log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2023 GOA Excise team raids illegal distillery VALPOI: With the cashew season having started in Sattari, liquor distilling activities have begun in parts of Sattari. Sattari excise team on Thursday raided an illegal distillery in Desaiwada-Advoi and warned that similar raids would take place in other parts of the taluka. There are a number of distilleries in Sattari and the excise department earns sizeable revenue to issue permissions to these distilleries. Violations by boats decriminalised PANAJI: The State government has notified decriminalisation of certain rules pertaining to registration and operation of vessels in the State’s waters. Instead of imprisonment and fines, the Captain of Ports will henceforth impose fines if boats and inland vessels are found operating without registration. New deadline for illegal houses Drama over Vasco Shigmo meet as Vasco MLA elected president 3 THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Having failed to find an escape route to extortion accusation, Goa Police have finally stepped up inquiry into the case involving five policemen attached to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). A senior-most officer has been summoned to the police headquarters to join the inquiry led by Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh. Sources told The Goan that an officer, currently on ‘sick leave’ has been sent an official email seeking his presence for the inquiry. “A reply email is awaited. Nevertheless, the officer will have to be present on the given date to defend his stand in the case,” an official revealed, requesting not to be named. His questioning will be followed by other ATS officials’ After extortion expose, police personnel shunted to Valpoi INQUIRY ORDERED, BUT NO SUSPENSION DESPITE EVIDENCE THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Amid a high-level probe into allegations of extortion involving the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Goa Police shunted the erring personnel to the Police Training School (PTS) in Valpoi in an abrupt decision on Wednesday. The development comes a day after The Goan reported about the alleged extortionists within the elite force. The five personnel including a police inspector were caught in a CCTV footage purportedly demanding Rs 10 lakh from a businessman, at his office in Salcete. An embarrassed department ordered an inquiry but has till date, shied away from taking disciplinary action such as suspension of the personnel despite evidence and initial complaint. Sources said that superiors in the department finalised transferring them to the PTS after discussing which remote center will be best suited to temporarily shift them. “The department had to choose between IRB Nanora and PTS. The higher-ups then decided PTS after which a wireless message was sent out transferring them,” a source revealed. The cops are accused of extorting money from the businessman who reportedly operates an online gaming E ON F Top official holds meet with dept bosses, outcome kept under wraps PANAJI: No sooner the department was stunned by what they didn’t expect, a senior bureaucrat in the Goa government summoned a meeting with the department bosses. The outcome of the meeting is however kept under wraps but sources claim that the IAS officer expressed his utter disappointment with the alleged extortion episode. The professional background of these policemen are now being unearthed. One of those directly involved in the matter was earlier suspended for extortion of Rs 2,000 from a group of locals during his posting in Valpoi. He was reinstated with a warning not to repeat the act and subsequently promoted. company. The complainant negotiated it to Rs 5 lakh and the deal, as per updates on Wednesday, was sealed at Rs 7.5 lakh - all paid in cash. The incident occurred in the office of an online gaming deposition. The department, sources said, is already in receipt of the CCTV footage which showed some policemen in civil clothes demanding extortion money from a Gujarat-based businessman. The demand for Rs 10 lakh company in Salcete where the civil-clothed men identified themselves as ATS personnel from Panaji. Sources said that a senior officer, who also has a share, was reportedly stationed outside the office at the time when his staff collected and handed over the extorted money from the complainant. DGP Jaspal Singh on Tuesday said that the department has initiated an inquiry following a complaint by the businessman and assured appropriate action based on the report’s findings. The Goa Forward Party (GFP) has slammed the government for maintaining silence on the issue. “Silence of Goa CM speaks volumes. The presence of extortion gangs operating in Goa Police is an indictment of Pramod Sawant’s (CM) incompetence and weakness as Home Minister. Why is he quiet? Is was settled at Rs 7.5 lakh which was shared among the alleged extortionist policemen and another senior officer, who masterminded the plan. But while there is video evidence, the businessman does Major blaze at Baga club, lucky escape for workers Second fire mishap in club in 2 months Taximen to submit claims for meters WEATHER >> Max: Min: Humidity: TIDES 34 C 22 C 87% Low: 07:42 19:42 High: 01:21 14:05 RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 INFO Tips to reduce hair damage if you use straighteners often ACCUSED OFFICER ON ‘SICK LEAVE’ SUMMONED, QUESTIONING OF OTHERS TO FOLLOW LATER PANAJI: The government has issued a new deadline for residents to file applications for regularising unauthorised houses. Govt has notified February 24 as date on which the Act will come into force. The bill grants an extension of 90 days to file applications for regularising unauthorised houses in the State. PANAJI: Owners of yellow-black taxis and tourist taxis who have installed digital fare meter within six months from the date specified have been asked by Transport Dept to submit claims for reimbursement of cost of digital fare meter on or before February 28. Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday Police step up probe into extortion case 22 MARGAO: The Save Mhadei, Save Goa Movement on Thursday said the Union Cabinet’s decision to approve the setting up of the Mhadei Water Management Authority is nothing, but a license for the diversion of the Mhadei river water to neighbouring Karnataka. The Front also took strong exception to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s tweet thanking the PM and welcoming the decision to establish the Mhadei Water Management Authority. >> See pg 5 2 GOA B Front cries foul over sanction for Mhadei water authority The Goan (Playstore) 13 pages PRICE ` 8 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 247 Waste burning in Margao continues to pose health hazard for residents IN SHORT >> Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday Fire fighters trying to extinguish the fire at a club in Baga. THE GOAN I NETWORK MAPUSA The kitchen of a spa in Baga was gutted in a fire, causing a huge loss to the club. According to sources, the kitchen caught fire due to a short circuit at about 7.30 pm. Unable to control the flames, the employees ran out of the club and within a short while, the gas cylinder caught fire and burst, spreading the flames to the first floor, which was also destroyed. A fire tender rushed to the site and a team of firefighters under the guidance of Fire Officer Shrikrishna Parrikar succeeded in extinguishing the fire after an hour-long operation. The estimate of the losses is not known as yet, as the club owner is yet to submit an estimate of losses to the fire station. Calangute police also went to the site and conducted a panchanama of the fire mishap. This is the second fire mishap in the club in the last two months and in the previous mishap, the fire services had succeeded to control the fire in time, thus avoiding casualties or major losses. CONCERNS RAISED ATS’ presence in commercial establishments without any notice for inspection or mock drill has raised serious concerns Sources said that several hoteliers, who have been victims of extortions, are relieved after the sensational expose not want to pursue the matter for two reasons – the extorted money is returned to him and investigation could unearth his alleged black marketing racket. The five policemen are transferred to Police Training 10 13 SPORTS FC Goa loses to BFC, misses out on ISL playoffs Yearly income above `5 lakh? Surrender your ration card THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Is your annual family income above Rs five lakh? Then, rush to your taluka civil supplies officer and surrender your ration card as you have just 30 days to do so, lest you invite trouble from the a uthorities. Civil Supplies Director, Gopal Parsekar, has issued a note directing the public to surrender their Above Poverty Line (APL) ration cards within 30 days and warned that “strict action” will be taken if violations are found in field inspections conducted by the taluka civil supplies officials. Parsekar said, it has been brought to the notice of the department that families which are “ineligible as per the guidelines” are holding Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) Ration Cards (pink in colour), Priority Household (PHH) Ration Cards (Pink in Colour) and Above Pov- DEADLINE FOR RATION CARDS Families whose annual income is above Rs 50,000 are ineligible for AAY & PHH ration cards If annual income is above Rs 5 lakh, families are ineligible for APL ration card Families holding AAY and PHH ration cards and do not fit the below Rs 50,000 per annum income bracket need to file ‘Departmental Form C’ and convert their ration cards to APL card APL ration card holders whose family income exceeds Rs 5 lakh have to fill ‘Departmental Form D’ to surrender their cards erty Line (APL) Ration Cards (Yellow in colour). According to Parsekar’s note, families whose annual income is above Rs 50,000 are ineligible for the AAY and PHH ration cards. Also, if annual income is above Rs 5 lakh, families are ineligible for the APL ration card, his note adds. Those families holding AAY and PHH ration cards and do not fit the below Rs 50,000 per annum income bracket, Parsekar advises them to file ‘Departmental Form C’ and convert their ra- tion cards to APL card. APL ration card holders whose family income exceeds Rs 5 lakh have to fill the ‘Departmental Form D’ to surrender their cards, Parsekar adds. “Further, during field inspection by respective Taluka Civil Supplies Officials or incase of any public complaints, if anyone found violating the same a strict action will be taken,” Parsekar said, adding that the note is issued with the approval of the State government. >Continued on P5 UK supermarkets impose purchase limit on fruit, veg amid shortage PTI LONDON Some of Britain’s leading supermarket chains have imposed purchase limits on certain fruits and vegetables amid a supply shortage due to adverse weather conditions and the knock-on effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with the British government warning on Thursday that the situation could last up to a month. Tomatoes, peppers or capsicums, cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and boxes of raspberries are among the produce being limited to around three for each customer by the likes of Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi. The shortage has been linked with bad weather in southern Europe and Africa as well as high energy prices restricting greenhouse farming in the UK and the Netherlands. “We anticipate the situation will last about another two to four weeks,” Environment Secretary Therese Coffey told the House of Commons in response to an urgent question in Parliament. “It is important that we try and make sure that we get alternative sourcing options,” she said. DESPITE 50% DEVICES BEING OUT OF ORDER… Govt rejected proposal to procure more alcometers Proposal for speed radars gathering dust THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The State government took no time to point fingers at three prime reasons for a sharp rise in accidents, one being drunk driving; and to curb the menace, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant specifically instructed Traffic and Transport departments to step up enforcement. Ironically, the same government just recently rejected a proposal to procure additional alcohol breath analysers despite over 50 per cent devices being out of order. Not this alone, another proposal for speed radars is gathering dust. Marathon meetings chaired by Sawant to review accidents and resultant fatalities discussed how drunken driving, non-compliance with traffic rules and blind overtaking are major contributors to serious accidents. In a series of road safety measures put forth, the CM asked the enforcement agencies to strengthen the drive against drunk driving. The Goan has reliably learnt that a proposal to procure 30 35 foreigners among 200 booked for traffic violations in Mandrem PANAJI: Thirty-five foreign nationals were among around 200 riders and drivers booked for various traffic violations in Mandrem on Thursday, as Goa Police have revived enforcement drive against the backdrop of rising accidents in the State. A joint team of the Traffic Police headed by SP Bossuet Silva and DySP (North) Sidhant Shirodkar; Pernem police and Mopa Traffic Cell conducted a day-long drive, which will be followed in Panaji on Friday. >> See pg 3 VASCO POLICE HOLD DRIVE AGAINST TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS, INSPECT ACCIDENT HOTSPOTS >> See pg 3 alcometers was rejected last year. Reason – not known. This comes despite several Traffic Cells (TC) reporting non-functional analyser devices. “Each TC is sanctioned around 4-5 alcometers while those located in the heavily populated places such as Margao, Panaji, etc get more. In several months, many TC reported that their devices are not working and needed replacement. A proposal was accordingly drafted, approved by seniors and subsequently submitted to the government that rejected the need for any additional devices,” said a senior officer. Of 10 alcometers allotted to Margao TC, only 20 percent are functional whereas Dabolim TC – that handles the busy airport jurisdiction – does not have a single device in working condition. >Continued on P5 High drama as Cong leader Panaji roads cave in again, 2 tankers stuck nabbed on way to Raipur THE GOAN I NETWORK Deplaned, arrested, released on interim bail PTI NEW DELHI Congress leader Pawan Khera was arrested on Thursday by Assam Police in connection with an FIR over alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day of high drama that began with him being deplaned from a flight to Raipur and his party leaders protesting on the tarmac. Khera, who was in the headlines this week for apparently fumbling on the prime minister's father's name during a press conference, was released on interim bail till February 28 by a Delhi court later in the evening on the directions of the Supreme Court. He had moved the apex court to seek relief in multiple FIRs against him in Assam as well as in the Uttar Pradesh towns of Varanasi and Lucknow. After dictating the order granting interim bail, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, apparently displeased with the Congress leader's remarks, told senior advocate A M Singhvi, who was representing Khera, “We have pro- tected you (Khera) but there has to be some level of discourse.” “He (Khera) has made statements in a press conference. He has made certain statements which I cannot say in the court but I personally would not have made,” Singhvi, also Khera's party colleague, said in the apex court. Khera, who was deplaned on his way to Chhattisgarh to attend the party's plenary session, told reporters that the law had come to his rescue and he was grateful the apex court had upheld his liberties. PANAJI oa's capital Panaji is gaining a notorious reputation of being a city of caving roads, most of which have been excavated to facilitate 'Smart City' work much to chagrin of residents and motorists. On Thursday morning, yet another night-soil tanker went down with the road caving in the stretch in front of the St Agnes Church and by evening, the mini-water tanker, ironically belonging to the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) itself went down, at a stone's throw away distance from the civic body's headquarters. Many stretches of the city's roads are dug up to carry out the sewerage enhancement G Two tankers that got stuck after roads caved in at St Agnes Church and near Azad Maidan in Panaji on Thursday. Narayan Pissurlenkar works as part of the 'Smart City' package. However, the stretch where the CCP's mini-tanker went down, the work is already complete and the excavated roads haphazardly filled up, raising questions over the contractors' regard for safety. Over the last few weeks, at least three other such incidents have been reported of trucks and heavy vehicles going down with roads caving in areas where 'Smart City' work is being executed. Residents and businesses have faced severe hardships but earlier last week, Revenue Minister Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate who is also Panaji MLA, urged citizens to have patience. Monserrate, whose son Rohit is the CCP mayor and the duo hold positions on the BoD of Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL), the special purpose vehicle under whose aegis the smart city work is being executed, had also alleged that it was only a handful of 'certain individuals' and not the city's common residents who were complaining.
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.