log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday WEDNESDAY JANUARY 4, 2023 GOA 14 pages PRICE ` 8 Farmers’ power reigns supreme over mega housing project in Curtorim IN SHORT >> Govt notifies sale of ` 200 cr worth stocks PANAJI: The State government has notified the sale of Goa Government Stock (Securities) of 15-year tenure for an aggregate amount of Rs 200 crore. The auction will be conducted by the Reserve Bank of India, at its Mumbai Office, Fort, Mumbai. TN tourist duped of ` 4.64 lakh PANAJI: A Karnataka native has been booked for stealing a mobile from a tourist staying in Canacona hotel and used the bank details on the mobile to withdraw Rs 4.64 lakh from his account. E-stickers for vehicles of elderly VASCO: Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Tuesday launched E-sticker for vehicles driven by elderly drivers, a project initiated by Rotary Club of Miramar in association with the transport department. Godinho said he would also try to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to make it mandatory to have e-sticker for elders. >> See pg 5 5 nabbed in Vasco gambling raid VASCO: Vasco police late Monday night carried out a gambling raid in a Vasco-based hotel room and arrested five persons allegedly involved in card gambling activities, while also seizing cash of Rs 1,05,600 from their possession. >> See pg 5 Traffic diversion for Goans via Belagavi BELAGAVI: Goans travelling to Belagavi via Londa are advised to take the Chorla or Hemadaga route as the railway gate between Londa and Gunji village on the NH4A will remain shut for two days from Wednesday. According to authorities, this gate will be closed as the work of double-tracking the railway line is in progress. >> See pg 5 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 2 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 197 GOA Police gear up for Mopa duty, review arrangements 3 6th Bird Festival of Goa from Jan 27 PANAJI: Forest Department will hold its annual Bird Festival from January 27 to January 29 at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. WEATHER >> Max: 32 C Min: 21 C Humidity: 87% TIDES Low: High: 03:15 15:16 08:07 22:44 RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 INFO Anti-ageing face masks for different skin types 9 SPORTS India edge past Sri Lanka in thriller after Mavi heroics 14 Centre dumped CM’s 2020 Mhadei plea IN MARCH 2020 SAWANT HAD WRITTEN TO JAL SHAKTI MINISTER NOT TO CONSIDER KARNATAKA’S DPR THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Despite Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s insistence that Goa “shall fight to the hilt for each drop of Mhadei water”, the State’s contentions have had little effect on the Union government and its ministers, who have completely ignored repeated requests and ‘warnings’ to the Centre against processing permissions for the Mhadei project. Case in point is the letter that Chief Minister Chief Minister Pramod Sawant addressed to Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Sekhawat in March 2020, in which he told the Union Minister that there could be “no question of considering any request of Karnataka for diversion of such waters.” “Karnataka may attempt to seek your approval for such diversion outside the basin relying upon the Award of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal dated 14.08.2018. In this regard, we wish to state that the Award dated 14.08.2018 is pending before the Supreme Court. All the parties -- Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra -- have challenged the said Award before the Supreme Court and the matters are fixed for KEY POINTS FROM SAWANT’S LETTER Karnataka may attempt to seek your approval for such diversion outside the basin relying upon the Mahadayi Award We wish to state that the Award is pending before SC Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra have challenged the said Award before SC Karnataka is likely to submit a proposal before you for such diversion. Such a proposal should not be considered in view of above-mentioned reasons as the same is going to have far reaching consequences on the State of Goa If any proposal is submitted by Karnataka, we must be given a copy of the same and our objections should also be considered final hearing on 15.07.2020,” Sawant had informed the Union Minister in the letter written back in 2020. “Karnataka is likely to submit a proposal before you for such diversion. Such a proposal should not be considered in view of above-mentioned reasons as the same is going to have far reaching consequences on the State of Goa. In any case, if any proposal is submitted by Karnataka, we must be given a copy of the same and our objections should also be considered. Karnataka is likely to submit the proposal which may not be even in consonance with the Award of the Tribunal,” the Chief Minister had said. Goa’s requests, have clearly had very little effect on the decisions taken by the Centre, who has not only processed Karnataka’s DPR, but also did so without keeping Goa in the loop and without even giving Goa a copy of Karnataka’s DPR, something that the Union Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat had specifically said he would do in a letter dated 29th July 2020, something Sawant has admitted hasn’t been done. “So far as the issue of sharing the copy of the project proposal to the co-basin States is concerned, as per the existing norms, “copy of PFR (pre-feasibility report) of any project proposed in the river basin for which no tribunal award or inter-State agreement exists, will be circulated to the co-basin States by the project authority. Central Water Commission (CWC) will send a copy of the PFR to resident commissioner of the party States in New Delhi.” “However, it is felt that in the above norms there is no bar in sharing the PFR/DPR of the project proposed in the river basin for which the Tribunal award has been notified, to the co-basin States by the project authority and I have already instructed the CWC to send a copy of the PFR/DPR to the resident commissioner of party States in New Delhi,” Sekhawat had assured Sawant in July 2020. Sekhawat had also made it clear while quoting from the Tribunal order, which ruled that “the upper riparian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, though do require, requisite clearances and approvals, as required by law and from the Central government, and the Planning Commission (now Niti Aayog), but they do not require any prior consent of the lower riparian State of Goa and similarly the State of Maharashtra, being an upper riparian State vis-avis the State of Goa, also does not require any such prior consent of the State of Goa.” K’taka gets to work, irrigation officials inspect Mhadei site Goa must push for Water Management Authority: Kerkar THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In what could spell trouble for Goa if the double-engine sarkar fails in taking urgent action against the DPR approval for Kalasa-Bhandura project, irrigation officials of the Karnataka government held an inspection at the Mhadei River site on Tuesday. The development ensued minutes after its Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol vowed to change his name if he does not ensure the completion of the revised Mhadei drinking water project in one year. “No work was undertaken after the Centre’s DPR approval for the Kalasa-Bhandura project and neither any officials were posted to start the work. However, after Karnataka’s WRD Minister went on record to complete the work in one year, their Irrigation officials were seen carrying out inspection,” noted environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said while speaking to The Goan. He further revealed that Karnataka had earlier completed the survey and soil testing of the proposed Kala- The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 could be Goa’s saviour as the law bans development activity in the forest areas and the present project site is barely 237 meters away from Mhadei Sanctuary — Rajendra Kerkar sa-Bhandura dam site. “The markings of various places for the diversion of the canal were also carried out previously,” he added. The present action by the Karnataka government has pressed a panic button as Goa government is yet to formally approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting to withdraw the controversial order. In an ironical co-incidence, both the States are ruled by BJP with PM Modiled BJP govt at the Centre. While Karnataka has expedited its process to commence the activity around the Mhadei basin, political parties in Goa are busy in a blamegame. Activists under the banner Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan have meanwhile come together to decide their further strategy to legally fight the case against Karnataka and the Centre’s order. The hope, for now, lies in the setting up of Water Management Authority – a body consisting of members from the three States of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra that share the river water. Kerkar conceded that it should be a reality soon. “As per the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal, the government ought to constitute the Mhadei Authority,” he said. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 could be Goa’s other saviour as the law bans development activity in the forest areas. Kerkar explained that the present project site is barely 237 meters away from the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary while the proposed dam is in the interiors of the Reserve Notified Forest of Karnataka. “Karnataka’s senior counsel had submitted to Supreme Court in 2007 that its state ‘will not divert and utilise the Mhadei water’. These are some of strong points to place before the Authority,” he said. Congress vows to complete Mhadei project if it wins in Karnataka Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra during a ceremony to hand over the national flag to UP Congress President to start the UP leg of “Bharat Jodo Yatra’’ on Tuesday. KTC to operate 6 buses from Mopa THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited will operate six electric buses from Manohar International Airport at Mopa on January 5 onwards. At a press conference, KTCL General Manager Sanjay Ghate informed that they have deployed buses as per the initial schedule of the arrivals and departures of commercial flights at the new airport. “The airport administration has conveyed to us that 11-12 flights are landing and taking off on the first day (January 5)… Accordingly, we have deployed three buses from Mopa to Margao via Panaji and an equal number of buses from Mopa to Calangute via Mapusa. In all, six EV buses will operate on this route. There will be a one-hour duration between each bus,” he said. The fare of each of the 49-seater buses on these routes will vary from Rs 200 to Rs 500 as the ticket is priced at Rs 200 till Mapusa, Rs 250 covering a distance up to Calangute and Panaji, and Rs 500 from Mopa to Margao. The number of buses will increase depending on the flight movement, Ghate said. Is BJP using municipalities, p’yats in fight for Mhadei? PTI SISTER DEAREST! Tourist booked for driving on beach MAPUSA: Anjuna Police has registered an offence against a domestic tourist for driving a four-wheeler in a negligent manner on the Vagator beach on the eve of the New Year. Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday Activists recall instances when panchayat resolutions were rejected by govt on issues like SEZ, airport, double tracking HUBBALI The Congress has promised to complete the Mhadei project in two years if the party comes to power in Karnataka. Speaking at a meeting in Hubbali, KPCC president D K Shivakumar said the BJP government is counting its last days. “Many farmers and artistes have struggled for Mahadei. The people of the State are fed up with the lies of the current BJP government. We will complete the Mahadei project in two years if we come to power. We will earmark funds of Rs 1,000 crore for the project,” he said. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP government had not taken necessary permissions from the ministry concerned for the Mahadei project. “The BJP has come up with a project report as the State is heading for the polls. The State and central governments have done injustice to North Karnataka,” he said. THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO Ruling BJP’s call to the Panchayats and Municipalities to adopt resolutions seeking withdrawal of DPR by the Centre on Mhadei has thrown up a host of questions, with some saying the ruling party has copied the Saxtti model of resolving burning issues and may come as a boost to activists working at the grassroot Panchayat bodies often hounded by the powers that be to shoot down ill-conceived projects and plans inimical to the interest of the village. In fact, resolutions adopted at gram sabha, normally shot down by the powers that be on the plea the issue does not fall in the Panchayat domain, may gain legitimacy with the ruling BJP deciding to go to the grass roots to obtain resolutions against the Centre’s DPR on Mhadei. City-based lawyer and Polit- BJP asks karyakartas to launch signature campaigns across Goa PANAJI: With the Opposition continuing its scathing attack on the government, the BJP core committee held a closed-door meeting late Monday night. A separate meeting of all its units was also held wherein the members of BJP-ruling local bodies were directed to take resolutions on the withdrawal of the controversial order and karyakartas have been asked to launch signature campaigns. “These resolution copies will also be submitted to the Centre. These representatives are also asked to send letters or write emails to the PM about how the order will affect Goa,” BJP State President Sadanand Shet said. ical commentator, Adv Cleofato Coutinho said the BJP’s decision to go to the panchayats and Municipalities to seek resolutions on Mhadei appears the Saxtti way of deciding controversial issues – adopting resolutions at the panchayat and gram sabha >Continued on P5 ON PAGE 3 Chinchinim VP passes resolution on Mhadei Centre’s decision on DPR patently illegal: Luizinho Mobiles worth ` .5 cr seized 1 Centre rules out second Covid booster shot for now during last week of December AMID COVID CONCERNS IN INDIA… PTI Multiple gangs busted, 148 phones recovered THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In one of the biggest drives against the pick pocketing menace during the busiest last week of December 2022, the North Goa police busted multiple gangs of mobile thieves and recovered as many as 148 expensive phones from their possession. The recovery is valued at a whopping Rs 1.50 crore with maximum seizures reported in Calangute which records the highest tourist footfalls annually. Plain-clothed policemen besides senior officers with their teams were posted at various points from Christmas to New Year’s Day to zero in on suspects and crackdown on the nuisance creators. “A maximum of 116 mobiles are recovered from 11 accused in the jurisdiction of Calangute police station. In all, our district police stations registered several FIRs of mobile thefts, arrested 58 persons and recovered 148 mobiles and other valuables from December 25, 2022 to January 1, 2023,” North SP Nidhin Valsan said. The coastal belt witnessed numerous parties to usher in the New Year as lakhs of tourists thronged the State after a two-year lull due to Covid pandemic. In the first case, Goa police busted an inter-State gang of 12 members just before >Continued on P5 NEW DELHI The need for a second booster dose of Covid vaccine is not on the agenda of the government as of now, official sources said on Tuesday amid renewed concerns about the viral infections in view of surge in some countries. A fourth Covid shot is unwarranted at the moment as most people in the country are yet to receive their third dose, they said. Also, there is no data available on the utility of a second booster for the currently used vaccines, the sources said. On Tuesday, India saw Five cases of new Covid variant found in India NEW DELHI: Five cases of Covid-19’s XBB.1.5 variant, responsible for the rise in cases in the US, have been found in India, according to data from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). Of the five, three cases were found in Gujarat and one each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, according to INSACOG figures on Tuesday. The XBB.1.5 strain is a relative of the Omicron a single-day rise of 134 in coronavirus infections, with the active cases declining to 2,582, according to the Union XBB variant, which is a recombinant of the Omicron BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 subvariants. Combined, XBB and XBB.1.5 make up 44 per cent of cases in the US. COVID-19 variant Omicron and its sub-lineages continue to be the dominant variant in India with ‘’XBB’’ being the most prevalent sub-lineage circulating all over the country, INSACOG has said. Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The total tally of Covid cases was recorded at 4.46 crore (4,46,78,956). The overall death toll to date stands at 5,30,707, the data updated at 8 am stated. India began administering a precautionary or booster dose in January 2022 and till now only 28 per cent of the eligible population have taken it. “The need for a second booster dose of Covid is neither on the agenda of the government as of now nor is discussion over it underway. Most importantly, majority of the population are yet to receive a third dose and those who are due for it should take it,” an official source said. US and UK are administering third and fourth booster doses to fully vaccinated individuals as well as extra shots to immunocompromised who did not have a strong immune response from initial doses.
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