicts.
After receiving complaints from villagers, some leopards were trapped and released in their habitats by forest officials.
Leopard spottings are becoming a tad common in these areas so much so that recently, a Bicholim resident was successful in taking a photo on his cellphone of a leopard in the mining belt.

TOI Goa News

Goans weather the weather to observe World Yoga Day

PANAJI: Braving heavy showers, hundreds joined chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar to celebrate the second International Yoga Day on Tuesday morning.
Addressing enthusaistic participants at the Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee stadium during the inaugural of the event, Parsekar said yoga is a medium to connect not just the people of Goa but those across the country.
"Besides giving people balance in the physiological sense, the science of yoga also helps keep mental balance," the chief minister said. "I hope this event inspires citizens to practice yoga on a daily basis."
Also present for the mass yoga session was deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza, who lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for initiating the concept of International Yoga Day.
"We are celebrating a very ancient science brought to us by our sages. Yoga teaches us to unite the mind, body and soul. This helps our body prevent a number of illnesses," he said.
The day-long event saw a massive turnout of enthusiastic students, teachers and heads of various departments. Six batches of 500 students each participated.
Anu Modak, a teacher at Dr K B Hedgewar School, Cujira, Bambolim, said, "This event has helped bring awareness about the importance of yoga among citizens, specially students. Yoga should be made a part of the school curriculum in Goa."
Participants were urged to understand changes they felt after performing breathing exercises and asanas . "It was exhilarating to perform breathing exercises in tandem with others," said a retired official from the nuclear power corporation, Bimal Dey.

TOI Goa News

Phadke continued to be in GCA, defying Pendse commissions report

Report stated Dayanand Narvekar, Vinod Phadke and Rama Shankardas shall not hold any post in GCA; Administrator and 50 per cent members to be ex-Ranji players


PANJIM: Even as the Economic Offences Cell of the Goa Cricket Association is probing the GCA fraud of Rs 3.13 cr, such controversies could have been averted had the successive state government acted on time.
Documents accessed by Herald reveal that the Pendse Commission, which probed the fake ticket scam in 2001, had clearly stated that Vinod Phadke, Dayanand Narvekar and Ramashankar Das should not be on any committee.
Although the report was submitted in 2003, it was accepted by the Manohar Parrikar government in 2012.
While Narvekar was defeated in 2012, one doesn’t undestand why Phadke continued to be in the GCA committee as president thereafter.
“One of the recommendations in the report is that Dayanand Narvekar, Vinod Phadke and Rama Shankardas shall not hold any post in GCA managing committee as well as any sports association of Goa and if they do so the government should take action against GCA by de-recognising it,” says Vilas Desai, GCA life member.
However, contrary to this, in 2012 Vinod Phadke was made the president after Narvekar’s departure from GCA.
“It was only after some BJP MLAs raised the issue in the assembly in 2012, the then CM Parrikar assured the house that report will be implemented in toto and action would be taken against Phadke,” he said.
Following this, on 27/08/2014, the SAG issued  notice to GCA why it should not be derecognised as the Pendse Commission recommendations were not implemented.
Sensing trouble, Phadke resigned in November 2014 but only to be elected to the committee for 2015 to 2018.
“For almost a year now, Phadke had been the secretary of GCA, so one opines what stopped the government from acting against him,” Desai said.
Further, the commission had also suggested that if the government deems fit, it can appoint an administrator for a short while till a new managing committee is formed.
Justice Pendse also said that the 50 per cent of the members should be at least former Ranji players.
“None of these recommendations have been implemented by GCA,” Desai said.

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Recommendations of Pendse Commission
 The ministers of Govt of Goa should not associate in the GCA committee like the one constituted by Narvekar with the object of defeating the rules framed by the Sports Authority of Goa.
 The Govt of Goa should examine whether an administrator should be appointed to manage the affairs of the Goa Cricket Association for a short duration by removing the existing committee. The administrator may prepare fresh list of members of GCA and hold fresh elections
 Efforts should be made that at least half the members of the committee be players who represented Goa in Ranji Trophy

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Court refuses
interim bail to trio
PANJIM: The Bench of Bombay High Court in Goa on Tuesday refused to grant interim bail to the Goa Cricket Association trio of Chetan Desai, Vinod Phadke and Akbar Mulla.
The petition filed by the GCA trio seeking interim bail and challenging police remand has been disposed off as withdrawn.

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Sarvodaya SC, 4
others get reprieve
PANJIM: The Sarvodaya Sports Club and four other members got a breather today with the Goa Cricket Association cancelling the special general body meeting called on June 26, to finalise their expulsion from the association for six years.
It could be termed as another setback to arrested GCA trio.

Herald Goa News

Panjim murder victim visited offshore casino

Kumar spent Rs 1,000 on gambling; Visit to the vessel is not linked with the murder prima facie; police probing all angles and theories

PANJIM: The 60-year-old tourist, whose body was found in a pool of blood early Monday morning, had visited an off-shore casino where he reportedly betted Rs 1,000 on gambling. Virendra Kumar’s visit to the vessel is not linked with the murder prima facie; however Panjim police are probing all angles and theories concerning the case.
“He had visited one off-shore casino where he spent Rs 1,000 on gambling. We are trying to ascertain whether he went there alone or with the absconding accused,” PI Siddhant Shirodkar told Herald.
A taxi driver by profession, Kumar had checked-in Sapna Hotel along with the four accused boys last weekend. He was on a holiday to Goa, according to the deceased’s son’s statement to the police. The police are groping in the dark to nab the perpetrators of the crime, thanks to the negligence by the hotel manager.
“If the hotel management had to record details of all its visitors, we would have traced the accused by now. We are still trying to find out whether the victim and accused travelled to Goa together, or they met him in Goa. But negligence on the part of the hotel management has resulted in hindrance into the investigation,” the officer said. “We have managed to get the lone evidence in the form of CCTV footage. However, there are other leads based on which we are taking the investigation ahead.”
The CCTV footage shows the 60-year-old and the accused persons at the reception counter.  After the murder, it is learnt the accused withdrew around Rs 30,000 from the victim’s ATM card. The police have circulated the snapshot evidence to all the police stations, bus stands, railway stations, and border checkposts in search of the accused.
The post mortem report mentions, “violent asphyxia as a result of combined effect of manual and soft ligature smothering…” Meanwhile, a police report mentioning the violation of Collectorate’s order has been sent to the district collector for action against the hotel.

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Nepalese held for stealing phones, camera from St Cruz market

PANJIM: Agassaim Police on Monday night arrested a Nepalese in connection with the theft of mobile phones and camera from St Cruz market.
According to Agassaim Police they intercepted a two-wheeler at Bambolim and arrested one Jivan Parial (26) native of Nepal while two other accomplices managed to flee.
The police disclosed that the mobiles phones worth Rs 1 lakh were stolen from a shop in the St Cruz market by breaking the shutters.
The motorcycle without number plate which was used by the accused was stolen from Ponda. Further investigations are on.

Herald Network Goa News

Percept firm on holding Sunburn between Dec 27 and 30

India’s biggest EDM festival organiser firm on stand that State cannot decide when and where to hold Sunburn; Questions govt prerogative to shift the festival out of the December-January peak window, hints at having other venue options outside Goa if their dates are not cleared

PANJIM: One of the mega year-end electronic dance music (EDM) festivals – Sunburn organiser Percept Ltd has questioned Goa government’s wisdom over its proposal to restrict hosting the event before or after the peak tourist season.
“It’s the State’s prerogative to say yes or no (on granting permission to the festival) but not when and where,” Karan Singh, CEO of Sunburn Global, Percept Live told Herald in an exclusive email interview.
The remark indicates that Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar’s announcement that the two EDMs including Viacom 18’s Supersonic will not be allowed from December 15 to January 15, has not gone well with the organisers.
The high-level State Level Permission Committee (SLPC) that decides on giving the EDMs permission had last year raised strong objection to the organisers’ taking decisions without taking into confidence the State. The committee headed by Chief Secretary RK Srivastava then suggested that government take over deciding the venues and dates from 2016.
Percept is adamant to go ahead with its traditional dates from December 27-30 this year as well with ‘early bird tickets sale’ already commenced online. The CEO also hinted at shifting the festival, probably out of Goa though he claims that Goa remains their first priority.
“We have no plans to change the dates… It’s December 27-30 every year and will be the same,” Singh said adding, “We have other venue options that have been available for a while now. If compelled, we will use those. That said Goa is still our home and first preference. Any other option would only be exercised as such. Once we are ready to make a decision we shall announce it.”
With government NOC to hold the event yet to be granted, Sunburn has begun selling early tickets at Rs 1 lakh approx as of now. Interestingly, the website does not mention the venue in the wake of the recent development. The festival, in its 10th year, was held at Candolim during its early years to subsequently shift to Vagator.  
Asked whether it had initiated the process to apply for permission, Singh responded, “We have partnered (with) a Goa company to apply and manage the permission process and also all the local Goa coordination. We understand that the application made by them to the tourism office was refused acceptance. Our partner is in the process of trying to understand the reasons for this non acceptance of the application.”

Herald Goa News

Panjim ­Mayor moves Lokayukta on Smart city and Amrut

PANJIM: The Panjim Mayor Surendra Furtado on Tuesday said he will approach the Lokayukta seeking a detail probe into the Central Government’s ambitious Smart City Development Mission and Amrut scheme for Panjim city, stating that project implementation is being done bypassing Central government guidelines.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, Furtado said the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) is being sidelined while passing various projects under the Smart City Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). “The ruling panel and the Mayor has not been consulted on the AMRUT mission, while the Urban Secretary, GSIDC and City Commissioner are bypassing the corporation,” he said.
“Whereas the Central government guidelines on the project clearly states that the project implementation has to be in consultation with the urban local body. Even the Constitution of India, gives power to the civic body to be actively involved in the developmental projects,” Furtado said, adding “CCP has till date not

passed any resolution approving projects under AMRUT”.
Furtado said that he will be writing to the Goa Lokayukta complaining about how the local body is been sidelined in the important development projects while handling it over to Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), which is now appointed as the Mission Directorate.
“I will expose GSIDC and these schemes soon. Will submit documents to Lokayukta,” Mayor said adding he has already petitioned Chief Secretary RK Srivastav to look into the matter.
In a letter to Chief Secretary, Furtado said that the last Corporation panel in November, 2015 approved in-principle clearance for preparation of State Level Proposal and State Annual Action Plan under AMRUT through GSIDC. However, the details of the projects to be taken up under this were not approved by the Corporation as required under the guidelines of AMRUT issued by Union Government.
“I had even brought this up during the state level technical committee meeting under chairmanship of Principal Secretary Urban development, however my point was not recorded,” he said.

Herald Goa News

MOI tangle: BBSM optimistic on reaching workable solution

PANAJI: The Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, appear to have come closer for arriving at a mutually acceptable solution to the Medium of Instruction (MOI) tangle, with the BBSM offering all assistance to the government in this endeavour.
The BBSM is now ready to extend help to the government as regards improving the quality of Konkani and Marathi schools, and suggesting modalities to withdraw government grants to 100-odd English primary schools run by the Diocesan Society of Education.
BBSM co-ordinator Subhash Velingkar told ‘The Navhind Times’ Tuesday evening that although the BBSM will not budge from its demand about withdrawal of government grants to the English primary schools, it would any time help the government by coming out with related suggestions. “We can also advice the government on improving the status of the Konkani and Marathi schools in Goa,” he added.
It may be recalled that the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had recently stated that the BJP and the BBSM thought alike on the MOI issue, except on one point, which is grants to the English primary schools. He had also maintained that the BBSM has forwarded a MOI-related memorandum to the government, and that the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar would meet the BBSM leaders, soon.
Meanwhile, a press note released by Velingkar on Tuesday informed that the memorandum signed by the BBSM convenor Shashikala Kakodkar, which was recently presented to the Chief Minister, is actually a reminder memorandum – a copy of the memorandum presented to the Chief Minister in the past – and further stated that the government should take into consideration the intensity of the BBSM agitation, which has increased from June 18, and immediately meet the BBSM leaders so as to take up official talks with them, on the MOI issue.
The BBSM had earlier suggested that the shift in the medium of instruction of the 100-odd schools, from English to Konkani/ Marathi medium, should take place in a phase-wise manner that is during the first academic year, class I undergoing change in its medium of instruction, and so on, until the fourth year when the total transformation would take place.

NT Network Goa News

GCA fraud: EOC gets Veljee’s signature, handwriting samples

PANAJI: The economic offences cell (EOC) of Goa police, probing alleged multi-crore GCA fraud, has obtained signature and handwriting samples of Luchi Veljee, life member of the GCA and, prior to 2000, he was on the GCA managing committee.
According to police, last week, based on information that Veljee had some knowledge of the case, he was called for questioning. However, fearing arrest in the case, he had approach court seeking anticipatory bail. The court has granted interim relief to Veljee till the anticipatory bail matter is disposed of. Veljee has been questioned by the police and his signature as well as handwriting samples were obtained in connection with the case, sources claimed. It is learnt that the samples will be sent for forensic analysis alongwith the documents in question, which have the alleged forged signatures used for opening an illegal account in a city bank.
The EOC, on June 15, had arrested GCA president Chetan Desai, secretary Vinod Phadke and treasurer Akbar Mulla (now suspended) in the alleged misappropriation of GCA funds to the tune of Rs 3.13 crore. All the three are presently in police custody.
A senior police officer informed that there is a huge possibility that more people are involved in the case and the police are exploring all angles.
The police are also examining another complaint alleging misappropriation of over Rs 5.87 crore. Nilesh Prabhudesai, a former Goa Ranji cricket player on Monday had lodged a complaint with the EOC alleging that Rs 5,87,22,055 had been misappropriated by the then executive committee members (of the GCA). Prabhudesai has named Chetan Desai, Vinod Phadke and Akbar Mulla as suspects.

NT Network Goa News

India in Nuclear Suppliers Group? China-Pakistan nexus may play spoiler

On the morning of 18 May, 1974, on Vesak, India conducted a peaceful nuclear test, aptly codenamed 'Smiling Buddha'. What made the test different from the others was the fact that India was the first non-UNSC member to test a nuclear device. Another noteworthy fact was that India did not secure help from either the Western powers or the East Bloc. What was a matter of great pride for India, however, was a heartburn for the established nuclear powers. In response, an elite group of nuclear suppliers emerged with an aim to regulate the nuclear technology trade. Their first meeting – it had only seven founding members — took place in November 1975 in London. The group is now called the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
India did not conduct any nuclear test for the next 24 years — failing to execute a test in 1995 under US pressure — until May 1998 when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government conducted three underground nuclear tests at the Pokhran range. But more importantly, India also subsequently declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing.
While the world largely objected to “outsider” India’s tests, a look at the number of nuclear tests conducted by the five nuclear-powered NSG-cum-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) members between 1975 and 1996 gives us some important insights. The five countries together conducted around 765 nuclear tests until the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1996. Even if we discount China and France, the number stays high. The issue with the NSG, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as well as the NPT is only one: dominance of the nuclear powers over the non-nuclear nations. All three entities are discriminatory in nature. While they talk of “controlling, regulating, curbing” nuclear technology from going into rogue parties, the nuclear powers had always been involved in enhancing their nuclear capabilities. Did anyone of them impose an unilateral moratorium? Like India or for that matter even its 'arch-rival' Pakistan?
A new era for India
Criticism of elite nuclear groups being biased towards the five UNSC members has been levelled since the 1970s. There is nothing new about it, however, things have changed now. It is no longer bipolar — at least figuratively. The Soviet Union is history. The world is increasingly becoming multipolar.
In the globalised, post-Cold War era, India is no longer a country of snake charmers. Its economy has been doing well ever since it was liberalised in 1991. An open economy has helped India to chart its own course in foreign policy. Establishing full ties with Israel, re-establishing contacts with East Asian nations and more so, repairing ties with the US, marked the dawn of the new era for Indian foreign policy.
Any country that aspires to be a global power should start having an outward outlook. Remember, US' rise to the top coincided with the Paris Peace Conference (1920) where it played a pivotal role.
India’s new age foreign policy achieved what it could have never even thought about in the pre-Cold War era: a nuclear deal with the United States. While its implementation and effectiveness are matters of debate, the sheer magnitude of the deal is noteworthy.
The nuclear deal gave India a big waiver – to participate in nuclear trade without being in the NPT. We could now officially receive advanced nuclear technology from the US. Fair to say, the deal more or less legitimised India as a nuclear power.
The year 2008 also marked the beginning of India’s quest for a NSG seat. A major motivation behind the quest could have been the NSG waiver that it received as part of the nuclear deal.
Indeed, becoming a member of the elite cartel will give India unlimited access to superior technological know-how. With the technology in place, it can be utilised for electricity generation and other civilian purposes. India can effectively become a nuclear energy exporter, helping New Delhi come into the mainstream of the global nuclear trade.
The word “nuclear” evokes militaristic sentiments in India, which it must not. With a billion plus population, India can very well be the next emerging market for nuclear power generation. It is important to note that nuclear energy only contributes to about 2 percent of India’s power generation.
There are many factors going in favour of India’s candidature for the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Despite not being a member of any of the “nuclear clubs”, India has generally had a good record in adhering to required international standards. This was also acknowledged by the NSG in 2008 when the Indo-US nuclear deal was under discussion. More over, as I have pointed out earlier, India has imposed a moratorium over nuclear tests. This is sufficient evidence to highlight India’s commitment towards a peaceful world.
Add to that, the fact that India is now the member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). As pointed out by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), even China is not a member of the MTCR owing to its poor and shady non-proliferation record. But here comes the Sino-Pakistan angle that can wreck India’s interest.
Geo-political tangle
The geo-political tangle in Asia is intriguing. Pakistan, India’s arch-rival, too wants to enter the NSG. Recently, its foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz claimed that Islamabad’s credentials for a NSG seat is superior to New Delhi’s. This is laughable. Any person who has heard of AQ Khan will be amused by the octogenarian's statement.
For those unfamiliar with the saga, here is a brief: Bhopal-born AQ Khan is a nuclear scientist who while working in the Netherlands managed to sneak out the secret formula to create weapon-grade uranium. A national hero in Pakistan for helping it conduct its first nuclear test — Chagai I and II — he had a fall from grace when US authorities came to know of his involvement in leaking nuclear blueprints to rogue nations like North Korea and Libya.
Another fact that goes aginst Pakistan is the fear of its nuclear warheads falling into the hands of the Taliban or other non-state actors. And enough has been said and written about that.
Pakistan’s demand for a NSG seat stems out of its inferiority complex vis-à-vis India. The scars of partition and the quest to create an identity separate from India motivates Pakistan to try outsmart the former. In the process, however, it has only imitated India — be it in Bollywood or diplomacy.
Luckily, Pakistan has an “all-weather friend” in China. But it would be fair to say that the former needs the latter more than it is the other way round. Islamabad’s utility to Beijing has more to do with the nuisance it can create for India.
China is playing the “Pakistan card” to block India’s entry into the elite club. The reason is simple: If India enters the club, then it will achieve parity with China. That will be a setback for Beijing at a time when it is rising as the counter-weight to the US. With India becoming diplomatically and militarily powerful, the US will get to create a geo-political balance in Asia. It is a foregone conclusion that India as a member of the NSG will block Pakistan.
The stage is set for a showdown in Seoul. China – who after saying that India’s NSG membership would not be discussed in the plenary, made a U-turn – might raise India’s lack of NPT membership as an issue. It has also been pushing for a “consensus” among the 48 nations over the minimum membership requirements — mere delaying tactics to deny India its much-deserved membership. With most members backing India – including the US – it seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help India accede to the NSG. But China’s geo-political considerations can hamper its chances.
If and when India enters the club, it would be a red letter day in its diplomatic history. Till then, my fingers are crossed.

Firstpost India News

BJP and BBSM views on MoI are the same: Parrikar

Panaji: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Subhash Velingkar have been at loggerheads for some time now over the medium of instruction (MoI) in Goa. On Monday, Parrikar chose to say that the views of the BJP in Goa and Velingkar's Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) on the MoI issue are not different in any manner.
"The party's view point and that of the BBSM don't differ in any way, except on one point - the issue of providing grants to English medium primary schools. They (BBSM) have sent a memorandum to the chief minister on the MoI issue and the chief minister will be calling a meeting soon to talk it out with them. He is trying to resolve the issue," said Parrikar.
Expressing surprise at Parrikar's statement, Parsekar said "if issues are to be resolved, then they cannot be put before the media".
"Did he (Parrikar) really say this?" he asked mediapersons, who sought his reaction to the defence minister's statement.
Velingkar, recently announced that a political alternative to the BJP will be offered before the 2017 state assembly polls by the BBSM.
Velingkar has been especially harsh in his criticism of Parrikar over the MoI row, going to the extent of calling him a traitor and a cheat in the recent past.
From June 18, BBSM has been conducting demonstrations at all public meetings presided over by ministers of the state BJP government.
BBSM has been demanding the withdrawal of grants extended to 127 English medium primary schools in the state.
A one-time exception was made for these schools against the state policy of grants only to regional language institutions.

TOI Goa News

In KTC, peon gets caught for striking bribe deals for bosses who roam free

Peon gives statement that he was accepting bribe on behalf of his deputy director, no action or inquiry against him

PANJIM: Nearly 10 days after Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s brother-in-law Ghanshyam aka Dilip Malvankar was caught on graft charges, the sleuths of the Anti- Corruption Branch (ACB) made another big arrest of Dattaram alias Damu Gawde, a peon at the Transport Director’s office.
Gawde, considered an influential person in the department, would strike cash deals on behalf of his top bosses to settle issues. He, however, ran out of luck on August 28, 2015 when the ACB caught him red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from an assistant motor vehicle inspector (AMVI) to resolve a service matter.
In his statement before the judicial magistrate, the then suspended Group D employee confessed to accepting the bribe at the behest of deputy director Vishram Govekar, who was due for retirement in January 2016. He had disclosed that Govekar had asked him to take Rs 5 lakh from the AMVI to settle the matter, which he, Govekar, as a Vigilance Officer of the Transport Department was investigating. The complainant AMVI was facing a departmental inquiry after he was arrested by the cyber cell of the Crime Branch, in an identity theft case for allegedly sending emails using the official email ID of Assistant Director of Transport Uday Gauns. Interestingly, Gauns was arrested by the ACB while accepting a bribe of Rs 90,000 from a transport contractor in July 2015.
There were high expectations on further arrests based on the confessional statement but it led to disappointments. Neither the department initiated action against Govekar, nor the ACB took him into custody despite the prime accused’s 164 CrPC statement.
Gawde was the fourth arrest in the Transport department made by ACB officers accepting bribes, in the last three years. The peon is now reinstated into the service and serving in the same department.

Herald Goa News

ND Agarwal exposes GMC’s ‘sickness’

PANJIM: The one-man committee appointed by the government to look into the functioning of Goa Medical College (GMC) has been critical of the state of affairs in the hospital.
ND Agarwal was appointed by the government to scrutinise and act on a number of complaints filed against GMC by various people, including doctors, nurses, staff members, patients and non-government organisations.
Sources in the Health Department said the report has been critical of the state of affairs. “The report exposes state of affairs in the hospital including water supply, contractors, canteen,” sources stated. The report also narrates how neighbouring residents use water supplied to GMC, sources said.
When contacted, Agarwal confirmed he had submitted the report but refused to give details of the report. “I have submitted the interim report to the government but I cannot say anything further. It is not ethical,” he said.
Dy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, who is also the Health Minister, admitted that the report has been submitted but said he had not read it. “I have received the report but could not read it,” D’Souza said.
When told that the report is critical of the affairs in GMC, he said, “The inquiry commission cannot criticise anything, it has to just report and make recommendations. It depends on the government whether or not to accept them,” he said.
The state-run GMC was in the news recently due a number of allegations against it including, non-availability of essential medicines, poor quality of medical facilities and mismanagement and shortage of water.

Herald Goa News

NGOs obstructing key projects need to be exposed: Parrikar

PANAJI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Monday, said that there are several knotty matters pending before the state government, and the vested interests in the form of some NGOs, who are complicating them for their own ulterior motives, needs to be exposed.
“The government is trying its best to provide solution to such problematic issues, and the people in general should back the same, not by fuelling the controversies but through positive support,” Parrikar added.
Parrikar, who was addressing a gathering during the foundation stone laying ceremony for the work of design, construction, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of 2 MLD sewage treatment plant at Patto, further said that the agencies and engineers involved in the particular project should complete all documentation, including permissions of the Goa State Pollution Control Board and environmental clearances, before starting the actual work, so that no NGO or social activist can create legal hurdle before the particular project.
He also observed that in spite of the efforts of the vested interests to obstruct the construction of the third bridge on Mandovi River as well as setting up of a garbage disposal site behind Heera petrol pump, the government was able to clear these obstructions.
He also observed that the vigilance inquiry against the two-and-a-half decade old sewage treatment plant existing at Patto had delayed the commencement of the new 2 MLD sewage treatment plant.
The city MLA Sidharth Kunkalienkar said that the construction of the new sewage treatment plant at Patto was necessary as the EDC (Economic Development Corporation) Patto Plaza has been largely developed during the recent past, and needed treatment of sewage generated in the locality, on a priority basis.
“In fact, the situation had worsened so much that raw sewage generated in EDC Patto Plaza was being released in the Rua de Ourem Creek,” he admitted.
The city legislator also informed that the garbage treatment facilities behind Heera petrol pump and opposite the Life Insurance Corporation building, at Patto are treating 6 tonne of garbage each, generated in the capital city, on a daily basis.
“The facility in front of the LIC building in fact, has an organic waste convertor,” he informed.
Kunkalienkar also mentioned that the Corporation of the City of Panaji has already forwarded a request letter to the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation for lifting the heap of garbage next to the Central Library, and the same would be lifted after the end of the monsoon, and disposed of after its treatment.
The principal chief engineer of the public works department, Uttam Parsekar and some of the city councillors were also present for the event.
The new sewage treatment plant is estimated to cost Rs 10.36 crore and would be commissioned by December 2017.

NT Network Goa News