log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday TUESDAY MAY 10, 2022 12 pages PRICE ` 6 An uncertain future for Cashew Feni IN SHORT >> Black panther spotted at Mollem sanctuary PANAJI: A black panther has been spotted in a camera trap placed in the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary, Mollem following which the government has decided to install more cameras in the forest area to monitor the feline’s movements. P’yat polls before June 19: Mauvin PANAJI: Stating that delimitation of panchayat wards has been finalised the Panchayats Minister Mauvin Godinho said that though panchayat elections will be delayed they will be conducted before June 19. >> See pg 3 ED sleuths conduct searches across Goa PANAJI: The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches across Goa through Monday, including at the offices of a reputed business house in Panaji. However, there was no official communique either on the nature of its search operations or the reasons for the action. Cyclone: Winds, rain likely in State MAPUSA: IMD has said the State may experience windy conditions for next two days and light rain at isolated places for next four to five days but besides that there was no cause of concern for Goa due to cyclone Asani. >> See pg 3 Siddesh is North Goa Zilla chairman PANAJI: Siddesh Naik, the Cumbharjua Zilla Panchayat member and son of Union Minister Shripad Naik, was elected unopposed as Chairman of North Goa Zilla Panchayat on Monday. >> See pg 3 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 322 GOA 8 Signature campaign: Young & old petition for bypass on stilts 2 GOA Saligao MLA, locals smell a rat in voters list for Reis Magos p’yat 3 SPORTS IPL: KKR thrash listless Mumbai to keep play-off hopes alive 12 n WILDLIFE CLEARANCE SET ASIDE, BUT RAILWAYS ALLOWED TO REAPPLY n CEC FINDINGS UPHELD THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Supreme Court of India on Monday set aside the National Board of Wildlife clearance granted for the railway double tracking, but left a narrow open window for the railway authorities to reapply for the project. The SC order passed based on the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, B R Gavai and Anniruddha Bose cancelled the clearance and upheld the Central Empowered Committee’s findings. A copy of the order passed by the Supreme Court was not available until late evening. The Central Empowered Committee had claimed that the project was “not justified” considering traffic projections as well as the cost to the environment. “CEC does not find any justification for undertaking a project of this nature which will destroy the fragile ecosystem of the Western Ghats which is an internationally recognised Biodiversity hotspot and also one of the most important wildlife corridors of the Country. Moreover this doubling project will only marginally enhance the capacity of the most inefficient section of the Railway Network passing through ecologically sensitive and biodiversity rich tiger Reserve, KEY COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS No justification for undertaking a project of this nature which will destroy fragile eco-system of Western Ghats Estimate of projected increase in traffic from Karnataka to Goa not based on facts Increased number of trains will make movement of wildlife difficult and dangerous Gross underestimation of requirement of virgin forest land for the project It is without any sound reasoning and as statistics show mostly includes empty rakes returning to Goa two Wildlife Sanctuaries and a National Park,” the Central Empowered Committee headed by P V Jayakrishnan, said. “In these circumstances it is recommended… to revoke the permission granted by the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (SC NBWL) for doubling of the railway track,” the CEC had said in its report to the Supreme Court. The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife in its 56th meeting held on 17.12.2019 decided to recommend the proposal for wildlife clearance for doubling of existing railway line from Castlerock to Kulem, Goa State involving 120.875 ha. of land passing through BhagwanMahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary subject to fulfilling certain conditions and doubling of existing railway track from Kulem to Madgaon, Goa involving 16.514 ha. of land. The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife in its 57th Meeting held on 07.04.2020 decided to recommend the proposals. RNVL, a Government of India Mini Ratna undertaking has undertaken execution of theproposed project of doubling of the existing 342 km long rail line from Hospet-Tinaighat-Vasco Mormugao Port in the State of Goa. The project has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Railways at a cost of Rs2127 crore with a view to enhance section capacity of existing single line track. ON PAGE 2 Railways will study SC ruling and act accordingly: RVNL Will govt withdraw cases against anti-coal agitators? Apex court order brings cheer in Goa; Greens, NGOs say it’s a big victory THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Supreme Court verdict scrapping the NBWL clearance for the double-tracking of the railway line was received with elation by Goa’s Greens and NGOs who were part of the sustained movement against the three linear projects in 2020-21 but a few have advised caution as the Railways have been permitted to re-apply. “This is a huge victory for citizens and youngsters from all across Goa and the world who worked tirelessly for the Amche Mollem campaign,” said the collective “Amchem Mollem” which spearheaded the agitation. In a press release it petitioned members of the State Wildlife Advisory Board to now take a stand and pass a resolution against the double-tracking project whenever the Railways re-applies for forest clearance for the project. It also recalled the dedicated work of one of its prominent activists Julio Aguiar who passed away on May 13 last year at the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the State, a couple of weeks ON CLOUD NINE AMCHEM MOLLEM This is a huge victory for citizens and youngsters from all across Goa and the world who worked tirelessly for the Amche Mollem campaign FR BOLMAX PEREIRA Our fragile ecosystem of the Western Ghats and important wildlife corridor of our country has been saved from destruction GOYANT KOLSO NAKA SC order ignores and defeats CEC report which after detailed deliberations found double-tracking has no benefit CAPTAIN VIRIATO SC verdict a victory for the people, the youth and all those who stuck their necks out to save Goa after he assisted the CEC in the site inspections. Dr Bolmax Pereira, a Catholic priest who played a prominent leadership role in the movement said: “Our fragile ecosystem of the Western Ghats and the internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot and important wildlife corridor of our country has been saved from destruction.” Pereira said, the verdict vindicates the strong stand taken by youth for a future full of forests. “Let our government know that we want and will always support sustainable development,’’ he said, adding that the trust and faith in the Supreme Court has been re-affirmed. Abhijit Prabhudesai of Goyant Kolso Naka was cautious and advocated vigilance and a continued struggle until all the coal transportation infra projects are scrapped. “The SC order ignores and GOA HERITAGE ACTION GROUP Hope Railways will now call for a discussion and hear ‘our side’… development by consulting stake-holders will always be welcomed ON PAGE 2 Mormugao activists hail SC decision on double-tracking GE demands immediate halt to project, closure of land acquisition proceedings GKN urges Goans to be vigilant, says order defeats CEC findings defeats the CEC Report which after detailed deliberations found that the double-tracking has no benefit and is unnecessary,” Prabhudesai said, referring to the Apex Court’s permission to the Railways to re-apply for the Wildlife Board nod for the project. He added that GKN had expected the Supreme Court to cancel the project. Captain Viriato Fernandes of the Congress party termed the Supreme Court verdict a >Continued on P5 Mauvin takes a dig at activists, says some get hyper over any project STITCH IN TIME! Claims project has been affected only in Western Ghats NEW DELHI: The rupee weakened further on Monday to close at a new all-time low of 77.50 after breaching the previous record of 77.05 earlier in the session as the dollar’s surge cut across markets. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI 100 hutments gutted near Maharashtra MUMBAI: Nearly 100 hutments were gutted after major fire broke out in a residential area in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city on Monday. WEATHER >> Max: 34.1 C Min: 28.1 C Humidity: 89% TIDES 00.29/11.13 05.08/18.34 RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 SC red-flags track-doubling project Rupee closes to an all-time low Low: High: Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday Workers patch up potholes on the Atal Setu bridge on Monday. Of late, several motorists have met with accidents due to a large number of potholes on the bridge. Narayan Pissurlenkar VASCO Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Monday took a dig at activists and said some people become hyper whenever anything is undertaken in the State and admitted that some decisions may or may not come in one’s favour. Godinho was responding to the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on railway double tracking through Western Ghats and cancelling the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) clearance to the project, after launching the hot- In certain quarters, this verdict is being celebrated in a big way as if the entire project is scrapped and it is only a particular stretch in the Ghat section near Dudhsagar which is affected — Mauvin Godinho mixing of roads works near MES College in Dabolim. Godinho claimed only the Ghat section of the railway works were affected and that the Railways could apply again and clear the project. “We have to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision and respect it. In certain quarters, this verdict is being celebrated in a big way as if the entire project is scrapped and it is only a particular stretch in the Ghat section near Dudhsagar which is affected.” “The Supreme Court has said the Railways can re-apply after going back to the wildlife board, follow the norms, adhere to rules and regulations and re-apply, which means the Railways will be considered again for getting permission.” “One must remember that these are national projects to benefit the nation and there is no question of rejoicing,” said Godinho. Taking a dig at activists, the minister said: “When you undertake anything in Goa nowadays, either some agency or some people become hyper about certain things. This decision will have an impact on the delay and cost of the project and ultimately, people bear it and finally it will cost the nation,” said Godinho. Commenting on the hotmixing works, Godinho said he wanted to ensure the works are taken up before monsoons. “We will also take up works on the Masjid Road as well. We have lot of development projects being launched in the constituency,” he said. Sri Lanka PM quits, Centre buckles, tells SC it will review Sedition Law MP killed in clashes PTI PTI COLOMBO Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday after clinging on to power for weeks, following unprecedented anti-government protests demanding his ouster as well as the administration led by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the country’s worst economic crisis that led to acute shortages of staple food, fuel and power. Mahinda’s resignation comes hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters outside President Gotabaya’s office, leaving at least 154 people injured and prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy army troops in the national capital. At least two people, including a ruling party MP, were killed during violent clashes. Prime Minister Mahinda, 76, sent his resignation letter to President Gotabaya after violent scenes were witnessed in Colombo. “Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President,” Mahinda tweeted. Mahinda in his resignation letter said that he is stepping down to pave the way for the All-Party Interim Government to be formed. He said he will be “ready to make any sacrifice even in the future in order to help the people and government overcome the present crisis.” NEW DELHI The Centre on Monday said it has decided to “re-examine and re-consider” the Sedition Law by an appropriate forum, in a change of stance just two days after stoutly defending the colonial era penal law, and also urged the Supreme Court not to “invest time” in examining the validity of its provisions once again. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs in an affidavit said the decision was in tune with the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on shedding colonial baggage, noting he has been in favour of protection of civil liberties and respect of human rights and in that spirit, over 1,500 outdated laws and over 25,000 compliance burdens have been scrapped. The PM believes that at a time when the country is marking ‘’Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’’ (75 years since independence), we need to, as a nation, work even harder to shed colonial baggage that has passed its utility which includes outdated laws, colonial laws and practice, it said. Various offences which were causing “mindless hindrances” to people have been decriminalised, it added. Asserting that it was cognizant of various views and concerns about civil liberties, the Centre at the same time said it was committed to protecting the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation. In the earlier written submissions on May 7, the Centre had defended the sedition law and the 1962 verdict of a Constitution bench upholding its validity, contending that WHAT GOVT TOLD THE APEX COURT When the country is marking ‘‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ we need to, as a nation, work even harder to shed colonial baggage Various offences causing “mindless hindrances” to people have been decriminalised Committed to protecting sovereignty and integrity of this great nation Instances of the abuse of provision would never be a justification to reconsider a binding judgment of the Constitution bench Remedy would lie in preventing such abuse on a case-tocase basis rather than doubting a long-standing settled law it had withstood “the test of time” for about six decades and the instances of its abuse would never be a justification for a reconsideration. “Instances of the abuse of provision would never be a justification to reconsider a binding judgment of the Constitution bench. The remedy would lie in preventing such abuse on a case-to-case basis rather than doubting a long-standing settled law declared by a Constitution bench for about six decades,” according to the submissions filed before the top court through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on May 5 had said it would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question of whether the clutch of pleas challenging the sedition law be referred to a larger bench for reconsidering the 1962 verdict of a five-judge constitution bench in the Kedar Nath Singh case. SC, in 1962, had upheld the validity of the sedition law while attempting to restrict its scope for misuse. It had held that unless accompanied by incitement or a call for violence, the criticism of the government cannot be construed as a seditious offence. Agreeing to examine the pleas filed by the Editors Guild of India and former Major General S G Vombatkere, the court had said its main concern was the “misuse of law” leading to the rising number of cases. The Centre’s affidavit filed by Mritunjay Kumar Narayan, Additional Secretary of the MHA, said there are divergence of views expressed in public domain by various jurists, academicians, intellectuals and citizens in general. The Government, being fully cognizant of various views being expressed, is committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of the IPC which can only be done before the appropriate forum, it said.
The new Goa, with a broader profile of people from different parts of India and the world, needs not just a strong local paper but a complete paper. The Goan on Saturday will connect to and be a viable and comprehensive read for locals, other Indians in Goa, NRI and foreigners. It will also be a bridge for Goans in other parts of India all over the world to their home land. The Goan is published by Goa's most reputed industrial houses.