log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2022 GOA Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday 14 pages PRICE ` 8 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 157 RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 3 14 2 8 Govt to recommence issue of Be vigilant, act against coastal laterite, sand mining licences violations: HC to police, p’yats GOA 1,200 to get joining letters in govt depts South DPC fails to put in place draft District Development Plan SPORTS INFO Former coach Langer slams ‘cowards’ in Australia team Ways to include salt in your skin care routine THE GOAN I NETWORK CENTRE ALSO DIRECTED TO SPEED UP CONSTITUTION OF GCZMA THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Bombay High Court at Goa has ordered the police and panchayat authorities to take strict action against illegal constructions along Goa’s coastal belt ahead of the upcoming peak tourism season and avoid delays that allow the offenders to profit from their illegality during the peak season. “The HC has given a general direction as far as the entire coastal belt is concerned, to say that the police as well as the panchayat will have to be very very vigilant and they will take all types of action to prevent all types of illegal construction during this peak tourism season,” Advocate General Devidas Pangam said. “According to the High Court this is the time that all KEY OBSERVATIONS Even if one set of constructions, which had degraded the environment in the highly eco-sensitive NDZ was purportedly razed to the ground; they have brazenly put up yet another set of constructions on the same spot This is not some case of constructions being put up by poor people to provide themselves with some shelter or some fisherfolk repairing their small huts in fishing hamlets. This is a massive structure put the activities start and by the time action is taken the tourist season comes to an end and the whole thing becomes in- up… for their commercial activities of a bar, restaurant, and nightclub Such serial and deliberate violators of environmental laws cannot claim the indulgence of regularisation or for that matter, seek any assistance from the writ court fructuous,” Pangam said. The High Court was hearing the matter of an illegal construction that had mush- roomed once again despite having been demolished in the past. The High Court also issued directions to the Union government to constitute the term of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority, whose term has expired, at the earliest. The CRZ Authority term has expired on October 31, 2022 that Authority has to be constituted by the Central government so the High Court had directed that it has to be constituted at the earliest and once that Authority is constituted, it should decide about the legality of the structure in the neighbouring property, the AG said. In 2021, the High Court had lashed out at the authorities for failing to act against brazen illegalities. “Even if one set of construc- WITH GOA VULNERABLE TO DRUG SMUGGLING... (See page 11) Another WC stunner: Japan upsets Germany 2-1 IN SHORT >> 6 more months for casinos in Mandovi PANAJI: The cabinet on Wednesday has granted its nod for another six months extension for off-shore casinos to operate in the Mandovi river. >> See pg 3 St Francis Xavier Novena begins today OLD GOA: Old Goa is all set to host the Novena and Feast of St Francis Xavier from Thursday, even as the Maddi preceding the Novena was blessed on Monday. The Masses on the first day of the Novena begin at 6 am followed by Masses at 7.15 am, 8.15 am,, 9.30 am, 10.30 am, 3.45 pm, 5 pm, all in Konkani and 6 pm in English. >> See pg 3 Police nab kidnapper, abducted girl rescued MARGAO: The Colva police has rescued a 17-year old minor girl from Uttar Pradesh after she was kidnapped by a 20-year old accused, Japi Singh, a native of Bihar. The accused who was apprehended at Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh has been brought to Goa and arrested. Anti-narcotics agencies pitch for full-fledged Goa NCB unit CITE NEED FOR TIGHTENING SECURITY TO CHECK MOPA AIRPORT TRAFFIC, CARGO THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI With the upcoming Mopa international airport expected to handle heightened passenger and cargo load, fear of possible smuggling of narcotic substances from major drug trafficking countries has prompted the anti-narcotics agencies to pitch for a dedicated unit of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Goa. An inter-agency coordination meeting of NCB, Goa Police, and senior government officials discussed the threat of narco-terrorism pan-India including Goa, being vulnerable to drugs smuggling. “The airports and ports pose a big challenge because the organised drug cartels use these facilities to illegally traffic different forms of drugs. In recent months, central agencies intercepted boats carrying drugs into Indian territory. These were recovered but we apprehend constant attempts by international cartels could escalate narco-terrorism in India,” a senior officer said. NCB DIRECTOR WANTS SPACIOUS OFFICE, MORE STAFF FOR GOA OPS PANAJI: NCB Zonal Director Amit Ghawate has confirmed the need for a spacious office and additional staff to carry out its functioning in the tourist-populated State. “NCB needs a full-fledged office because of heightened seizures and national security measures such as thwarting narco-terrorism,” he said. Goa is currently a sub-zone with staff strength of 10-15 personnel and officers. Once final approval is accorded, Goa will have a dedicated NCB office with around 40-50 investigating members besides supervisory officers. Ghawate proposed seeking additional staff from Goa police on deputation stating, “It will be a win-win situation for both – NCB and Goa Police. The local police have an upper hand over >Continued on P5 Though Goa has by and large remained safe from bulk smuggling of narcotics through Dabolim airport or the lone port, the NCB has sought to intensify security. At the same time, the meeting emphasised the need for a full-fledged NCB office with an additional number of investigation officers. Besides South American and African countries push- ing drugs into India, a huge quantity of which enters Goa given high consumer demand; the coastal State also faces a threat from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Sources revealed that Afghanistan has targeted India to traffic opium. “The country is the biggest producer as well as supplier of opium, which is >Continued on P5 tions, which had degraded the environment in the highly eco-sensitive NDZ was purportedly razed to the ground; they have brazenly put up yet another set of constructions on the same spot,” the High Court observed. “This is not some case of constructions being put up by poor people to provide themselves with some shelter or some fisherfolk repairing their small huts in fishing hamlets. This is a massive structure put up… for their commercial activities of a bar, restaurant, and nightclub. Such serial and deliberate violators of environmental laws cannot claim the indulgence of regularisation or for that matter, seek any assistance from the writ court,” the High Court ruled. “What is surprising in this >Continued on P5 OTS for unpaid power bills reintroduced THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Defaulter electricity consumers in the State will once again get some solace as the State cabinet on Wednesday decided to reintroduce the one-time settlement scheme (OTS) to clear arrears by which interest component and other penal fines are waived. As per the decision taken by the cabinet, the OTS scheme will be in force for six months. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant who addressed the media after the cabinet meeting said, the reintroduction of the One-Time Settlement (OTS) Scheme for Electricity Bills was approved. Sawant said, an aggregate of Rs 402 crore is due to the Electricity Department in arrears of past consumption and unpaid bills from the consumers. The chief minister recalled that when the scheme was introduced last year, many consumers were unable to avail it for various reasons, including because of restrictions on movement of people due to the pandemic. Over 17,000 consumers are in arrears of paying the power bills and thus eligible for waivers of interest and penal amounts through the OTS scheme. Covid may increase risk of stroke in children: Study PTI WASHINGTON hildren may be at increased risk of stroke after Covid-19 infection, according to a small study conducted in the US. The research, published this week in the journal Pediatric Neurology, reviewed medical charts and diagnosis codes to identify 16 hospital patients who had an ischemic stroke between March 2020 and June 2021. Most of those took place between February and May 2021, shortly after the surge of Covid pediatric cases. Of those tested for Covid antibodies, nearly half tested positive. None of the 16 had been severely sick with the virus and some had been asymptomatic, the researchers said. Five patients were not tested for past Covid infec- C THE RESEARCH The research reviewed medical charts and diagnosis codes to identify 16 hospital patients who had an ischemic stroke between March 2020 and June 2021 None of the 16 had been severely sick with the virus and some had been asymptomatic In the first six months of 2021, the hospital cared for 13 kids with a stroke of unknown origins The risk of stroke is independent of whether or not the patient has MIS-C, a known complication of Covid Of the 16 kids studied, most had few lingering impacts from their stroke by the time they left the hospital tion, a limitation of the study, they said. “It may be that hyper-immune response that comes later that’s causing kids to clot,” said MaryGlen J Vielleux, a pediatric neurology resident at University of Utah Health and lead author of the study. “Overall, kids have a relatively low risk for stroke, but there is a rare but real risk after Covid,” Vielleux said. The new data shows that the overall number of strokes was significantly higher than what had been seen historically at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. Over the past five years, the number of children with strokes of uncertain origins had averaged around 4 per year. In the first six months of 2021, the hospital cared for 13 kids with a stroke of unknown origins. The study’s results are in contrast to the findings of a 2021 international study of children early in the pandemic that suggested Covid-19 did not cause an increased risk of stroke in children. The new study also showed that the risk of stroke is independent of whether or not the patient has Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a known complication of Covid. Only three of the patients had confirmed cases of MIS-C. Of the 16 kids studied, most had few lingering impacts from their stroke by the time they left the hospital. Researchers hope the new study highlights the need for early evaluation of neurologic symptoms in children to rule out the possibility of stroke. Children often do not display the symptoms commonly associated with stroke in adults, they said. The data shows that even kids who were asymptomatic from Covid-19 could go on to experience a serious complication like stroke, Vielleux added. PANAJI Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said the government has already initiated the process for the grant of licences to extract minor minerals like sand and laterite stone after the protracted adjudication and directions from the High Court. Sawant broached the subject during his customary post-cabinet press conference where he said, traditional sand and laterite mining will be permitted soon and the government has streamlined the process of issuing licences. “As per the directions of the High Court, the National Institute of Oceanography has given us clearance to grant sand mining licences in the Chapora river,” Sawant said. The NIO, meanwhile, is yet to give the State clearance for sand mining in the Mandovi, Zuari and other rivers in South Goa. Sawant said, it is all being monitored by the High Court PERMISSION & PROCEDURE SAND MINING: The NIO has given clearance to grant licences in the Chapora river. The NIO clearly quantifies the extent sand mining that can be carried out LATERITE MINING: Licences will be issued in three categories -- private land, government land and Comunidade land and the report of the NIO clearly quantifies the extent sand mining that can be carried out. On laterite mining, Sawant said, licences will be issued in three categories -- private land, government land and Comunidade land. Where applicant is going to extract laterite stones from private land, they can apply directly to Directorate of Mines and Geology and also simultaneously apply for ‘Environment Clearance’ online via the government of India portal, he said. “The clearances will be granted within 25-30 days,” Sawant claimed. In the second category involving government land, the process is the same but the DMG will first issue them a lease and only then can they proceed to obtain the EC, which may take more time. On Comunidade land, if the NOC from the managing committee is granted, the process to obtain the clearances with the DMG and getting the EC will follow the same pattern as in private land but will take around 45 days, he said. Extraction and trading of sand in Goa has been under severe stress for several years with intermittent interventions >Continued on P5 Drug overdose: Woman tourist, partner booked CALANGUTE POLICE WORKING ON LEADS TO IDENTIFY PEDDLER THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The woman tourist, on ventilator support for over 48 hours, and her male friend have been booked for consuming narcotics at a largescale event hosted by a nightclub in Vagator last weekend. Sara Khan, aged 32 years is on life support at a private hospital for suspected drug overdose while her friend, Dr Abhishek Singh, aged 40 years is further charged with delaying medical assistance to the woman. The Calangute police on Wednesday registered an offence under sections 21 and 27 of the NDPS Act against the duo, and an unknown drug peddler for selling suspected cocaine to both the tourists. The First Information Report (FIR) has also added Section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code against Dr Singh, investigating officer, >Continued on P5
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