log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2021 GOA Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) 8 pages PRICE ` 6 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 246 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 8 2 3 7 Make Covid test must for States warned over breach of visitors from Maha: GMC Covid SOPs amid rising cases Authorities descend on govt land at Pajifond to raze illegal structures GOA Pvt sector likely to offer facilities at Chicalim Sub District Hospital NEWS Pvt banks allowed to participate in government-related business SPORTS Axar Patel takes 6 wickets as England crumble to 112 on Day 1 of 3rd Test THE GOAN I NETWORK MAHARASHTRA WITNESSED 8,000 NEW CASES OF INFECTIONS ON WEDNESDAY TAKING ITS TOTAL INFECTION COUNT TO 21,21,119 NEGATIVE REPORT NOW MANDATORY TO ENTER SEVERAL STATES AGENCIES MUMBAI The Centre has warned that a breach of guidelines on testing and other measures to contain the coronavirus could worsen a recent spurt in infections in many states, particularly after it detected several variants. “Any laxity in implementing stringent measures to curb the spread, especially in view of new strain of virus…could compound the situation,” the health ministry on Wednesday said in a statement that singled out 10 states. India’s infections are the second highest in the world at 11.03 million, swelled by a further 13,742 in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed. Deaths rose by a twoweek high of 104 to 156,567. Maharashtra on Wednes- IN SHORT >> Guv summons Goa Assembly PANAJI: State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has summoned the Legislative Assembly (Budget Session) on March 24, 2021, at 11.30 am. The session will go on till April 12. The House will not sit on Saturday, Sundays and public holidays. No externment against Parab PANAJI: The State Government on Wednesday admitted before the Bombay High Court at Goa that the externment order issued against Tukaram alias Manoj Parab of the Revolutionary Goans was sans jurisdiction and would be withdrawn. >> See pg 3 CM shifts darbar to beat poll code MARGAO: CM Pramod Sawant on Wednesday noon held his public grievances darbar at the South BJP office at a time when the poll code is in force. The darbar was to be held in the South Collectorate. >> See pg 2 WEATHER >> Max: 33 C Min: 22 C Humidity: 71% TIDES Low: High: 3.08 8.16 14.58 22.19 Asked to increase RT-PCR testing NEW DELHI: The Centre has written to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, where there has been a rise in daily cases, alongside a drop in the proportion of RT-PCR tests. These states have been asked to increase RT-PCR testing. A BMC health worker wearing protective gear takes a sample from a woman for Covid-19 test, at a housing society in Dadar, Mumbai, on Wednesday. PTI day witnessed a surge rise in coronavirus cases, with more than 8,000 new cases of infections being reported in a single day after a gap of over four months. The state reported 8,807 cases on Wednesday, taking its total infection count to 21,21,119. The last time it had reported 8,142 cases was on October 21, 2020 after which the numbers had declined, health officials told. On February 22 and 23, the state had reported 5,210 and 6,218 cases, respectively. With 80 deaths reporetd on Wednesday the state’s fatality count rose to 51,937. High-level teams sent to 10 States NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday sent high-level teams to 10 states and Union Territories that have seen a surge in Covid cases, warning that slacking off on rules and measures to check infection will escalate the crisis, given the emergence of new virus strains. The number of cases has been on a steady rise since February 10, the state had recorded 6,112 infections on February 19, 6,281 on February 20 and 6,971 on February 21. Meanwhile, Mumbai city continued to report the highest cases in a single day. PANAJI he Federation of Rainbow Warriors has approached the Bombay High Court at Goa seeking to quash the government’s notification calling for a public hearing on the CZMP 2011 which has been scheduled for March 7. The band of environmental warriors has sought that the hearings be held at the level of each village rather than one for the whole of North Goa District -- which has been scheduled at the Taleigao Community Centre -- and another for the whole of South Goa District which has been scheduled at Ravindra Bhavan Margao. “We do not believe that it will be possible for the villages of each village to place forth T READY FOR THE WORSE The GMC Dean pointed out that with the vaccination programme progressing swiftly, a large chunk of HCWs and FLWs in the state will have developed immunity within 14 days of receiving their second dose of the vaccine. He said the HCWs will be ready with full immunity in the face of a second wave the vaccination programme progressing swiftly, a large chunk of the Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs) in the state will have developed immunity within 14 days of receiving their second dose of the vaccine. “Our HCWs will be ready with full immunity in the face of a second wave,” Dr Bandekar stated. He also sought to explain that the mutant variant strain of the coronavirus is not fatal, but highly infective. “Treatment protocol is not different. Safety protocols need to be followed strictly,” he said. By Wednesday, a total of 11,745 HCWs were administered the first dose of ‘CoviShield’ while 1,970 of these had received their second dose as well. On the other hand, a total of 6,127 FLWs have received their first dose of the vaccine to date. During the first round of Covid vaccination, which commenced on January 16, a total of 19,329, from private and government sectors, were registered on the Co-WIN portal as beneficiaries. The number of Front Line Workers (FLWs) registered on the portal stands at around 16,000-odd. Have told MPT, Sagarmala Taxi operators up the ante against not feasible in State: CM GoaMiles, protest in Panaji SPEAKS IN FAVOUR OF JETTIES, SAYS THESE ARE FOR TOURISM THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO Allaying apprehensions of the people that the Major Ports Bill will arm the MPT with superpowers and will empower the port authority to bulldoze their way with projects, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said MPT will be required to take consent of the state government for anything it intends to undertake in the state. In fact, the Chief Minister said that the state government has clearly told the MPT that the Sagarmala project is not feasible in the state of Goa. He, however, strongly batted for the jetties proposed under the project, saying these jetties will not be used for transportation, but will boost tourism and ensure North-South connectivity. Earlier in the day, South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha had said the Major Ports Bill will give the MPT more powers and made a plea to the state government to bring out a White Paper on the question of jurisdiction of the MPT in the state of Goa. Various panchayat bodies in Salcete had raised eyebrows over the marking of the river Sal as well as the beach belt as the Port Limits, creat- Port limits defined, there is no scope for expansion: MPT VASCO: MPT Chairman Dr E Ramesh Kumar stated that the port limits were well defined and gazetted by the central government and that there was no scope of expansion. “My port limits are already defined and whatever our limits are already gazetted way back by the central government will always remain the same. Speculation is always a speculation and there is nothing like recent mapping and whatever limits marked and gazetted earlier by the central government stands and will stand,” said Dr Kumar. >Continued on P5 ing confusion and doubts in the minds of the villagers. During an interaction with the media after attending the grievances of the people at the BJP South Goa district office, the Chief Minister, however, said that the jetties proposed in the state are not for any transportation or other project, but will be put to use for the purpose of tourists and to connect the North and South district. “An attempt is being made to confuse the people on the issues of Sagarmala project and the Major Ports Bill. The Sagarmala project was just a survey undertaken to find out what could be done in the state. Though the Major Ports Bill has been passed, I want to make clear that the jetties mooted in the state are only for tourists. Jetties will bring about North-South connectivity,” he said, adding that the jetties mooted in the state will be solely used for tourism and fishing activities. When the media drew his attention to the fears that the Major Ports Bill will make the MPT superpower, the Chief Minister reiterated MPT will have to take the consent of the state government. Meanwhile, South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha has said people do not want the jurisdiction of the MPT and the Major Ports Bill should open the eyes of the state govt. Taxi drivers protest outside Junta House in Panaji which houses the Transport Department. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Dozens of taxi drivers from across Goa on Wednesday demonstrated outside Junta House in Panaji which houses the Transport Dept demanding the scrapping of the permission given to GoaMiles permissions to operate in the State. They also sought to know the status of the next round of talks which Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho had assured on their contentious tussle with GoaMiles Discontent over CZMP hearing reaches HC doorstep THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Dean of the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim Dr S M Bandekar on Wednesday called upon the state government to consider making the RT-PCR Covid-19 test mandatory for people entering Goa from Maharashtra in view of the sudden steep rise in Covid cases in the neighbouring state. “People from Maharashtra enter Goa in their private vehicles. But Goa is a tourist state and we cannot stop people from travelling. Maharashtra is demanding an RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 48 hours from those entering from Goa. We also need to follow suit,” Dr Bandekar said. Speaking about Goa’s preparedness to handle an imminent second wave of the Covid pandemic, the GMC Dean stated, “We are prepared fully with our infrastructure to handle a second wave of the pandemic. We are better prepared as none of our equipment and other institutions are decommissioned.” It was pointed out that with First explain plan: Chimbel locals MAJOR APPREHENSIONS OLD GOA: Appealing to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to postpone the hearing slated for March 7, residents in Chimbel have insisted that GCZMA experts should first explain the plan to the locals. A special meeting was held to discuss draft CZMP in the Chimbel panchayat on Wednesday. >> See pg 3 The government has been urged to hold public hearings on the draft CZMP at panchayat level in villages Green activist Abhijeet Prabhudesai, who is the petitioner, said that the government must explain these plans to people at gram sabhas and subsequently hold public hearings at the panchayat level in villages Dwelling houses that have not been marked in the plan will be marked for demolition once the CZMPs are finalised, Prabhudesai said, adding that rivers and khazan lands have got demarcated as port limits. He also alleged that fishing rights, mussels, oysters and fish farms have not been marked their issues at these public hearings and seek clarifications from the authorities on a single day where 100 villages will need time to talk. Instead, we want that the government first explain the plan to the villages and only then hold public hearings at the village level,” Abhijit Prabhudesai told reporters. The CZMP plan 2011 has been prepared by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management and was to be completed in 2014 but several years later is still to be finalised. In the absence of Plan full of errors: Chicalim residents VASCO: Residents in Chicalim unanimously rejected the latest draft CZMP on Wednesday, after claiming it was full of errors and showed a huge coastal area under Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) port limits. The villagers took strong objection to the vast coastal belt been demarcated as port area against the wishes of the local population. >> See pg 3 the plan, the National Green Tribunal has ordered that no permissions under the Coastal Regulation Zone be granted which has resulted in the stalling of several projects. app-based taxi aggregator services. Sawant who had engaged with associations of private taxi operators in the State in January had assured them a “balanced decision” in the interest of tourism and taxi operators. He had then promised the taxi associations further talks. Taxi drivers on Wednesday demanded to know the status of the matter from the Transport Director. Incidentally, the director was not in his office and the agitating taxi operators proceeded to the Chief Minister’s official bungalow at Altinho but couldn’t get an audience with him either. His office informed them that the chief minister was in South Goa on official engagements. Goa Miles is a private appbased taxi service that began operations in 2018 after a questionable exercise carried out by State-owned Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) which ensured the private company monopoly in the segment. GTDC comes under the jurisdiction of the Tourism Department headed by Dep- uty Chief Minister Manohar (Babu) Azgaonkar. Several months after Goa Miles began operations, the Godinho-led Transport Department as an afterthought issued notifications listing out elaborate regulatory guidelines for taxi service aggregators to commence operations. With GTDC patronage, none of these transport department notified regulations for taxi service aggregators were applied to the already operating Goa Miles, giving it an advantage over potential competitors. Hearings before Feb 26 not possible, Speaker tells SC THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Goa Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar has submitted before the Supreme Court that he will not be able to complete the hearings in the disqualification petition filed by the Congress party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party by February 26. When the matter was heard last before the Supreme Court, the Speaker had submitted before the court that the Speaker had kept the matter for ‘disposal’ on February 26. The Supreme Court had then adjourned the matter recording the submission of the Additional Solicitor General. The Speaker has now written to the Supreme Court DISQUALIFICATION PLEA OF MLAS to say that was not the case. “The proceedings are slated to be heard on 26.02.2021. The Speaker is to hear all the respondents in both the petitions along with the submissions of the petitioners as well. In these circumstances, it may not be possible to complete and conclude the proceedings in one day. Since the order dated 10.02.2021 has recorded that the proceedings would be disposed of on 26.02.2021, it was deemed necessary and appropriate that the above facts be brought to the notice of the Court,” Patnekar said in his submission before the Chief Justice of India who leads the bench hearing the petitions. The Speaker said the matter was under his active consideration but the pandemic struck. He was forced to postpone hearings and he himself was infected with the dreaded virus necessitating his hospitalisation for an extended period.
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