log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2021 8 pages PRICE ` 6 AI may not actually be the solution for stopping spread of fake news IN SHORT >> BJP min involved in sex scandal: Cong PANAJI: In a sensational charge, State Congress chief Girish Chodankar has claimed that a cabinet minister (without disclosing the name) in the Goa government had sexually harassed a woman and also alleged that the CM Pramod Sawant was trying to destroy evidence to hide the matter. >> See pg 3 GFP, Cong to fight polls together PANAJI: Congress and Goa Forward P have finally decided to forge a pre-poll alliance to contest the assembly elections, after Goa Forward Party supremo Vijai Sardessai along with Opposition Leader Digamber Kamat met with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. However, there was no discussion on seat sharing at the meeting. >> See pg 3 ESMA invoked to curb GMC strikes PANAJI: The State government on Tuesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) 1988 to prohibit strikes by staff attached to the Goa Medical College (GMC). The ESMA has been invoked as resident doctors of all over India have started to protest over the delays of the NEET PG 2021 counselling process. No decision taken yet on NRC: MHA NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has told the Parliament that no decision has been taken yet in preparing a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) at the national level. Plea on Khurshid’s book thrown out NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre and Delhi government to ban the sale and publication of Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book “Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood In Our Times”. WEATHER >> Max: 32 C Min: 23.9C Humidity: 71% TIDES Low: High: 1:37 14:23 7:45 21:16 6 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 164 GOA Five shops gutted in Margao blaze, property worth ` .30 cr destroyed 1 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA Rift wide open: It’s Cong versus Cong in Calangute 3 Mandatory RT-PCR test for passengers from Europe FLYERS FROM “AT-RISK” NATIONS WILL HAVE TO WAIT AT AIRPORT TILL RESULTS ARE OUT PTI NEW DELHI The Central government today issued new rules for international travellers which will be effective from midnight. These were announced following a high-level meeting to review public health preparedness with states and UTs in view of ‘Omicron’. STAYING PROACTIVE Passengers from “at-risk” countries will be tested for Covid on arrival and can’t leave the airport till their RTPCR test results are available. If found negative, they will undergo a seven-day home quarantine and be re-tested on the 8th day. State officials will physically visit their homes to ensure effective home isolation. Omicron-specific booster shot possible: Serum MAPUSA: Gearing up to tackle the new variant of Coronavirus, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, on Tuesday, said that testing for Covid will be compulsory to all international passengers landing at the Dabolim airport and MPT port. Sawant also said that people coming from the 12 “at-risk” countries will have to undergo seven days quarantine. >> See pg 3 If found positive for the virus, passengers will be isolated and treated, and their samples will immediately be sent to the INSACOG Labs network, a multi-laborato- ry, multi-agency, pan-India network set up by the government to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2, for genome sequencing to determine the strain of the virus. AREAS AFFECTED Tivim, Mapusa, Aldona, Porvorim, Saligao, Calangute and Siolim DURATION Assonora WTP will be closed from 8 am on December 4 to 8 am on December 6. There will be no water supply from December 4 to 6 to entire Bardez taluka and restricted water supply from December 7 to 8 THE GOAN I NETWORK MAPUSA People in Bardez will have to go without pipeline water supply for three whole days from December 4 to 6 and thereafter restricted supply for two days from December 7 to 8 due to shifting of PWD pipeline. The Public Water Department (PWD) informed that Assonora Water Treatment Plant will remain closed for 48 hours due to the shifting of the water pipeline along NH66 from Karaswada junction to Peddem, Mapusa. “The water treatment plant will be closed from 8 am on December 4 to 8 am on December 6. There will be no water supply from December 4 to 6 to entire Bardez taluka and restricted water supply from December 7 to 8,” said a press Mandatory testing for int’l pax: CM NEW DELHI: A version of Covishield, tailormade for the new Covid variant Omicron can be considered if research indicates a need, Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla has said. Tests are on for Omicron and a call on the matter will be taken another two weeks, when more is known about the new virus, he added. No water supply to Bardez for five days Economic growth slows at 8.4 pc NEW DELHI: India’s economic growth slowed to 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22, official data released by the National Statistical Office showed on Tuesday. Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday Time and again, water supply to residents of Mapusa and Bardez was affected due to constant damage caused to the PWD pipeline due to the ongoing highway work note issued by the Executive Engineer, PWD (WD-XVII). With this order water supply to all the seven constituencies in Bardez – Tivim, Mapusa, Aldona, Porvorim, Saligao, Calangute and Siolim will be affected for five days. Time and again, water supply to residents of Mapusa and Bardez was affected due to constant damage caused to the PWD pipeline due to the ongoing highway work. Goa best on poverty index, UP trails AGENCIES NEW DELHI Of the seven states headed into Assembly elections next year, Uttar Pradesh has the highest proportion of people who are multidimensionally poor, at 37.79 per cent of its total population, while Goa has the lowest ratio at 3.76 per cent. There is wide variation between rural and urban poverty in five of the seven states — include Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There is also wide divergence in performance on the 12 indicators used to calculate the first ever Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by the NITI Aayog. The national MPI, as per the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey, is 25.01 per cent. Of UP’s 71 districts, as many as 64 have MPI higher than the national average. In Gujarat, 9 of 26 districts fall in this category; in Manipur, 4 of 9; and in Uttarakhand, 1 (Almora) of 13. On the other hand, all the districts of Punjab (20), Himachal (12) and Goa (2) have lower MPI than the national average. The MPI is an indicator of deprivation across multiple dimensions and complements poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure. States will then undertake contact tracing of these positive individuals and follow up for 14 days. Passengers from “at-risk” countries are being advised to prepare to wait at the airports till their results are out. The list of countries deemed “at-risk” for now includes the United Kingdom, all 44 countries in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel. States have been advised to not let their guards down and keep a strict vigil on the international passengers coming to the country through various airports, ports, and land border crossings. The “Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate” strategy was reemphasised. States have also been advised to ramp up testing as the ‘Omicron’ variant report- edly can’t escape RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests that have been used to detect Covid so far. Strengthening testing infrastructure, strict implementation of testing guidelines, and maintaining a healthy ratio of RT-PCR tests, which has been found to be more effective in detection, have been advised. The Centre has also advised continued monitoring of areas where recent clusters of positive cases have emerged and promptly send all positive samples for genome sequencing to the INSACOG network. Preparedness of health infrastructure including the availability of ICU, Oxygen beds, ventilators, etc., with a focus on rural areas and pediatric cases have been advised. Health facilities were found to be severely lacking when the second wave of Covid battered India earlier this year. SPORTS Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or for record seventh time 8 Nod to 250 sq mtrs residential houses in private forest THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has considered Goa’s request as a special case and has recommended that onetime permission may be given for construction of only residential houses of up to 250 sq mtrs by owners of private forest area (deemed forest). Goa has been considered as a special case as that of Mussoorie (Uttarakhand) to give relaxation in forest laws. The FAC has categorically stated that no commercial activity may be permitted in a private forest. As per special guidelines issued by MoEF&CC to deal with specific cases pertaining to private forest area of Mussoorie (Uttarakhand), usage of upto 250 sq mtrs area is permitted for residential purposes by homestead owners for bona fide use and not for any commercial ventures. A total of 46 sq kms has been identified as private forests in Goa. Further, approx- SPECIAL CASE Goa has been considered as a special case as that of Mussoorie (Uttarakhand) to give relaxation in forest laws. The FAC has categorically stated that no commercial activity may be permitted in a private forest imately 32 sq kms of area is under process for identification and demarcation of remaining private forest, as per directions of the National Green Tribunal. “FAC after thorough deliberation and discussion on the issue, recommended that one-time permission for construction of homestead/residential houses up to 250 sq mtrs by owners of the private area (deemed forest) in Goa may be given on similar conditions as specified in the guidelines dated 27.09.2018 issued for Mussoorie Dehradun >Continued on P5 Room where Navelim youth assaulted had no CCTVs; police have lot to answer THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO Was Navelim youth Edwin Coelho assaulted inside a room at the Margao police station which is not under closed circuit (CCTV) camera surveillance? The assault, which ruptured the eardrum of the youth, has brought the Goa police under the scanner and has exposed the department for not implementing the Supreme Court directives on bringing police stations under CCTV surveillance in both letter and spirit. Consider this. Inquiries have revealed that the Margao police station is under CCTV surveillance cameras at the entrance and rear side of the building, besides the reception centre, corridors etc. Surprisingly, the room, where victim Edwin was allegedly assaulted with slaps by suspended PSI Stanley Gomes, is not under the CCTV scanner, raising questions whether the room, which had years ago housed the Margao fire station, has been intentionally kept out of the CCTV scanner to be used as an interrogation and torture room. The room, which comes in handy for the police to cel- Finally, police register FIR against PSI The Margao police station corridor has CCTV cameras, but the room (partially open) at the far end of the corridor where Edwin Coelho was assaulted has none. DEEP CONSPIRACY? The assault on Navelim youth has exposed the police department for not implementing the Supreme Court directives on bringing police stations under CCTV surveillance Questions have been raised whether the room where the Navelim youth was assaulted has been intentionally kept out of the CCTV scanner to be used as an interrogation and torture room ebrate Ganesh festivities is now being used by the menin-khaki as part of the routine duties. Caught off guard, police officials rushed to say the room does not form part of the police station and hence is not under the CCTV scanner. An officer even main- tained that the room is being used as a store by the men-in-uniform. Inquiries, however, have revealed that the room is indeed being used for dayto-day police functioning. Cupboards have been found arranged in the room, be- MARGAO: The Margao police on Tuesday finally registered an FIR against suspended Margao Police Sub-Inspector Stanley Gomes for assaulting Navelim youth Edwin Coelho. A case under Sections 325 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the suspended PSI. >> See pg 2 sides tables and chairs, indicating that the room is being used as part of normal police station functioning. That’s not all. Uniforms were found hanging on the wall of the room, again indicating that the room is being used by officers as part of their duties, bringing to the fore the question whether the Margao police have been using the room for routing police activities, including interrogations in violation of the Supreme Court order to bring the entire police station under the CCTV scanner. >Continued on P5 Now, another file for structure in heritage area Finally, I see action, but no Permission sought for expo centre; VP says all licences issued, infra tax paid end to fast so soon: Palekar THE GOAN I NETWORK OLD GOA Even as the fiasco over the controversial structure which has come up within heritage precincts is yet to die down, the Old Goa panchayat informed that they have received one more file of similar nature requesting for license to set up a temporary structure to conduct exhibitions. “The party has asked for permission to set up a temporary exhibition structure for three years. Licences have been issued by the conservation committee of the TCP and other authorities. The party has also paid Rs 2 lakh infrastructure tax,” panch Vishwas Kuttikar informed. “We have just received the TCP revokes tech clearance for structure The stop-work notice being pasted on the controversial structure as Old Goa sarpanch Janita Madkaikar and other panchas look on. Manuel Vaz file, but we have not given any licence as there is no permission from the ASI,” he added and stated that the panchayat will take legal advice and also conduct a site inspection. “We have also decided to ask the party concerned to get NOC from church authorities,” Kuttikar said and added that henceforth all structures coming up within heritage >Continued on P5 OLD GOA: There was some good news for heritage lovers who are on a fast satyagraha as the TCP Department has revoked the Technical Clearance (TC) granted for the project. In a notice issued by the deputy town planner S P Surlakar, the TC issued on October 18, 2016, has been revoked and the owners are directed to immediately stop the construction activity in the property. Old Goa VP issues stop-work order OLD GOA: The Old Goa panchayat served a notice cum stop-work order to the owners of the controversial Old Goa structure to immediately stop work on the structure upon receipt of the notice, failing which further action will be initiated. The notice was first pasted by the panchayat authorities outside the structure but later it was pasted on the structure when some labourers were seen inside. >> See pg 3 THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Even as his fast unto death entered the second day, Adv Amit Palekar, who is protesting against the Old Goa structure, remained adamant in his resolve to continue but broke down when his wife and daughter came to visit him. Apart from his family, many people also visited him. Palekar is adamant that come what may he will stick to his fight for Old Goa and Goan heritage. Adv Palekar has welcomed the decision of the Old Goa panchayat to issue the stopwork order for the controversial projct. However, the lawyer said, he will con- Adv Amit Palekar breaks down in front of his wife and daughter when they visited him on Tuesday. tinue his indefinite hunger strike until TCP revokes the permission granted to the illegal structure. Adv Amit Palekar started his fast unto death on Monday. While addressing the me- dia on the second day of his strike he said, “There is finally some action forthcoming. This indicates that the government must bend to the will of the people”. >Continued on P5
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