log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday FRIDAY MARCH 3, 2023 GOA 13 pages PRICE ` 8 All eyes on MMC to furnish list of public buildings to Fire Services for inspections IN SHORT >> Goa’s February joblessness rate higher than India PANAJI: At 11.1 per cent, Goa’s unemployment ratio continued to be higher than the national average even for the month of February as per monthly data published by Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy. For the month of February 2023, the national average unemployment rate was 7.5% to 8% in urban areas and 7.4 % in rural areas. Incidentally, Goa’s unemployment rate in 9th highest in the list of 27 States. GMC gets nod for 2 new PG courses PANAJI: The Goa Medical College has got the nod from National Medical Commission to commence two new postgraduate programmes. The two MD courses are titled ‘Geriatric Medicine and Immunology’ and ‘Hematology and Blood Transfusion’, according to Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. >> See pg 5 OTS scheme for water bills till March 16 PANAJI: The government has extended the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme for water bill payment till March 16. PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral said of the 52,521 defaulters, 29,139 have paid their bills adding the total outstanding amount of unpaid water bills is Rs 131 crore. Accused in Phogat case denied bail PANAJI: Sukhwinder Singh, one of the two accused charged with murder after BJP leader Sonali Phogat died of drug overdose in August 2022, was on Thursday denied bail in another offense pertaining to carrying the banned substance at a party in Anjuna where Phogat was drugged. >> See pg 3 Panel to monitor rice distribution via PDS PANAJI: The State government has constituted a “State Level Steering Committee” as a monitoring mechanism for effective implementation of distribution of fortified rice under PDS. The committee chaired by Chief Secretary has five government officials as members and Civil Supplies Director as Member Secretary. WEATHER >> Max: 36 C Min: 21 C Humidity: 70% TIDES Low: High: 03:14 14:35 07:33 22:03 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 2 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 254 3 GOA Double tracking: Govt will find solution, assures CM Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 INFO Worried of hair fall? Try sweet potato hair mask 9 Chief town planner can now tweak RP at govt’s prompt CONSTRUCTION LAWS CAN ALSO BE WAIVED FOR ‘HOUSING POLICIES’ THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In what is seen as a big boost to Goa’s lucrative and often controversial real estate sector, the State government has designated March 2, 2023 as the date on which will come into force amendments to two major laws governing the sector -- The Goa Town and Country Planning Act and the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act. The first gives powers to The Chief Town Planner (Planning) to “alter” and “modify” the Regional Plan by a mere gazette notification on the government’s direction while the second amendment empowers the government to permit waiver of any land development and construction law, rule or regulation ostensibly to promote ‘affordable housing’. The notification designat- THE TWO NEW AMENDMENTS The Goa Town and Country Planning Act and the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act have been amended The first gives powers to the Chief Town Planner (Planning) to “alter” and “modify” the Regional Plan by a mere gazette notification on the government’s direction The second amendment empowers government to permit waiver of any land development and construction law, rule or regulation ostensibly to promote ‘affordable housing’ Notification designates March 2, 2023 as the date from which the amendment to the Goa Town and Country Planning Act, will come into force Amendment passed by Assembly during the winter session in mid-January and was assented to by the Governor ing March 2, 2023 as the date from which the amendment to the Goa Town and Country Planning Act, will come into force was issued by the government earlier this week. The amendment was passed by the Goa legislative assembly during the winter session in mid-January and was assented to by the Gover- nor, P S Sreedharan Pillai. The need for such changes in the Regional Plan, according to the amendment, will be determined by the Government for rectifying any “inadvertent error”. Another ground the amendment cites for warranting modification in the Regional Plan is what it calls “correc- tion of inconsistent/ incoherent zoning proposals” in the regional plan. The government may direct the CTP (Planning) to carry out such alteration/modification to the regional plan by notification in the Official Gazette only to such extent prescribed, the amendment states. Triple delight: BJP wins in Tripura, Nagaland Set to be part of govt in Meghalaya PTI AGARTALA The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies beamed with joy on Thursday as they retained Tripura and Nagaland with a clear majority in assembly elections 2023. The ruling BJP managed to notch-up a morale-boosting win on its ‘’Mission Northeast’’ on Thursday by retaining Tripura emphatically, despite anti-incumbency and newcomer Tipra Motha playing spoilers to its party, while also piggy-backing to power in Nagaland on Neiphiu Rioled NDPP’s shoulder. In Meghalaya, it was poised to be part of the ruling dispensation again as a junior partner, given that chief minister Conrad Sangma’s NPP has fallen short of majority while winning the lion’’s share of 26 seats in the 60-member assembly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking after the declaration of results, credited BJP’s consistent wins in states, including the northeast, “to a ‘’Triveni’’ (triumrate) of work BJP supporters celebrate party’s victory in Tripura on Thursday. Now, Modi sets sights on Kerala NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the BJP’s performance in polls in three northeastern states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday set his sights on Kerala by citing increasing support of minorities for the party. With the BJP retaining power in Tripura on its own and in Nagaland with its senior ally and set to be part of the government in Meghalaya, Modi hit out at the Congress for its president Mallikarjun Kharge’s attempt to play down his party’s poor show in the polls by describing it as “small state elections”. and work culture” of its governments and its workers’’ commitment to service. For the BJP, however, the wins as junior partners in the hills of Nagaland and Meghalaya will be good for the optics and for crowing about >Continued on P5 Meanwhile, the State government has also designated March 2, 2023, as the enforcement date for another amendment to a law related to construction land development -- Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act -- which gives itself the power to waive any its provision to facilitate policies on housing. The amendment, again passed during the winter session, inserts a provision in the principal law governing land development and building construction arms the government with powers to itself to “relax” any provision of such regulations to implement policies including for “inclusive” and “affordable” housing. The new provision inserted in the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act reads: “Where the >Continued on P5 SPORTS Lyon picks 8 wickets as Aussies sniff rare win in India 13 ISRO identifies both districts of Goa as landslide-affected THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In worrying news for the State, the Indian Space Research Organisation has identified both the districts of Goa – north and south – as landslide affected among the 147 landslide-affected districts in the country. The data in the Landslide Atlas of India, published recently by ISRO under the Department of Space places the north Goa district at 111th position while the south Goa district has been placed at 121. The atlas lists 147 districts in 17 States and 2 Union Territories of India for their exposure to landslides in terms of key socio-economic parameters as per data published on February 28, 2023 by ISRO. The report also highlights the two landslides that occurred in 2014 and one that occurred in 2017 in Goa. The atlas contains information about landslides in India’s provinces, as well as damage assessments for specific landslide locations. Geospatial landslide inventory database consisting of approximately 80,000 landslides in India mapped by NRSC/ISRO during the 1998-2022 period is reported through the Atlas. Landslides are one of the most common natural disasters that cause major problems in mountainous terrain, killing hundreds of people each year while also destroying property and disrupting transportation. Landslides threaten approximately 0.42 million square kilometres, or 12.6% of the land area, excluding snow-covered areas. The majority of landslides are caused by variability in rainfall patterns, whereas sporadic events like very heavy rainfall outside of the monsoon season (Kedarnath event in 2013) and earthquakes (Sikkim earthquake) cause significant disruption to livelihood and infrastructure. Apex court orders COLOURS OF HOLI release of man who murdered Vasco doctor THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Supreme Court has ordered the release of Ryan Fernandes serving life sentence in the 2005 case pertaining to murder of his father-in-law Dr Shrikant Verekar. SC delivered its verdict after Ryan had challenged the order of the State Sentence Review Board held on 16.06.2021, rejecting the proposal for his premature release. “The decision taken by the Board in its meeting held on 16.06.2021 is quashed and set aside, the petitioner herein is directed to be released forthwith,” states the SC order. The apex court also pointed out the statement of SP North that family members -- mother and wife -- are ready to accept the prisoner if released prematurely. Verenkar was abducted from Mangor Hill, Vasco, when on a morning walk by Fernandes and his accomplices. His body was discovered two days later, at an isolated spot at Cansaulim. Ryan was sentenced to death by Margao sessions court in 2007 which was later converted to life sentence by High Court in 2012. A variety of colours on sale at the municipal market in Panaji on Thursday. The festival of Holi will be celebrated on March 7. Narayan Pissurlenkar As mishaps rise, Sawant directs PWD to conduct audit of roads THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI With accidents continuing unabated in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s recent review meeting with officials of connected departments and decisions taken therein, including the one to Public Works Department (PWD) to conduct an audit of all major and internal roads has come into sharp focus. According to Transport Director, Rajan Satardekar, the audit of roads is crucial but the continued violation of traffic rules and laws in spite of heightened enforcement is worrisome and mishaps continue to occur. >Continued on P5 Goa Tourism takes part in Lisbon travel mart President to appoint CEC, ECs on advice of panel: SC THE GOAN I NETWORK NEW DELHI In a far-reaching verdict, the Supreme Court Thursday ruled that the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and ECs will be done by the President on the recommendation of a committee, comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the CJI, to maintain the “purity” of the electoral process. Observing that the means to gain power in a democracy must remain wholly pure and should abide by the Constitution, a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice KM Joseph, in its unanimous verdict said an “unrelenting abuse” of the electoral process over a period of time is the “surest way to the grave of the democracy”. PANAJI Goa Tourism is competing with other destinations at the Bolsa Turismo Lisboa Travel Mart 2023 underway in Lisbon, Portugal. Inaugurated by Secretary (Goa Tourism), Sanjeev Ahuja IAS, Goa Tourism’s pavilion has featured events and is holding discussions showcasing Goan culture and promoting responsible tourism. “We have multiple facets of tourism that visitors from across the world get attracted to. We are a host to responsible and safe tourism,” a senior official said. The department has also emphasized bringing innovation to tourism, in a unique experience for every visitor to The department has also emphasized bringing innovation to tourism, in a unique experience for every visitor to Goa pavilion Goa pavilion. “We’re bringing Goa to Lisbon at the Bolsa Turismo Lisboa… A one-of-a-kind networking event geared towards the development of the tourism industry, we cannot wait to be a part of something this innovative and take you along the journey,” the department official’s social media handle stated ahead of the event that began on Wednesday. PTI Democracy is inextricably intertwined with power to the people and the “ballot, is more potent than the most powerful gun” and in a democracy, the “purity of election” must be maintained or else it would lead to “disastrous consequences”, the apex court said. Welcoming the ruling, Opposition parties described the verdict as “historic” and said the judgement would pave the way for free and fair elections in the country. The Congress sought the same selection process for the appointments to the Enforcement Directorate. The verdict has come at a crucial time, Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said and alleged that the ruling party has been one of the “worst offenders” when it comes to the violation of elec- KEY OBSERVATIONS OF APEX COURT Unrelenting abuse of electoral process is the ‘surest way to the grave of democracy’ Democracy is inextricably intertwined with power to the people and the “ballot, is more potent than the most powerful gun” In democracy, ‘purity of election’ must be maintained or else it would lead to ‘disastrous consequences’ CEC, ECs must ‘be chosen not by executive exclusively’ and particularly without any objective yardstick The committee should comprise of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the CJI toral safeguards with no consequences for their actions while West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee described the verdict a “victory of democracy”. The bench, also comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar, said the direc- tion on the EC appointments will continue to hold good till a law on the issue is made by Parliament. As of now, Chief Election Commissioner and ECs are appointed in terms of Article 324 of the Constitution by the President on the recommendation of the Centre. The ECs, including the CEC must “be chosen not by the executive exclusively” and particularly without any objective yardstick. “With the accumulation of wealth and emergence of near monopolies or duopolies and the rise of certain sections in media, the propensity for the electoral process to be afflicted with the vice of wholly unfair means being overlooked by those who are the guardians of the rights of the citizenry as declared by this court would spell disastrous consequences,” the bench said. SC said if LoP in LS is not there, then the leader of the single largest opposition party will be in the committee. The bench delivered its verdict on a batch of pleas seeking a collegium-like system for the appointment of election commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner. “We declare that as far as the appointment to the posts of CEC and the ECs are concerned, the same shall be done by the President of India on the basis of the advice tendered by a Committee consisting of the PM, the LoP in the Lok Sabha and, in case, there is no such Leader, the Leader of the largest party in the Opposition in the Lok Sabha having the largest numerical strength, and the CJI,” the bench said. “As regards the relief relating to putting in place a permanent Secretariat for the ECI and charging its expenditure to the consolidated fund of India is concerned, the court makes a fervent appeal that the Union of India/Parliament may consider bringing in the necessary changes,” the court added.
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.