log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday >P8 SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2021 IN SHORT >> India, China hold military talks NEW DELHI: Senior commanders of Indian and Chinese armies held a fresh round of high-level talks on Saturday to take forward the disengagement process after both sides completed the withdrawal of troops and military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh. Toolkit: Ravi bail order reserved NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the petition filed by climate activist Disha Ravi seeking bail in connection with Toolkit case. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana reserved the order in the matter and posted it for pronouncement on Feb 23. >> See pg 6 Covid upsurge in five States NEW DELHI: Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have seen an upsurge in daily new cases of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. Maharashtra reported 6,112 new cases while Kerala reported 4,505 on Friday. India’s total active caseload stands at 1.43 lakh and Maharashtra and Kerala account for 75.87% of these cases, the Ministry added. >> See pg 6 12th straight day petrol price hike NEW DELHI: Fuel prices across India rose for the twelfth consecutive day burning a hole in the common commuter’s pocket even as the global oil market remains stable. In Delhi, petrol saw an increase of 39 paise and is being sold at Rs 90.58 per litre while diesel prices were hiked by 37 paise and costs Rs 80.97 per litre. World’s first bird flu cases in humans MOSCOW: Russia has found the world’s first cases of H5N8 avian influenza in humans. The virus, however, isn’t yet spreading among people. WEATHER >> Max: 33 C Min: 24 C Humidity: 70% TIDES Low: High: 10:36 22.25 3:12 18.00 12 pages PRICE ` 6 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 242 Allot vertical mobility projects, CM tells PM citing land issues PITCHES FOR ‘SWAYAMPURNA’ INITIATIVE AT NITI AAYOG MEET THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Citing land constraints in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Center should preferentially allot projects which have scope for vertical mobility. Sawant made the appeal at a virtual meeting of the NITI Ayog governing council which was chaired by Modi on Saturday. Sawant said he voiced at the meeting that of the 3,702 square km area of the state 67 per cent has forest coverage and with restrictions on development in CRZ, wetland, eco-sensitive zones, and private forest, only about 30 percent of the land is actually available for development purpose. The CM claimed he has also sought amendments in CALL FOR RELAXATION Sawant said he voiced at the meeting that of the 3,702 square km area of the state 67 per cent has forest coverage and with restrictions on development in CRZ, wetland, eco-sensitive zones, and private forest, only about 30 percent of the land CZMP, wetland, eco-sensitive zone-related guidelines from MoEF &CC and permit some relaxation for small states like Goa. Sawant also pitched his “Swayampurna Goa” programme as an initiative to achieve the Prime Minister’s “Atmanirbahr Bharat” objectives at the virtual meeting of the NITI Ayog’s governing council. is actually available for development purpose The CM claimed he has also sought amendments in CZMP, wetland, eco-sensitive zone-related guidelines from MoEF &CC and permit some relaxation for small states like Goa “Goa has aligned with the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat with the Swayampurna Goa programme,” Sawant said at the NITI Aayog meeting. Sawant also informed the council that the programme involves accelerating sectors like agriculture, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure and optimum governance. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The government-appointed agency has identified around 1.67 lakh cubic metric tonnes of excavated sand at 12 spots along the Chapora river. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has submitted a report to the State bio-diversity board. The environment impact assessment of the six sites out of 12 sites has been done and has suggested that 33.20 lakh cubic meters sand can be excavated from these sites. The report has been placed before the division bench of Bombay High Court at Panaji. It may be recalled that the matter of sand excavation has been pending before the High Court. There are two different petitions regarding sand excavations going on before the court. The Goa River and Sand Protectors Network has filed a petition before the court. The Chief Secretary, Mines Director, Director General of Police, Captain of Ports and Trans- AREAS DEMARCATED Wildlife sanctuary area Morjim Jetty Sateri Temple area Revora Railway bridge Sati Devi Temple Vazari Thomars Bridge SAND AVAILABLE 524283 1674221 809287 610894 544284 1028294 EXTRACTION LIMIT 357072 1037146 254245 302923 341031 1028294 Note: All figures in cubic meters port Director have been made a party in the matter. Another NGO Rainbow Warriors had also filed a petition before the court in May 2018. During the hearing, the government has initiated the process of identifying the sites for sand excavation, and now the report has been submitted to the court. Wildlife sanctuary area, Morjim jetty, Vadji supermarket area, Sateri Devasthan, Camurlim ferry, Our Lady of Propriety Chappel, Sateri Dev- CM MAKES CASE FOR `1000 CR TO IMPLEMENT REFORMS PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday informed NITI Aayog that Goa is eligible for Rs 1000 crore special assistance for successful implementation of various reforms including One Nation One Ration Card system. Sawant said that Goa is eligible for Rs 1000 crore special assistance for successful implementation of reforms like One Nation One Ration Card system, Ease of Doing Business, Strengthening of local bodies, reforms in ULB and reforms in power sector. The Chief Minister urged the Aayog to consider the State for the special assistance. The CM also sought Center’s intervention in the Mhadei river diversion issue. He said that Mhadei is a very serious and sensitive issue and can have some serious problems. Sawant also reiterated support for the double-tracking of the railway line in the State. >Continued on P5 Chapora sand mining sites demarcated asthan, Abrevado, Revoda railway bridge, Juvem, Pirna, Vajrim bridge are the areas where the sand excavation can be done, according to the report.The report regarding the Mandovi river will be completed in April. The NIO has completed the study of the Mandovi river coastline and the report about it will be submitted in April 2021. The information has been given in the affidavit submitted by the biodiversity board secretary Dr Pradip Sarmukadam. ‘Centre, states must work together to lower fuel prices’ PTI NEW DELHI Amid an outcry over record high petrol and diesel prices, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Centre and state governments will have to together work out a mechanism to bring retail rates to reasonable levels. As much as 60 per cent of the retail price of petrol, which shot above Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and is at an all-time high elsewhere in the country, is made up of central and state taxes. Taxes make up for about 56 per cent of the record high diesel rates. Sitharaman, who had increased central excise duty on petrol and diesel by a record margin last year to mop up gains arising from international oil prices plunging to two- decade low, remained non-committal on cutting taxes to give relief to consumers. “This is a very vexatious issue. An issue in which no answer except reducing the price (of fuel) will convince anyone,” she said. 3-month gap between jabs works better, says study PTI NEW DELHI three-month interval between doses of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine results in higher vaccine efficacy than a six-week gap, according to a new study which says the first dose can offer up to 76 per cent protection in the months between the two jabs. The results of the analysis from a phase 3 randomised controlled trial, published in The Lancet journal, suggest that the interval between doses can be safely extended to three months given the protection a single dose offers. According to the researchers, including those from the University of Oxford in the UK, this dosage regimen is benefi- New strains of Covid more infectious: AIIMS A NEW DELHI: Herd immunity for coronavirus is a “myth” in India because at least 80 per cent people need to have antibodies for the whole of the population to be protected, Dr Randeep Guleria said. This, he said, would be difficult if one takes into account the new Indian strains found in Maharashtra -- which could be highly transmissible and dangerous. The new variant, he said, can even cause re-infections in people who have developed anti-bodies to the virus. cial while vaccine supplies are initially limited, and may allow countries to immunise a larger proportion of the population more rapidly. “Vaccine supply is likely to be limited, at least in the short term, and so policy-makers must decide how best to deliver doses to achieve the greatest public health benefit,” said study lead author Professor Andrew Pollard from the University of Oxford. Mr Pollard believes policies of initially vaccinating more people with a single dose may provide greater immediate population protection than immunising half the number of people with two doses, especially in places where the Oxford vaccine is in limited supply. “In the long term, a second dose should ensure long-lived immunity, and so we encourage everyone who has had their first vaccine to ensure they receive both doses,” he added. From the study, the researchers sought to understand the effect of different intervals on protection after the second dose, and the risk of infection between jabs -either due to lower efficacy of a single dose, or rapid waning OSAKA WINS AUS OPEN RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 of efficacy while waiting for the second dose. They combined data from clinical trials in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa, which together included a total of 17,178 adult participants. According to the researchers, these participants either received two standard doses of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, or a control vaccine/saline placebo. In the UK trial, they said a subset of participants received a lower dose of the vaccine as their first dose. The scientists compared the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the control and COVID-19 vaccine groups, occurring more than 14 days after the second dose. >Continued on P5 State raising `200 cr for devp works THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The State government is raising Rs 200 crore and has resorted to the sale of Goa government stock (securities) of 10-year tenure for that amount. The proceeds are to be utilized to finance the capital expenditure of development projects, according to the notification. The auction for the stocks will be conducted by the Reserve Bank of India at its Mumbai Office on February 23. Meanwhile, Goa was released a fresh tranche of Rs 20 crore by the Union Finance Ministry as part of the instalLment to meet the shortfall in Goods and Services Tax compensation owed to states. The Centre has disbursed a total of Rs 807.89 crore to Goa to meet the GST compensation shortfall on account of GST implementation. The State has on earlier occasions too gone to the market to borrow money in an effort to tide over its expenditure. The opposition has warned Meanwhile, Goa was released a fresh tranche of Rs 20 crore by the Union Finance Ministry as part of the instalLment to meet the shortfall in Goods and Services Tax compensation owed to states. the government it was moving towards a debt trap. It has warned the government to borrow only for its capital expenditure requirements, and not committed expenditure. The opposition has been calling upon the governmnet to go in for austerity measures in the face of this financial burden and not to announce unnecessary schemes.
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