log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY JANUARY 19, 2023 GOA Tragedy strikes, 4 die in separate accidents Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) 13 pages PRICE ` 8 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO.212 3 GOA Oppn corners govt on PWD job scam, govt spurns calls for House panel 3 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 9 INFO Natural remedies to remove dark ring around mouth 13 SPORTS Gill’s double ton gives India 1-0 lead against New Zealand People react with anger as Mormugao port gets Centre’s clearance for coal expansion THIS IS HOW CITIZENS REACTED: LIES ON DOUBLE-TRACKING EXPOSED >> FALSE PROMISES AND BETRAYAL OF PEOPLE >> CITIZENS HAVE NO PLACE IN DECISION-MAKING >> IT’S DESTRUCTION OF GOA FAST REWIND THE GOAN I NETWORK VASCO The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has accorded Environmental Clearance (EC) to the South West Port Ltd (SWPL) on January 11 for its proposed terminal capacity enhancement at Berths 5A and 6A at Mormugao Port. The ministry stated that SWPL’s proposal dated July 15, 2017 pertaining to ‘Proposed Terminal Capacity Enhancement at Berth 5A-6A of Mormugao Port for Handling Coal And Coal Products, Iron Ore and Limestone including Unitised and Steel Products at Mormugao Port Trust, Mormugao’, was considered by the Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra-2) in its different meetings between August 2017 and November 26-28, 2018. “After detailed deliberations on the project, the Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra-2) has recommended the project for grant of Environmental and CRZ clearance,” stated the ministry in its report. The ministry also stated that “any appeal against this clearance shall lie with the IN SHORT >> New Mandovi Bridge to remain shut at night PANAJI: New Mandovi Bridge will remain closed from January 20 to 29, between 10 pm to 6 am (total 8 hours) for maintenance of the bridge. During the closure, heavy traffic will be diverted via Atal Setu and light vehicles via Old Mandovi Bridge. Gulf Air to start four weekly flights to Goa PANAJI: Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, has announced addition of new route of Goa to its network. The Airlines will operate four weekly flights to Goa starting March 27. SII for inclusion of Covovax in portal NEW DELHI: Serum Institute of India has written to the Union Health Ministry seeking the inclusion of its Covid vaccine Covovax in the CoWIN portal as a heterologous booster dose for adults, official sources said. Extract of Manohar Parrikar’s Letter to Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Environment Minister dated 14th August 2017 Extract of Manohar Parrikar’s to Dr Harsh Vardhan dated 17th January 2018 after EAC recommendations he proposed increase in coal handling at berths 5A and 6A has been opposed by the public at a public hearing. The Air Quality Monitoring reports of Goa State Pollution Board indicate that particulate matter is exceeding the prescribed limits. It is prudent not to consider request of expansion of coal handling until the particulate matter in Vasco city is well within stipulated standards. y government has taken a consistent and clear stand that no coal expansion to be allowed and even for the existing 5.5 MTPA capacity steps be taken to ensure pollution remains within permissible limits. Kindly consider all the points raised in this letter and urgently revise the EAC recommendations for according the environmental clearance. T BURNING ISSUE: A file photo of people attending the public hearing at Tilak Maidan in Vasco in 2017. What Nilesh Cabral said in January 2021 T COAL HANDLING AT BERTHS 5A & 6A EXISTING: 7.5 MTPA capacity to handle coal, coal products, iron ore, limestone and steel products at Berths 5A and 6A at MPA. Sherwyn Correia, a Vasco-based environmental activist and a PIL petitioner in the matter, said the grant of EC is “a sad day for Goa and Goans.” “The enhanced capacity of coal handling is bound to enhance coal dust pollution in Vasco. It is clear that the voice of the people has no place in environmental decision he CZMP will limit the amount of coal handling and transportation through the State to 12 MTPA which will help the State keep a check on the amount of coal brought into the State and unloaded at the Mormugao Port. NEW: 13 MTPA National Green Tribunal, if preferred, within a period of 30 days as prescribed under Section 16 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.” The total cargo to be handled is expected to go up to 12 to 13 MTPA of bulk (consisting of coal, iron ore, lime stone, dolomite, bauxite, mineral ores and other miscellaneous cargo). There has been public outcry over the Union Environment Ministry decision to grant EC to enhance the M making.” “The proposal had been unanimously and vehemently opposed at the 8-day long environmental public hearings in April-May 2017. Even the fervent pleas by our ex-chief minister late Manohar Parrikar to the Central government fell on deaf ears. The assurances given in the Assembly have turned to be meaningless.” “I feel this should serve as a warning bell to Goans with regard to the State government’s tall promises on the Mhadei water diversion. We will explore all options available in law,” said Correia. Fr Bolmax Pereira, Chicalim Parish Priest and Asst Prof of Botany, St Joseph Vaz College, added: “There we go. It’s true that the blatant lies of the government are getting ex- posed day by day but it’s unfortunate that Goa’s coffin is being fixed by this lying government nail by nail.” “The blind eye turned by the State government on RVNL’s illegal double tracking has eventually turned into doubling of quantum of coal handling at the port. Will the Susegad Goykar still choose to say “Mhaka kiteak poddlam?” And will the CM still dare to PROJECT PROPOSAL I n its detailed presentation on the salient features of the project to the ministry, the project proponent and the accredited consultant M/s WAPCOS Limited had said SWPL had proposed to deploy highly mechanised and efficient environment friendly material handling systems so that the cargo handling capacity at the berth is increased consequentially, in the process reducing environmental pollution by retrofitting state-of-the-art latest dust entrapment systems to meet its demand. >> See pg 2 Conditions of Environmental Clearance >> See pg 2 say “Bhivpachi garaz na”,” asked Fr Pereira. Dr Nandini Velho, a researcher working on the interface between science and society, said India’s coal is one of the world’s poorest quality coal - with its 45% ash content, making it some of the most polluting coal in the world. “Coal regions are typically mono-industry areas, and any transition requires re-orienting governance itself away from these monopolies. It is becoming more and more blatant that these clearances do not pay attention to what the people of Goa want,” said Dr Velho. Govt gets powers to relax any TCP Act tweaked for out-of-turn provision of construction laws modification of Regional Plan THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The State government will soon get the power to relax any provision of the regulations governing construction of buildings and land development. The Goa Legislative Assembly passed on Wednesday the amendment bill piloted by TCP Minister Vishwajit Rane which seeks to amend section 8 of the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, 2008. Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Benaulim MLA, Venzy Viegas, sought to oppose the passage of the bill saying it virtually gives the government the blanket power to relax, which in other words means violate, any provision of the building and construction laws. “I strongly object to this bill. It will only give a licence for corruption and be damaging to the environment. I want MINISTER SPEAKS The current trend in the housing industry of building apartments of 150-200 square metres is unaffordable for the average Goan especially in the countryside and rural regions to place my objections in writing on the table of the House,” Viegas said. Earlier while seeking the support of the members for the passage of the amendment bill, Rane said the power to relax any rule framed under the principal law was for implementing government policies related to “inclusive” and “affordable” housing. Goa Forward Party’s (GFP) Vijai Sardesai sought an explanation on what is meant by ‘inclusive housing’ to which Rane responded saying it This amendment will enable the government to facilitate smaller and affordable housing by relaxing norms for development of land and also construction related to setbacks and such other will be prescribed by framing rules. Sardesai then said care should be taken to ensure that the rules so framed are water-tight to avoid misuse and destruction of the architectural and aesthetic ethos of housing edifices in Goa’s towns and villages. The bill was passed by a voice-vote. Rane argued that the current trend in the housing industry of building apartments >Continued on P5 MINISTER ALLAYS FEARS OF OPPOSITION MEMBERS THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Goa Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed an amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act, by which the State government will acquire the powers to modify in bits and parts the prevailing Regional Plan of the State out of turn. Until now, the exercise of comprehensively redrawing the Regional Plan was decennial, although in the recent past it has overrun the deadlines. The amendment bill was opposed by members of the Opposition citing various reasons, including that the Statewide planning process for land use would be jeopardised and the power to modify the RP would be abused whimsically. THE AMENDMENT The State government will acquire the powers to modify in bits and parts the prevailing Regional Plan of the State out of turn It is meant to correct glaring anomalies in the RP-2021, where many landholders across the State were being wronged due to the errors However, TCP Minister Vishwajit Rane, who piloted the amendment, sought to allay fears of the Opposition members saying it is meant to correct glaring anomalies in the RP-2021, where many landholders across the State were being wronged due to the errors. He also said the route to make land-use changes in RP through the controversial 16B amendment has been abandoned following the judicial proceedings in the matter challenging it in the High Court. Only around 1,000-odd cases which had been processed and reached the final stage during the tenure of his predecessor are being reviewed by a committee headed by Chief Town Planner James Mathew, Rane said. He also said that the balance 6,000-odd applications received under the 16B amendment will be dumped. Rane said, although the RP-2021 was hailed as a good >Continued on P5 Adv Richard Almeida felt it is unfortunate that such decisions are taken without even taking into consideration the impact it will have on the people and the environment of our beautiful State. “It appears that the interest of the people and the State are sacrificed to please these companies,” said Adv Almeida. Added Valerie Afonso of the Chicalim Youth Farmers Club: “Are we surprised? Absolutely not. As CYFC members we were on-ground protesting against this very possibility during the Covid pandemic.” >Continued on P5 Controversial Bills passed 1 The Goa Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 Paves the way for holding the election of chairpersons and vice chairpersons of municipal councils by show of hands Goa Panchayat 2 The(Amendment) Raj Bill, 2023 It attempts to take away powers of the Panchayats by passing it on to Block Development Officers Goa Land 3 TheBill, 2023 Revenue Code (Amendment) A new ‘Sec 30A’ in the said Code exempts the land used for operating and functioning of the basalt and stone crusher units >> See pg 3 `60 cr loss estimated in Finally, Konkani finds a voice in the Assembly CM REPLIES Pilerne paint factory fire S THE GOAN I NETWORK SAIPEM LOCALS HOLD PROTEST MEET, PLAN PIL AGAINST FIRM THE GOAN I NETWORK MAPUSA The Berger Becker Coating factory at Pilerne Industrial Estate, which was involved in a major fire mishap last week, has estimated its total losses to be around Rs 60 crore. The company submitted its estimate of losses to the Directorate of Fire and Emergency Services on Wednesday. The property destroyed in the fire included raw materials, finished products, warehouse machinery and furniture. Residents of Saipem-Candolim assemble at the volleyball ground to voice their opposition to the Berger Becker Coating factory. In addition, the vehicles destroyed in the fire have been estimated at Rs 80 lakh, stated sources in the fire services. Meanwhile, residents from Saipem-Candolim voiced their concerns and opposition to the Berger Becker Coating factory, demanding that it be moved out of the village. >Continued on P5 MAPUSA lamming a step-motherly treatment meted to State’s official language of Konkani, a united Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly on Wednesday exposed how various State government departments failed to implement the Official Language Act 1987 as none of the department’s websites offered Konkani as an option. However, Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant said the government was working towards setting up of bilingual websites but, despite the opposition’s repeated demand, failed to give a firm commitment on when it will be made operational. Raising the issue during OPPN SLAMS STEP-MOTHERLY TREATMENT The government is paying lip service in promoting the language. Out of 113 government departments only 12 departments have websites and even these 12 do not have Konkani as an option,” — Altone D’Costa, Even the official language department’s website is not in Konkani. The government had formed an advisory board for effective translation from English to Konkani but the board is defunct,” — Vijai Sardesai, All other States in the country conduct their examinations in their respective official language and it appears the Goa government was not serious of its official language Konkani,” — Viresh Borkar, the Question Hour, Congress MLA, Altone D’Costa informed the House that none of the government department websites provided information in Konkani indicating that the government was not serious in promoting the official lan- guage in the State. “Although Konkani is the official language of the State, the government is paying lip service in promoting the language. Out of 113 government departments only 12 departments have websites and even these 12 do not have Konkani as an option,” D’Costa said and demanded from the government to give a timeline when the websites will be available in the official language. Questioning the govern- Congress MLA Goa Forward MLA RGP MLA There is no provision for penal action in the Act. It is needed or we have to make it compulsory for departments. The Advisory Board formed in 2012 will be revived for effective implementation of Official Language Act. The government is working to have bilingual websites in all the departments ment’s lack of interest in promoting the State language, Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai said that it’s a tragedy that if a person who knows only Konkani will not >Continued on P5
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.