log on to thegoan.net Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY APRIL 8, 2021 8 pages PRICE ` 6 Slack in Covid-19 precautions could be behind wave: Experts PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 288 GOA Varca p’yat forwards draft plan resolutions to GCZMA 6 The Goan (Playstore) 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA Velsao panchayat to seek police patrolling, action against migrants Goa’s Covid graph touches a new high of 527 cases STEEPEST RISE IN LAST SIX MONTHS, TWO MORE DEATHS TAKES COUNT TO 840 THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Goa’s Covid graph experienced a major spike on Wednesday with 527 cases testing positive for Covid-19. The Health Department has recorded 1,161 new cases since the start of this week, the steepest increase in the curve experienced in the state over the last six months. The daily positivity rate shot up to 20 per cent on Wednesday. At the start of the week, on April 4, the total Covid cases in Goa were 59,068 and on Wednesday, the number rose to 60,229. Over these four days, the active cases have also risen by 781 and the recovery rate has dropped by 1.2 per cent. Two Covid-related deaths IN SHORT >> Margao civic polls: Cong, GF join hands CM insists lockdown, night curfews are not solutions and will harm economy The Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium being readied as a Covid care centre. A total of 150 beds have been placed and the centre will be operational by the weekend. Narayan Pissurlenkar were recorded in the mortality bulletin of the Health Department raising the Covid victim count of Goa to 840. The deceased persons in- clude a 58-year-old man from Camurlim and a 57-year-old man from Ponda, both of whom passed away at Goa Medical College and Hospital, PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday categorically stated that his government does not view the imposition of a lockdown or night curfew as a solution to the rising number of Covid cases in the state. Recalling the severe after-effects of the nationwide lockdown last year, CM Sawant said that the government does not intend to disturb the economy again. Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat in Porvorim, CM Sawant said, “Night curfew, lockdowns are not the solutions. Being a tourist state, we also wish to appeal to all tourists and visitors to follow the Covid norms and to get vaccinated. Precaution is the only solution.” CM warned that people can be fined multiple times for the same >Continued on P5 Bambolim. Meanwhile, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane convened an emergency meeting with all Heads of Department (HODs) to strategize Covid management with the facility struggling to make space for Covid >Continued on P5 PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant rubbished the claim of displacing Goa College of Engineering at Faramagudi to make way for the Indian Institute of Technology campus and accused MGP supremo Sudin Dhavalikar of raking up a controversy to stay politically relevant. >> See pg 3 South ZP seeks funds for garbage works MARGAO: The South Goa Zilla Panchayat on Wednesday resolved to ask the government to allot funds for taking up garbage-related works in Zilla Panchayat constituencies on the lines of the panchayat bodies. >> See pg 2 RBI to keep policy rate unchanged MUMBAI: RBI on Wednesday decided to keep the policy rate unchanged, maintained growth projections and announced norms on interoperability and cash withdrawal facilities for digital payment wallets. WEATHER >> Max: 34.3 C Min: 26.7 C Humidity: 89 % TIDES Low: High: 3:03 8:57 14:50 21:39 NEW DELHI The Central government will now onwards collect data on those testing Covid positive even after getting vaccinated. The move follows reports of such instances coming from several parts of the country. It also comes amid a major resurgence in infections: India recorded over 1.15 lakh new cases in the past 24 hours for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020. The sample reference form issued by the government will, henceforth, carry columns related to those who have already been vaccinated, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has informed. The person getting tested will have to disclose, among other details, whether he or she has received any Covid vaccination. If yes, the dates of the shots must be mentioned and also the brand -- South to go without power on April 11 THE GOAN I NETWORK Covaxin or Covishield -- that was administered, the ministry has said. The government yesterday said vaccinations will not be opened up to a wider group anytime soon. “Why did we prioritise some groups over others? Because in this phase of vaccination (till around July), vaccines will be in limited supply,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. The 1,15,736 new infections in the past 24 hours have taken the country’s total cases to over 1.28 crore. Up to 630 deaths in this time period have pushed the total coronavirus-related death count in India to 1,66,177, making it the world’s third worst-hit country after the US and Brazil. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, reported over 55,000 Covid-19 cases. In Mumbai, a centralised system has been set by the civic body for the allotment of beds so that there is no chaos and crowding at hospitals. MARGAO There will be no power in the entire South Goa on April 11 from 7 am to 2 pm as the Electricity Department has planned its annual maintenance shutdown at EHV sub-station in South Goa at 220-KV Xeldem Sub-station, 220-KV Cuncolim substation and 110-KV Verna sub-station. A notice issued by the office of the Chief Electrical Engineer stated that the areas affected by the down include the entire talukas of Canacona, Salcete, Sanguem, Quepem, Mormugao and part of Dharbandora taluka i.e. VP Kirlapal-Dabal, Shigao-Collem, Mollem and part of Ponda taluka i.e. VP Panchwadi. The notice states that the shutdown is purely for the maintenance of EHV (Extra High Voltage) interstate lines and sub-stations only. Power officials made it clear that individual 33/11KV sub-stations will avail shutdowns as per their planned schedule on a later date. Govt to bear connection costs for domestic consumers THE GOAN I NETWORK Postpone Calangute gram sabha: Forum Govt rubbishes claim on GEC Centre to collect data on Covid cases after vax AGENCIES 8 Sania Mirza back in TOPS after four-year gap Cabinet okays State-wide sewer connection policy BOOK-KEEPING MARGAO: Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, Goa Forward chief Vijai Sardesai and Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco on Wednesday unveiled the Margao Civic Alliance to fight the ensuing elections for the Margao civic body, with both Kamat and Sardesai saying the alliance has been formed to defeat the BJP at the hustings. >> See pg 2 MAPUSA: Calling the Calangute panchayat out for skipping a mandatory gram sabha last month, the President of Calangute Citizens Forum and a gram sabha member, Premanand Diukar, has sought postponement of the gram sabha fixed on April 11 on account of incomplete agenda and the sudden spike in Covid cases. >> See pg 3 3 SPORTS A worker arranges new high school textbooks at the Government Primary School office at Chincholem in Panaji. The books will be distributed to different schools from Thursday. Narayan Pissurlenkar ESG to act against filming without NOC THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Entertainment Society of Goa has informed that all that film shootings in the State will mandatorily require a NOC from the society and those undertaking film shootings without it would be liable for action as per law. The ESG, which is the nodal agency for the NOC for film shootings through the line producers registered with the ESG and the Goan producers and production houses, said many illegal film shootings are being undertaken in Goa without obtaining the necessary permissions. The film shooting requests are received at the office of the ESG from the registered line producers or Goan producers and production houses either through e-mails or letters in the prescribed forms. The requests are processed by the ESG by notifying or seeking permissions from various concerned departments/ agencies applicable. After carrying out due procedures, the NOCs are issued for shootings. The ESG charges an amount of Rs 10,000 from the applicant as processing fees and Panchayats has a revenue share of Rs 3000 in the said amount. The other agencies/ departments also charge a fee for shooting locations under their jurisdiction as per applicability. PANAJI The Pramod Sawant-led cabinet on Wednesday approved a State-wide policy on house sewer connections with the Sewerage and Infrastructure Corporation of Goa Limited (SIDCGL) designated as the nodal agency. The policy envisages a uniform fee structure to avail sewerage facilities which will be 35 per cent of the water consumption bill for domestic consumers, hospitals, hostels among other category of users besides a one-time sewerage connection fee up to Rs 10,000 as per the type of consumer and construction. For commercial establishments like hotels, malls, supermarkets and restaurants, the monthly sewerage charges will be half of the water consumption bill and installation charges will vary between Rs 5,500 to Rs 25,000 per unit. For domestic consumers, the costs of providing the connection will be borne by the government which is estimated to cost the exchequer around Rs 50 crore annually with a target of 5,000 connections. Goa is way below the national average of 31 per cent Digital meters for taxis in two weeks: Godinho Says will streamline running of taxis and cautions those demanding scrapping of GoaMiles THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI he government will move ahead with its decision of installing digital meters in taxis within two weeks, stated Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho at a presentation held at Porvorim on the new traffic rules that are to be implemented from May 1. The meters will be installed free of cost for all the nearly 20,000 taxis in the State, disclosed Godinho. He added that funds to the tune of Rs 34 crore have been earmarked for this exercise. Godinho also informed that the State Transport Authority (STA) will meet shortly to decide on the revision of taxi fares. “In 15 days time rates T LEVEL-PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL Around 20,000 taxis in the State will get free meters Rs 34 crore have been earmarked for this exercise State Transport Authority (STA) will meet shortly to decide on the revision of taxi fares will be fixed and intimated to the operators,” he said. He informed further that the department will have a meeting with all taxi business stakeholders before revising the fares and installing digital meters in taxis. He said the government will streamline the running of taxis at the airport in a manner that will be satisfactory and accepted by all stakeholders who are in the taxi trade and added, “GoaMiles and other taxi counters at the airport are not run as per the rules.” The streamlining process will be started once the Tourism Department hands over the taxi counters under it to the Transport Department, he added. “But demands like scrap GoaMiles will not help the cause of taxi drivers. I want to caution them,” said Mau- Govt to take over operations of private buses on two routes PANAJI: The State government will take over operations of all private buses on the Ponda to Panaji and Canacona to Margao routes in a bid to beef up public transport. Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho said the private bus owners and their unions had in-principal accepted this proposition. He added that the government is currently in the planning stage of implementing the proposal. Godinho said the bus owners will be paid rent for their buses and the model will end all the manipulations to corner business between the private and Kadamba buses. vin. Nobody can dictate to the government, he warned. Meanwhile, the Transport Minister said the new Motor Vehicle Act implementing authorities will be lenient for the first three months. “I have told them not to be harsh initially. Let three months pass so that people get used to it,” he added. The new MVA imposing hefty fines on traffic violators will come into force in the state from May 1. GOVERNMENT TO PERMIT SAND TRANSPORTATION FROM MAHA PANAJI: In a respite to the construction sector facing a severe shortage of sand, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the government has issued instructions to permit legal sand transportation from Maharashtra. Legal sand extraction in Goa has come to a complete standstill after the Bombay High Court has imposed a ban until the State government comes up with a scientifically sound policy. in sewerage 16 per cent. coverage at EXTERNMENT: Meanwhile, some 60 ‘criminals’ are on the State government’s radar for externment either outside the State or their home district. Sawant, who was reacting to Monday’s shootout incident in Merces, said the State government will take stern action on the law and order front. POLICE POSTS: In other decisions taken at Wednesday’s cabinet meet, the Goa police force got 10 posts of Police Inspectors (PIs) and 150 posts of Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) by chopping 219 constabulary positions. CONVENTION CENTRE: The cabinet also granted post-facto approval to actions of the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) cell of the Finance Department in connection with the setting up of the International Convention Center at Dona Paula. This includes the Request for Proposal floated along with the Concession Agreement, Project Information Memoranda and Eleven Addenda. LAND DEAL: The cabinet also approved the exchange of land deal between the PWD and Vibhav Real Estate at Khadpabandh to improve road connectivity between Ponda and Kavlem village. No exams for class 9, 11 students in Maha AGENCIES MUMBAI Amid an upsurge in Covid-19 cases in the state, the Maharashtra Education Department is expected to promote Class 9 and Class 11 students to the next academic grade without holding any annual exams. Reports also suggest that the Maharashtra Education Department is mulling over the postponement of the upcoming board exams. The education department officials are finalizing a plan for the upcoming board exams which includes a proposal to postpone exams. The probability of board exams getting postponed is high as the cases of coronavirus in the state are increasing rapidly. Earlier, state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad announced on Twitter had announced that Maharashtra Board students from classes 1 to 8 will be promoted without exams. The Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra have hit a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic prompting the state government to impose night curfew and other preventive and precautionary measures to control the situation. According to media reports, the state government is also considering a proposal to promote Class 9 and 11 students without holding the annual exam or on the basis of internal assessment. The dept is likely to take the final decision in the next two days.
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.