log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28, 2022 14 pages GOA Speed limit on new Zuari bridge set @ 40kmph PANAJI: PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral has informed that the speed limit on the New Zuari bridge will be 40 kilometers per hour. He said the restrictions have been put because of two-way traffic will be permitted over the 4-lane bridge till the other 4-lane leg of the bridge is ready. Speed restrictions will be removed once the second leg is opened up for traffic, he added. Merces man held for raping 14-year-old PANAJI: A 21-year-old man from Merces has been arrested by Old Goa Police for raping a 14-year-old minor girl. The victim who became pregnant after the incident recently delivered a baby. The accused has been booked under POCSO and relevant sections of IPC. Pothole reporting app launch on Dec 29 PANAJI: PWD will launch a pothole reporting app on December 29 at the hands of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Citizens across Goa can take a photograph of any pothole and report it to the authorities via the app, informed PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral. The Goan (Playstore) PRICE ` 8 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 190 GOA Mapusa zatra: Stall owners to cough up Rs 5,000 as garbage fees Benefits of tomato for weight loss THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The seven-member Opposition in the Goa legislative assembly was on collision course with the Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar after the latter refused to meet them on Tuesday morning and demanded a “public apology” from Goa Forward Party member Vijai Sardesai for the latter’s charge that he (Speaker) was acting like an ‘employee’ of the Chief Minister. The Opposition then knocked on the doors of the Raj Bhavan and sought the intervention of Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai to break the impasse. Opposition Leader Yuri Alemao said, they have urged Pillai to resolve the stalemate between them and the Speaker over the “curtailed” winter session of the Assembly and other restrictions on the con- Opposition MLAs address the media on Tuesday. duct of business. Earlier in the day, Tawadkar addressed the media and lashed out at Sardesai for what he called “insult” to the chair with his remark that the Speaker is acting like an employee of the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. “He is a senior member. He knows very well that duration of the session is decided by the government. I could have understood if he was a new member,” Tawadkar said and demanded that Sardesai publicly apologize. He then said he will not keep the Tuesday appointment with the Opposition till Sardesai tendered the apology. Tawadkar said, the duration of the session (length) is decided by the government while the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) approves the list of business. “The role of the Speaker is to ensure fair and smooth con- WEATHER >> Max: Min: Humidity: TIDES 34 C 23 C 88% Low: 08.47 20.25 High: 02.42 14.21 2nd Test: Warner’s double ton puts Australia in control against Proteas duct of the business during the session,” Tawadkar said, and admonished Sardesai for deliberately making misleading statements and using slander to liken him to an ‘employee’ of the Chief Minister. “It is an insult to the Speaker’s chair,” Tawadkar said. The Opposition has closed ranks and raised objection to restricting the winter session to just four days. Another bone of contention between the Opposition and the Speaker is the doing way altogether of “Private Member’s Business” in the session. On Monday, all seven Opposition MLAs had met at Alemao’s invitation where they decided to meet the Speaker in a bid to increase the number of days of the session from the scheduled four. It was then that Sardesai had made the remark against the Speaker which the latter has taken umbrage to. SAWANT, CABRAL SLAM VIJAI PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday slammed the Opposition MLAs for making disgraceful remarks against the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Ramesh Tawadkar. Commenting on the stalemate between Opposition and Speaker over comment by Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai, Sawant said, “the real threat to democracy in Goa is the behaviour of Oppn MLAs. PWD minister Nilesh Cabral also slammed Sardesai for his comment against Tawadkar. 14 Finally, central govt constitutes GCZMA Environ Secy Mishra to head body THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has finally been constituted with the notification being issued by the Ministry for Environment. Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on Tuesday. Environment Secretary Arun Kumar Mishra, IAS, will head the body with the new Environment Director Dr Geeta Nagvekar its member secretary. It has four other ‘expert members’, one representative of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and six ex-officio members who are all heads of State Government departments. The four expert members are: Margao based Ganesh Velip, a retired PWD Executive Engineer, Curchorem based Ms Radha B Rao, a Structural Consultant, Dr Dilip B Arolkar, the Principal of Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College and Research Centre, Assagao The four expert members are: Ganesh Velip, a retired PWD Executive Engineer, Ms Radha B Rao, a Structural Consultant, Dr Dilip B Arolkar, Principal of Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College and Research Centre, Assagao and Sushant S Naik, Principal Scientist at NIO and Sushant S Naik, Principal Scientist at NIO, Dona Paula. The six ex-officio members are: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), the Directors of Tourism, Fisheries, Panchayats, the Principal Chief Engineer of WRD and Chief Engineer of WRD. The representative of Ponda-based M/s Study and Awareness of Wildlife and Environment is the thirteenth member. The GCZMA will have its headquarters in the >Continued on P5 Wild cats terrorise Agonda locals VILLAGERS SIGHT LEOPARD, CHEETAH & TIGER IN A SPAN OF DAYS THE GOAN I NETWORK Road near Azad Maidan caves in VASCO: In yet another incident a Toyota Fortuner car driven by Telangana tourists got stuck in the sand at Bogmalo beach on Tuesday afternoon. Based on a complaint, the Vasco police registered an offence against the tourists. >> See pg 2 SPORTS TAWADKAR REFUSES TO MEET OPPN MLAS, SEEKS APOLOGY OVER VIJAI REMARKS PANAJI: The hearing in the 2008 Panaji police station attack case has been adjourned to January 3, 2023. However, the cross examination of the then Panaji PSI Tushar Lotlikar was done by one of the main accused Babush Monserrate’s counsel on Tuesday. Tourist car gets stuck on Bogmalo beach RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 INFO Panaji police station attack case adjourned PANAJI: Part of road near the junction near Azad Maidan in Panaji suddenly caved on Tuesday morning leading to tense moments in the area. Barricades were swiftly put around the hole by the traffic police to avoid mishaps. >> See pic pg 3 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday 3 2 9 Speaker, Opposition engage in war of words ahead of session Stand-off between Tourism Dept, water sports operators continues IN SHORT >> Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday Doctors and nurses in PPE gear as part of the mock drill at GMC on Tuesday. Narayan Pissurlenkar Hospitals in State hold mock drill to test Covid readiness THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Health care facilities in both the public and private sector held mock drills on Tuesday to ascertain Covid-19 preparedness in the face of an expected wave following surges in cases in some countries, especially China. The drill involved enumerating resources available to tackle Covid at the public health facilities across the State and also assessing the operational alacrity of the system to tackle situations in the eventuality of a surge in cases. Health officials said, private hospitals which were also part of the State’s Covid-19 response in previous surges in 2020 and 2021 are also expected to file reports with the health department related to the facilities available with them. Some of the resources as- sessed and reviewed in the drill include isolation beds availability, ICU beds, ventilator supported beds, beds with oxygen supply, doctors, nurses and paramedics. Several other States in the country have also conducted similar drills after the Centre last week took cognisance of the reports that cases were surging in China and some other countries. >Continued on P5 CANACONA Close on the heels of a leopard causing terror in Kopardem-Sattari, locals have raised alarm over sighting of wild cats in Agonda. Residents from Betul-ward in Agonda have claimed that a leopard, a cheetah and a tiger have been sighted in the last few days in a residential locality, targetting domestic animals and dogs. According to residents of Betul-ward in Agonda, leopards and cheetahs have become very active and move freely targeting their pets and dogs even in broad daylight. Narrating a first-hand experience, a resident from the village said, “it was 9.45 pm on December 24 when we started our car to go for Christmas Mass. As we drove, we saw a fully grown leopard walking majestically on the road. We recorded the footage on our mobile with the wild cat later slipping into the bushes”. In another incident on December 25, a resident Seby reported that his dog had gone missing. “People have even sighted a tiger foraying in our areas on several occasions. Sometimes it is so fearful to come out of the house just after dusk, as most of our houses are located just across the road where leopards and cheetahs are openly seen A video grab shows an adult leopard strolling on the road at Betul-ward Agonda. (Left) A picture clicked by a resident from his balcony shows another leopard near his house. roaming”. Another villager also reported sighting a leopard cub on December 26 around 7.30 while he was on his bike. “We feel leopards and cheetahs are constantly foraying into residential areas. This has become very unsafe for us and our children as they cannot venture out late in the evenings”, Braz Fernandes told The Goan. In the last one month, residents have complained that several of their domestic animals including dogs, cats, fowls and pigs have been missing. Residents said forest officials were being regularly informed about the menace of these wild cats but the traps set up by Forest Department have failed to nab even a single wild cat in the locality. It may be recalled that last week, an adult male leopard was found dead, trapped in a wire snare at Kopardem-Sattari. Although the place where the dead leopard was found is in a private holding and outside the Mhadei sanctuary area, it is contiguous and in eco-sensitive zone. The discovery of the dead leopard has prompted Forest Department officials to swing into action and institute an inquiry to ascertain the identity of those behind setting up the wire snare trap. Reacting to the incident, Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane had said he has directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to track down those involved in placing wire snare traps. “We will take harsh measures against those involved. Such actions will not be tolerated,” Rane had said. Maha passes resolution to rope BRIDGING THE NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE... CM plays Christmas ‘card’ with Salcete Catholic leaders in 865 K’taka border villages THE GOAN I NETWORK BELAGAVI Huge uproar prevailed in Belagavi after Maharashtra on Tuesday passed a resolution for inclusion of 865 Karnataka border villages in Maharashtra. The resolution was unanimously passed at the ongoing Nagpur Winter Session of Maharashtra where Chief Minister Eknath Shinde presented it. Maharashtra passed the resolution a few days after the Karnataka legislative Assembly passed a resolution not to give up even an inch of its land to other States. “Maharashtra government will appeal to the Centre for merger of 865 villages of Karnataka with Maharashtra”, the resolution stated. Reacting strongly to the resolution, Karnataka government headed by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Opposition condemned the controversial resolution. “We strongly condemn the resolution passed by Maharashtra legislative Assembly. We are bound by the decision taken under the State Reorganisation Act in 1956. While people in the border villages are living happily, Maharashtra is raking up the issue for political reasons time and again,” Karnataka CM Basavraj Bommai said speaking at the ongoing Winter Session of the state assembly at Belagavi. He also ascertained that not even an inch of Karnataka land would be given to Maharashtra, reiterating that such resolutions should not be passed by Maharashtra as the matter is pending in Supreme Court. Senior Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah also condemned the controversial resolution stating that the resolution does not have any legal sanctity. “We have already passed a resolution in the Karnataka legislative assembly on the boundary row hence >Continued on P5 THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO ts still a day to go for the inauguration of the much-awaited State-of-theart Zuari Bridge, expected to bridge the gap between North and South Goa. But, Chief Minister was in Saxtti countryside on Christmas Day, to extend wishes to the Catholic MLAs from the taluka, which many perceived as an attempt to build bridges with the people in the minority stronghold. The Chief Minister’s visit to Saxttidom on Christmas Day may certainly not be part of any Mission Salcete, but Sawant’s very presence in the taluka has become the talking point in political I Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and his wife with the families of AAP MLAs Venzy Viegas & Cruz Silva and Churchill Alemao on Christmas Day. circles and outside. In fact, the Chief Minister with wife Sulakshana in tow hopped from the residence of one MLA to another to extend Christmas greetings on Christmas Day. He did not ignore the ex-MLAs either, who were all part of the ruling dispensation during the last term, dropping in at the residence of some of the ex-MLAs during his tour of Salcete on Sunday. Chief Minister and his wife visited the residence of the two Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas and Velim MLA Cruz Silva, posing for a photograph with the MLAs and their family members. Congress-turned-BJP MLA and heavyweight Alexio Sequeira welcomed the Chief Minister at his residence in the evening. He also headed to >Continued on P5
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