log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday SATURDAY MAY 14, 2022 12 pages PRICE ` 6 Future of nuclear waste: What’s the plan and can it be safe? IN SHORT >> Kerala monsoon by May 27, may hit Goa in early June: IMD PANAJI: Southwest monsoon is likely to onset over Kerala by May 27, which is 4-5 days ahead of the normal onset date with a model error of plus or minus four days. There is no forecast yet by IMD for Goa, but it said showers may hit the State in early June. Booster dose gap cut to 3 months PANAJI: Overseas travellers can now take a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as three months (90 days) after the second dose, the Union government announced. The gap has been reduced to allow the travellers to meet conditions imposed by several countries. Fresh dates for VP polls soon: Godinho PANAJI: A meeting will be held with CM and Advocate General on Monday to decide fresh dates for panchayat elections, Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho said. The apex court in its order on May 10 has asked the states to reserve OBC seats based on new guidelines. 1,000 tourist guides in next 2 yrs: Govt PANAJI: Goa government on Friday notified scheme to offer Tourist Guide Certification Program (basic and advanced modules). The objective of the scheme is to increase the number of certified tourist guides in Goa to a minimum of 1,000 in next two years. Panel to aid victims of med negligence PANAJI: The State government has constituted a committee to aid victims of medical negligence headed by Head of Department of Medicine, Goa Medical College. One-day mourning for UAE President NEW DELHI: United Arab Emirates’ President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan died on Friday. As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the GoI has decided that there will be one day’s state mourning tomorrow throughout India. >> See pg 7 ST community demands political reservations >> See pg 2 WEATHER >> Max: 33 C Min: 26.9 C Humidity: 89% TIDES Low: High: 3:17/15:30 09.54/21:10 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 8 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 326 GOA Finally, Madgaum Urban Bank begins paying its depositors 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA GSL employment a racket, will talk to defence min: Mauvin 3 268 Covid ex-gratia pleas on hold, DHS under fire HEALTH AGENCY UNDER SCANNER FOR WRONG REPORTAGE OF DEATHS THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Did the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) strictly follow the rule book when it came to reporting Covid deaths in the state? Doubts have now begun creeping into the state’s top health agency’s ability to keep its Covid fatality record books in order, with 268 applications filed by relatives of Covid-19 victims under the government’s ‘ex-gratia assistance’ policy being kept on hold. According to the DHS records, in all 3832 persons have died in Goa due to Covid so far. The addition of these 268 deaths as Covid deaths, would then take the fatality tally above 4,000. A miscalculation of the tally had led the DHS to add an additional 94 deaths that occurred between August 2020 to June 2021 to its comprehensive list of Covid deaths, something which State Epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar has conceded. COVID CLOUD & GRIEF LINGER According to the DHS records, in all 3832 persons have died in Goa due to Covid so far The addition of these 268 deaths as Covid deaths, would then take the fatality tally above 4,000 The next of kin of the 268 deceased patients have attached documents such as laboratory reports certifying the victim having tested positive for Covid-19 It is interesting to note that 268 applications are pending as information about the death of victims due to Covid is not with the DHS “Earlier also such issues had arisen, as private hospitals failed to report the deaths due to Covid. Earlier we had received a list from the social welfare department about the deaths that were not recorded with the DHS. This list was sent to the respective hospitals and ver- ified. The number has been added in our media bulletin,” he said. In the case of the fresh 268 applications, the next of kin of deceased patients have attached documents such as laboratory reports certifying the victim having tested positive for Cov- CM tells govt servants to be prompt in service delivery or face action SC says no to stay on J&K delimitation THE GOAN I NETWORK NEW DELHI The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the ongoing delimitation process in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Two Kashmir residents had challenged the government’s decision to constitute a delimitation commission for redrawing the assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the Union Territory. The delimitation panel had recommended increasing the assembly seats from 83 to 90 in the union territory. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh also issued notice to the Centre and Election Commission of India and sought their responses within six weeks and said that the rejoinder affidavit shall be filed in two weeks thereafter. The court has slated the hearing for August 30. During the hearing, Justice S K Kaul asked the Senior Advocate Ravi Shankar Jandhyala who was appearing for the petitioner, as to why the petition had raised issues on abrogation of article 370, which has essentially challenged the delimitation exercise. id-19 (most of the deaths occurred in GMC) and the death summary submitted by the Hospital, which states that the deaths occurred due to Covid-19. As per the government scheme, the family of Covid victims are eligible for a one-time benefit of Rs 2 lakh. The Social Welfare Department so far has received a total 2,094 applications under the scheme. Out of these applications, 1,827 have been approved. Around 1,230 applications have been sent to the Accounts Department and 597 applications are still pending. It is interesting to note that 268 applications are pending as information about the death of victims due to Covid is not with the Directorate of Health Services. After shortlisting the Social Welfare Department has now sent a list of 119 applicants out of 268 pending applications to the Directorate of Health Services for verification. However, the DHS ap- PANAJI Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday sent out a veiled threat to State government employees calling on them to be punctual and diligent or face the music saying citizens should not face difficulties in dealing with service delivery or availing schemes. “Government officers will have to face the consequences if anyone complains against them,” Sawant said while speaking to a select group of employees at the launch of a training workshop of the District Mineral Foundation. He said the State government will soon get a ‘Public Grievance Cell’ going to address the impediments faced by citizens in using services provided by various departments and also in availing of welfare schemes. The chief minister also exhorted public servants to adopt out-of-the-box working styles and break out from the ‘10 am to 5 pm’ work hour mode. “We are not public servants only between 10 am to Government officers will have to face the consequences if anyone complains against them,” —Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister 5 pm. We are 24x7 servants of the public,” Sawant further said, adding that a shift in thinking with a focus on serving the citizen will go a long way in ensuring that real benefit of the government resources spent actually reach the people. He also said that schemes for the benefit of the public should not get bogged down in red-tapism. Meanwhile, Sawant also made a fervent appeal to greens and NGOs, who have been approaching the courts to check alleged irregularities, not to obstruct the process of restarting sustainable iron ore mining as it deals with the livelihoods of thousands of people. Sawant lamented that activities in two mines had been recently stopped at the intervention of the courts. pears to be dragging its feet over the same. Last year, when the 94 (then unreported) deaths were added to the list of Covid fatalities, the Goa government had warned of action against private hospitals, which had failed to report Covid-related deaths on time. Speaking to The Goan, Dr Betodkar said that his department would now verify the details in the pending applications with the private hospitals. He also said that there was a lot of pressure on the private and government health infrastructure when Covid was at its peak, which may have led to erroneous reportage of Covid deaths. “At the time of the Covid wave, there was pressure on the medical facility providers and due to this the reporting and recording may have suffered and this type of thing happens. If there is any such difference, we will certainly verify and update the list,” Dr Betodkar said. SPORTS India script Thomas Cup history, beat Denmark to reach maiden final 12 Fr Nevel, known for Lentern tiatrs, fades into eternity THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Noted Konkani author, tiatr writer, director and actor Fr Nevel Lourdes Sacramento Gracias (58) of Velim passed away in the Clergy Home at Porvorim in the wee hours of Friday. Fr Gracias, who gained fame for his Lenten tiatrs, which were acclaimed by people across and beyond Goa, is reported to have written and presented about 50 tiatrs, which included over two dozen spiritual and Lenten tiatrs. The final rites of the departed priest will take place at the St Francis Xavier Church, Velim, on May 19 at 4 pm. On Saturday (May 14), there will be a Mass for the repose of priest at the Clergy Home in Porvorim at 10.30 am. Fr Nevel was ordained a priest by Archbishop Raul Gonsalves on April 30, 1991, in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Velim. During his priestly ministry, Fr Gracias had served in the parishes of Taleigao, Piedade-Divar, Loutolim, Chaudi-Canacona, Borda-Margao, Utorda, Panaji, Caranzalem andGuirim. He also served as the Asst Director of the Diocesan Catechetical Fr Nevel Lourdes C e n t r e and DiS Gracias. rector of the Lay Apostolate, while also serving as editor of the diocesan monthly ‘Daily Flash’ and ‘Jivitacho Prokas’. Priests in the archdiocese recalled that Fr Nevel was born on the day Our Lady appeared in Lourdes (February 11) and died on the day she appeared in Fatima (May 13). Besides tiatrs, Fr Gracias also wrote and presented one-act plays. He was also a regular contributor to various magazines, including Vauraddeancho Ixtt, Dor Mhoineachi Rotti, Gulab and Renovacao. He was a recipient of a number of awards and felicitations by JIVIT Puroskar, Vauraddeancho Ixtt Puroskar, Gulab Puroskar, Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendra Puroskar, Dalgado Puroskar. >Continued on P5 FALSE ALARM AGENCIES High drama was witnessed on the Panaji-Bambolim highway when the police bomb squad and fire brigade personnel rushed to a spot identified by a caller saying he had seen detonators lying at the side of the service road. It turned out the detonators (see circled portion) were used firecracker boxes. Narayan Pissurlenkar SC refuses to postpone NEET-PG-22 exam PTI NEW DELHI The Supreme Court on Friday refused to postpone the NEETPG-22 examination on a plea of doctors, saying the delay would seriously affect patient care and would create “chaos and uncertainty”. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said the postponement of the examination would create “chaos and uncertainty” and would affect the larger section of students, who have registered for the examination. The top court said, “Over two lakh students have registered for the ensuing examination and their schedule will be seriously affected if a further postponement is granted under the direction of this court which will result in chaos and uncertainty”. It said, “These are matters which essentially pertain to the policy domain unless the court is satisfied that the decision which has been taken by the authorities was without any application of mind in relevant circumstances or is manifestly arbitrary.” Sonia admits it’s time to look within for change 26 killed after massive inferno CHARGES MODI breaks out in Delhi’s Mundka PARTY COMES OUT WITH RIDER ON OF BRUTALISING AGENCIES UDAIPUR Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi Friday set the tone for the three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur saying that changes in the organisation were the “need of the hour” and underlined the need for change in the “way of working”, indicating long due organisational changes in the grand-old party following a string of election defeats in recent assembly elections. “Changes in organisation are the need of the hour, we need to change the way of our working. We have to keep organisation above personal ambitions,” said Gandhi, reiterating her words from the party’s Working Committee (CWC) meeting Monday. ‘ONE FAMILY, ONE TICKET’ PROPOSAL She also said that the “party has given us a lot and it is time to pay back”. With clamour for organisational changes increasing within the Congress in recent times, Gandhi said that there is a need to improve the party’s organisation and accepted that it needs to look within. “There is a need for a change in strategy and in how we work every day. Our resurgence can only happen through massive collective effort and that effort cannot be UDAIPUR: The party has put a rider on ‘one family, one ticket’ proposal mooted by a panel set up for the Udaipur Chintan Shivir and has said that the formula will not be applied if the second member from a family is actively working for the party for at least five years. The party’s view was articulated by party general secretary Ajay Maken, who is a member of the coordination panel on ‘organisation’ that had made the ‘one family, one ticket’ suggestion. He said that the one family, one ticket formula will not be applied if “two persons are from the same family and the second member is actively working for the party for five years”. Maken said such members can be considered for tickets and can contest polls. delayed and will not be delayed”, she said. Urging delegates to speak freely at the gathering in Ra- jasthan’s Udaipur, Gandhi said it’s “both ‘chintan’ (brainstorming) about national issues and a meaningful ‘atma MINORITIES UDAIPUR: Sonia Gandhi on Friday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, charging that it has become clear that his mantra of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ means keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation, “brutalising” minorities and “threatening” political opponents. chintan’ (introspection) about our party’s organisation”. “But one message of strong party and unity should go out to the country,” she added. >Continued on P5 AGENCIES NEW DELHI In a horrific incident at Delhi’s Mundka, 26 people lost their lives due to a fire in a building that has been raging since late afternoon on Friday. As per Delhi Police, there are even more people still trapped inside the building, and efforts are on to rescue them. The fire broke out in Mundka, on Delhi’s border with Bahadurgarh, Haryana, in the late afternoon on Friday. Initially, 15 fire tenders rushed to the spot and started the rescue process. Later, nearly 30 fire tenders were involved in the efforts to bring the fire under control. The fire broke out in a four-storeyed building that was used as office space by many different companies. The fire broke out on the first floor of the building, where a company manufacturing CCTVs and routers had its office. Rescuers managed HORRIFIC to save 50 employees of the company from the blazing inferno. The owner of the company has been detained by the police after preliminary investigations. The catastrophe shocked the nation and condolences for the victims flooded in led by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind. PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a tragic fire in Delhi. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery.” Meanwhile, President Kovind said, “Distressed by the tragic fire accident at a building near Mundka Metro Station in Delhi. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish for speedy recovery of the injured.” As per the latest reports, the rescue efforts are still underway as the frontline workers try to save the people still stuck in the building.
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.