log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18, 2023 13 pages GOA No let-up in disposal of mixed waste at black spots in Margao IN SHORT >> Drugs worth ` 7L 1 seized in raids PANAJI: Five persons including two Kashmiri youths and a Goan have been arrested for trafficking narcotics namely Hashish Oil, MDMA, Charas and Ganja, through a series of raids by Crime Branch and Calangute police. In the raids carries out within a span of 24 hours, the police confiscated drugs valued at a whopping Rs 17 lakh approx. >> See pg 2 Land grab: Panel to begin inquiry PANAJI: The one-man commission under former Bombay High Court judge, Justice V K Jadhav is finally expected to begin inquiry into cases of land grab from Wednesday. Justice Jadhav arrived in Goa on Monday, over two months after he first visited the State to check preliminary preparations to start work. >> See pg 2 Laadli forms to be cleared by March: CM PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that all pending Laadli Laxmi applications of married beneficiaries will be cleared by March 31. Pending applications of Griha Adhaar scheme will also be scrutinized and cleared by March, he added. Taxi owners oppose move on badges OLD GOA: Several taxi owners held a meeting at Sai Baba Temple hall at Kaxamba Plateau, on Tuesday, to oppose the move by the government to do away with badges for taxi drivers saying such move is being planned to favour the app-based taxi operators. >> See pg 5 Kerala boat sinks near Raj Bhavan PANAJI: A fiberglass boat sank close to the Raj Bhavan off Aguada bay while returning from a trip to a nearby island Monday evening. The Kerala registered 18-meter long 30 passenger capacity boat was undergoing trials in Goa. Govt extends ban on cattle transportation PANAJI: The State government has extended the order banning transportation and entry of livestock such as cattle and buffalo from other States into Goa either directly or indirectly except by Quraishi’s Meat Traders Association of Goa. WEATHER >> Max: Min: Humidity: TIDES 31 C 18C 78% Low: 00.50 High: 06.01 13.33 21.09 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) PRICE ` 8 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO.211 2 GOA Bring clarity on NEP implementation, Opposition urges govt 3 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 9 INFO How to prepare your joints for marathons SPORTS 1st ODI: India faces plucky New Zealand today Karnataka seeks forest nod for Kalsa-Bhandura project OPPOSITION FROM GOA: SAVE MHADEI FRONT URGES CM TO PREVAIL UPON CENTRE RGP SAYS STATE SHOULD ASK CENTRE NOT TO GRANT EC THE GOAN I NETWORK BELAGAVI/OLD GOA The Karnataka government, which is making an all out attempt in getting the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura water diversion project implemented, has sought a clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change (MoEF & CC). According to sources, the letter seeking this permission was sent to the ministry on January 15. It may be recalled that after getting clearance on the new DPR from the MoEF & CC in December, a team from the ministry had visited the Kankumbi and Nersa forest area for an inspection. The forest land that was being exchanged by Karnataka in lieu of the 61 hectares The main issue is of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary which has the Surla river flowing through it. Since the Mhadei joins the Surla, it cannot be diverted. The law does not allow such diversion, as no river that flows through the wildlife sanctuary can be diverted. The State of Goa has taken objection to this and has presented its point before the Tribunal, Supreme Court and the Central government, that the water cannot be diverted and should be kept flowing. — Advocate General, Devidas Pangam of forest land that was sought for the implementation of the project was also inspected on January 11. The MoEF team had submitted the report to the ministry, soon after which Karnataka is said to have dashed a letter to the MoEF & CC seek- ing clearance for implementing the Kalsa project as per the new DPR. OPPOSITION FROM GOA However, Revolutionary Goans Party MLA Viresh Borkar said the State government should demand that the Pilerne blaze smokes House; CM for review of risky units MLAs STRESS ON NEED FOR PREVENTIVE ACTION THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Four days after the disaster, the massive fire at the Becker Coating factory at Pilerne travelled a couple of hills east to smoke the Goa legislative Assembly on Tuesday, even as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant agreed for an extensive review of all hazardous industries across Goa. Sawant said, the review of all such industrial units across Goa will be done after the 5-member committee headed by North Goa Collector Mamu Hage, IAS, finishes its investigation into the Pilerne incident and submits its report. The Chief Minister was replying to the lengthy debate on the Pilerne fire that emanated from a calling attention motion tabled by Calangute MLA Michael Lobo. He said, henceforth such high risk industries will not be permitted near residential locales. Earlier, Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral furnished analytic reports of water samples from four wells in the vicinity which have shown presence of toxic chemicals above Smoke from factory causes alarm PORVORIM: Smoke at the Berger Becker Coating factory at Pilerne Industrial Estate on Tuesday sparked off concerns among locals, days after the major fire had destroyed the warehouse of the factory. Smoke was noticed from the burnt debris of the factory and a fire tender went to the site and extinguished the smoke. A source from the Pilerne Fire Station said the smoke was extinguished in time and insisted there was no need for panic. A massive fire had destroyed the warehouse of the Berger Becker Coatings factory at the Pilerne Industrial estate on January 10. permissible limits but said that the presence of ‘E.coli’ bacteria had got nothing to do with the fire disaster and indicates contamination of groundwater. Cabral indicated that through his environment ministry a comprehensive analysis of groundwater will have to be separately carried out at least in high risk areas. Lobo said the sudden outbreak of massive fire has raised the spectre of pollution in the area and created panic among the locals. Lobo also said such companies which deal with inflammable products should not be located near the human habitat and demanded relocation of the Berger Becker factory to some other place. Raising the issue during the Calling Attention in the House, the Calangute MLA said that on the day when the fire incident happened residents of the two wards in Saipem had to be vacated. Leader of Opposition, Yuri Alemao said the fire incident has exposed the State government as it showed that the government was totally unprepared to deal with such situations. >Continued on P5 Centre not grant Environment Clearance to Karnataka. Speaking to The Goan on Karnataka’s application for EC, Borkar said, “The State government should ask the Centre not to grant approval as it would be the death knell for Goa.” Decline in Goa’s GDP growth rate, says CAG report THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In worrying signs for the State, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has revealed that Goa’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate has declined from 14.39 per cent in 2016-17 to 1.31 per cent in 2020-21. The CAG report was report presented in the State Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. The State’s current year’s growth rate of 1.31 per cent was significantly lower than its growth rate of 9.95 per cent (2019-20). However, the State’s growth rate during 2020-21 was higher than the national GDP, states the CAG report. The CAG report further points out that industrial sector is the primary driver of the State’s economy and its contribution to GSDP has increased by more than 4 per cent in the last 5 years. On the other hand the contribution of agriculture and services sector showed a decline during the same period. The report also reveals that the per capita income of Goa stands at Rs 5.23 lakh as opposed to average per capita national income of Rs 1.45 lakh. On the population front, the report says Goa has seen a marginal increase of 6.66 per cent in the last decade, from 15 lakh in 2011 to 16 lakh in 2021. Meanwhile, Borkar said his party has written letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting not to look Goa keeping in mind the strength of the Lok Sabha seats. “We have urged the PM to >Continued on P5 13 Some people have their own agenda, laments Kerkar SAYS SUGGESTIONS MADE ON MHADEI KEEPING GOA’S FUTURE IN MIND THE GOAN I NETWORK OLD GOA Even as the Save Mhadei meet at Virdi-Sanquelim passed a couple of resolutions, it failed to include the suggestion made by its prominent speaker Rajendra Kerkar, which was to take the fight ahead legally. When questioned on the issue over his suggestion not getting mention in the resolutions, Kerkar said that though he has many suggestions, they may not be liked by all as some people have their own agenda. “I made the suggestions keeping in mind the present and future of Goa. And if these suggestions are taken forward, only then will Goa’s present and future be safe,” Kerkar opined. Explaining further, Kerkar said that the Tribunal Award does not mention any river. “Therefore, approving the DPR of Karnataka which mentions Surla river is itself wrong and on that basis the legal battle can be won,” Kerkar stated. On the meeting getting political overtures, Kerkar said that he is not connected with any political party. “I am servant of Goa and will work to remain so and I attended Virdi’s meeting because it was for the first time in Goa that such a huge crowd had gathered for the cause of Mhadei and I wanted to create awareness on all rivers of Goa,” he said, while adding that he has no issues taking any platform but at the same time said that he is not associated with anybody. On whether he would continue working with the Save Mhadei Save Goa Front, Kerkar said he would provide all assistance whenever his help >Continued on P5 Govt gives green signal to probe KA renovation work 3-MEMBER TEAM TO EVALUATE ENTIRE PROCESS FILE NOTINGS TABLED IN HOUSE THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Nearly five months after the Vigilance Department recommended constituting a three-member Special Technical Team to examine the alleged fraud in the renovation of the iconic Kala Academy, the Goa government gave its nod on January 10, five days before the commencement of the winter session of the Goa Legislative Assembly. The three-member committee will consist of Dr K G Gupta, Head of Department and Professor of Civil Engineering at the Goa College of Engineering, Farmagudi; Sandip Prabhu Chodankar, General Manager of Goa State Industrial Development Corporation and a Professor from the Architecture College. The recommendation was in fact made by the Vigilance on September 23, 2022 to evaluate the entire process while also insisting expertise from the Public Works Department (PWD) should not be included as it is the execution agency. The government noting on January 10, 2023 states that the proposed team of officers will be authorized to call for all the relevant records per- Council of ministers was misled to accept the cost of the works at Rs 49.5 crores without having details of the names of the agency and the type of works, etc being undertaken PWD and the directorate of art and culture including Kala Academy were complicit in misleading the finance department/council of ministers/CM at the relevant point of time taining to the work and also conduct site inspection to enable them to hold a preliminary enquiry into the matter. The reply came in response to Fatorda legislator Vijai Sardesai’s unstarred question tabled in the House on Tuesday seeking investigation and file notings related to complaints against the renovation work of Kala Academy. The ACB’s report to Vigilance had concluded that while there is a prima facie indication of the scam, a technical examination will ascertain the fraud. “The council of ministers The technical Cell of the directorate is defunct. Therefore it is suggested that a special technical team consisting of… may be formed to evaluate the entire process was misled to accept the cost of the works at Rs 49.5 crores without having details of the names of the agency and the type of works, etc being undertaken… If true, the PWD and the directorate of art and culture including Kala Academy were complicit in misleading the finance department/ council of ministers/CM at the relevant point of time,” the file noting, which was tabled in the House stated. It further mentioned, “… The technical Cell of the directorate is defunct. Therefore >Continued on P5 Group on educational tour 3 of 17 govt schools want original identity back! of Goa attacked in train NAME CHANGE THE GOAN I NETWORK THE GOAN I NETWORK BELAGAVI Staff members belonging to Vishwa Mandal Sevashram, Sirpur in Dhulia district of Maharashtra on an educational tour of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, were assaulted at Sangli in the Nizamuddin-Vasco Goa express. Suspecting them as missionaries who were taking a group for conversion, about 15 right wing activists barged inside the bogie at Sangli and assaulted them. Some of them received minor injuries, while a teacher in the group received head injuries. Anticipating further escalation of tension, Belagavi PANAJI he Education Department has been caught in a tricky situation as three of 17 government high schools, which were just recently renamed after the martyrs, now wish to revert to their original identity. A second thought given to the government’s decision came in much after the formalities were complete. The Goan has reliably learnt that the department is likely to seek the intervention of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who also holds the Education portfolio, to work out a solution. “The managements of three government high schools have either verbally or through T The group being sent back to Sirpur in a KSRTC bus. Louis Rodrigues police on Tuesday morning sent the group back to Sirpur. A priest and a nun belonging to the educational institution accompanied the group from Sirpur. Gunilal Resla Pawara (42), a teacher who received head >Continued on P5 Managements of 3 government high schools approach Directorate of Education to revert to its original name The dilemma was due to inclusion of non-Goan martyrs in list released by govt Issue of duplication in names of martyrs among THE PROBLEM AT HAND letters requested the Directorate of Education to revert to its original name. We might request the CM to intervene in the matter,” Secretariat sources said. The government has re- FLASHBACK certain schools also came to the fore Two of these institutions are located in North Goa while one is placed in South. fused to divulge the names of these schools stating, “The confusion will be sorted out at the earliest.” Two of these institutions are located in North Goa while one is placed in South. DoE had identified 71 government-run high schools and seven higher secondary schools for renaming. In December 2022, government issued a notification agreeing to the names proposed by concerned institutions Sources further claimed that the school authorities were given a free hand to choose the names of martyrs, list of which was circulated by the Education Department; however, inclusion of non-Goan martyrs and duplication in the names have disappointed many. A senior bureaucrat admitted initial glitches while quickly clarifying that it was not intentional and the school managements were not compelled to accept the renaming exercise. “Some government schools wanted options with names of Goan martyrs only. The renaming exercise was nonetheless carried out followed by another problem of duplication in names… the schools are located in different areas but this isn’t convincing. We might examine these aspects,” he said adding, “There was no compulsion on the head of the institutions, the Parent >Continued on P5
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