log on to thegoan.net Facebook.com/thegoan @thegoanonline TUESDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2023 GOA The Goan E-Paper (Playstore/IOS) 13 pages PRICE ` 10 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME IX, NO. 154 Power consumers in a tizzy as dept moves to penalize load increase 2 GOA Vasco a mini India where people live in harmony: CM 3 Instagram.com/thegoanonline RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 INFO Home remedies to treat razor bumps and tips to prevent them 8 12 SPORTS Djokovic claims seventh ATP Finals title Tamnar project gets in-principle A day after, focus shifts to portfolios for Aleixo approval from Wildlife Board POWER LINE CLEARED SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS 8 BSNL TOWERS, ECO-TOURISM PROJECTS ALSO APPROVED THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI In a major decision, the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL) on Monday granted its in-principle approval to the Goa Tamnar Power Transmission line passing through the Mollem wildlife sanctuary. The SBWL meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant along with Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane. In a tweet, Sawant said "Board cleared the Tamnar electricity project." The power transmission project envisaged laying a 400 KV transmission line from Sangod in Goa to the Karnataka border to help meet Goa’s peak electricity demand of 1192 MW. However, the project was met with intense opposition and same was settled af- IN SHORT >> Avoid politics, CM tells co-op leaders PANAJI: Although Goa has cooperative institutions which are more than a century old, the sector hasn’t really prospered the way it should have due to politics, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant opined as he inaugurated the ‘Cooperative Week’ celebrations on Monday. >> See pg 3 Power transmission project envisages laying a 400 KV transmission line from Sangod in Goa to Karnataka border This will help meet Goa’s peak electricity demand of 1192 MW Supreme Court last year had accepted the recomter the Supreme Court granted relief to the project proponent. The Supreme Court last year had accepted the recommendation of the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by it to utilise the existing 220 KV powerline alignment in Goa, instead of cutting down fresh forest cover, to lay a new 400 KV line as part of the Project. FROM GRID TO GLORY mendation of Centrally Empowered Committee appointed by it to utilise the existing 220 KV powerline alignment in Goa, instead of cutting down fresh forest cover, to lay a new 400 KV line as part of the Project Project has received in-principle approval with certain conditions and the final nod will be granted by National Board of Wildlife Sources said that the project has received in-principle approval with certain conditions and that the final nod will be granted by the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL). Sawant had strongly batted for the project and had lamented that some people even went to Supreme Court to stall it without realising that it was necessary to tone up the power infrastructure to provide uninterrupted power to the people of Goa. Meanwhile, chief minister said that Board cleared erection of total eight BSNL towers in the protected areas and eco-tourism projects in Surla, Mollem and Netravali villages. Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane said that during the meeting, key discussions cen- IFFI reels roll; Madhuri adds glitz THAKUR EYES ‘GOA IFFI’ AS WORLD’S TOPMOST FILM FESTIVAL BY 2047 CM SAYS GOVT WANTS STATE TO BE FILM HUB Incentive for foreign film production hiked to 40 % Foreigner found dead at Siolim MAPUSA: A foreign national was found dead at Sodiem-Siolim on Monday. The man in his 40s was found lying outside a house. The Mapusa police conducted the panchanama and later sent the body to GMC for an autopsy. 52-year-old killed in Vasco accident VASCO: A 52-year-old man from Belabai-Vasco was killed in a fatal road mishap along the FL Gomes Road. An eyewitness said Sameer Gosavi, who was partially disabled and had a leg amputated, was moving with a special two-wheeler when the accident took place. WEATHER >> Max: 34 C Min: 25 C Humidity: 89% tered round the promotion of eco-tourism initiatives in the hinterland with community participation. He said that the Board has asked Forest Department to carry out a study in consultation with experts to prepare a comprehensive plan for development of eco-tourism. It may be recalled that Goa Chief Electrical Engineer Stephen Fernandes had also strongly backed the Tamnar power line project stating that the entire economy of Goa is dependent on the project -- an interstate transmission system project envisaged by the Union Power Ministry. Fernandes had said that if such projects are opposed and not implemented in time bound manner, power problems are inevitable for the State. Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit performs at the 54th International Film Festival of India during the opening ceremony at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium, Bambolim on Monday. (Reports & more pics on pg 3) Narayan Pissurlenkar THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off here in Goa with 'dhakdhak girl' of Bollywood Madhuri Dixit electrifying the stage during the opening ceremony at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium, Bambolim with her performance to the beats of her hit songs. Apart from Dixit, there were performances by other Bollywood names like Shahid Kapoor, Shriya Saran and Nushratt Bharucha besides Shreya Goshal. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur who was chief guest at the ceremony urged India's film personalities to unitedly help make 'IFFI Goa' the world's topmost film festival by 2047. Besides Dixit, performances by Shahid Kapoor, Sukhwinder Singh and Nushratt Bharucha's dancing on Pushpa song "Saami Saami" and Jawan song "Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya" added glitz to the ceremony. PANAJI: The Centre will increase the incentive for foreign film production in the country to 40% of the expenses incurred with an increased cap limit of Rs 30 crore. The move was aimed at attracting medium and big budget international film projects to India. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the paradigm shift in incentivizing film production serves as a testimony to India's commitment and support for artistic expression. The maximum incentive would be now up to 40 per cent of the expenditure incurred with a raised limit of Rs 30 crore, exceeding USD 3.5 million. You can also get additional 5 per cent bonus for significant Indian content, he added. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, in his brief >Continued on P5 IN WHAT COULD BE A GAME-CHANGING TECH FOR INDIA… UK okays gene editing tool for blood disorders AGENCIES LONDON n a global first, the British medical regulator has given the green light to a gene therapy aiming to cure two untreatable blood disorders -- sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassemia. The treatment for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia is the first to be licensed using the gene-editing tool Crispr, which earned its discoverers the Nobel Prize in 2020. This marks ground-breaking progress in managing two hereditary blood conditions, both stemming from gene errors related to haemoglobin. It could be a game-changing technology for India which is known to have the highest prevalence of the disease – for I WHY INDIA NEEDS CRISPR India has over two crore patients with SCD and largest number of children with Thalassemia Estimates show about 10,000-15,000 babies with thalassemia major are born every year and struggle to reach adulthood due to frequent blood transfusions Patients with sickle both, thalassemia and SCD patients. However, typically it takes three to four years to bring the technology to India along with another challenge of high and unaffordable cost. According to media reports, cell disease experience deformation of red blood cells into a sickle shape Thalassemia patients face anaemia and fatigue due to the insufficient pro- duction of haemoglobin, impacting oxygen transport Doctors feel India should immediately start trials to make technology available The cost, however, remains the biggest hurdle for Indian patients It will take more than three years for availability & introduction in India the technology is expected to cost between $1.2 million (Rs 10 crore) and $1.7 million (Rs 15 crore). The approval from UK’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regula- tory Agency (MHRA), comes after positive outcomes from clinical trials evaluating a single-dose intravenous infusion treatment. This innovative therapy was created through collaboration between Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston, Massachusetts, and CRISPR Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Zug, Switzerland. The treatment, named Casgevy, uses a gene-editing tool. In a trial for sickle-cell disease on 45 participants, Casgevy totally relieved 28 participants of agonising pain for at least one year post-treatment. The researchers also assessed the therapy’s efficacy for a severe form of beta thalassaemia, typically managed with monthly blood transfusions. In this trial, 54 received Casgevy, with 42 participating sufficiently to yield interim results. Among these, 39 were free from blood transfusions for a minimum of one year. Minor reshuffle on cards, expected this week THE GOAN I NETWORK SALCETE NO MORE A CONG BASTION, CLAIMS ALEIXO PANAJI With Nuvem MLA Aleixo Sequeira being inducted into the Pramod Sawant-led Cabinet, all eyes are now on the likely allocation of portfolios to the new Minister. A minor portfolio reshuffle is on cards and is expected within this week. Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral, who resigned as Cabinet Minister on Sunday to facilitate Sequeira’s induction, held the major portfolios of the Public Works Department, Environment, Legislative Affairs and Law and Judiciary. However, according to the sources, Sequeira might have to settle down with Environment and Legislative Affairs for now, apart from some other minor ones, as the Chief Minister is in no mood to hand over heavy portfolios to him. The five-time MLA, Sequeira, has held portfolios as Industries, Environment, Forest, Information and Technology, Official Language, Power and Printing and Stationary during his previous tenures as Minister. “There is no decision on the Portfolio allocation so far. That is a prerogative of the Chief Minister. I am ready to accept whatever comes my way,” Sequeira told the Goan. The Minister is likely to meet the Chief IMD puts State on ‘yellow alert’ for Nov 23, 24; thunderstorms predicted Cabral’s resignation: Supporters threaten to boycott LS polls THE GOAN I NETWORK WARN OF CAMPAIGNING AGAINST BJP PANAJI The India Meteorological Department (Goa) has issued a yellow alert for November 23 and 24, predicting thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and winds gusting to 3040 kmph at isolated places. According to the advisory, light to moderate rainfall is also 'very likely' at a few places until Sunday. The IMD, without revealing the reason for the weather change, indicated that the weather is likely to be dry over both the districts of the State on November 21-22. Haze or shallow fog is expected to persist on November 21, similar to conditions on November 20, the department said. On November 23, light to moderate rain and thunderstorms are 'very likely' at isolated places, with similar weather conditions at a few places also expected to remain over a few places on the subsequent three days. The observatory also revealed that the minimum temperature is expected to show no significant change for the next 4-5 days. PANAJI: Newly sworn-in Minister Aleixo Sequeira, a fivetime MLA, whose induction into BJP-led government Cabinet, is looked upon as a major move to bolster the saffron party’s chances of wresting Salcete ahead of Lok Sabha polls, feels that “Salcete is no more a Congress bastion and that BJP has already established its vote share”. Sequeira said that the BJP is in a comfortable position to win the South Goa Lok Sabha seat in the ensuing Parliamentary polls. He also said “Congress does have votes in Salcete but not the old overwhelming voter base that the party used to rely upon all these years”. >> See pg 2 WILL ALEIXO LIGHT A CANDLE OF HOPE AGAINST COAL? >> See pg 2 THE GOAN I NETWORK SANGUEM A large number of supporters of former PWD minister Nilesh Cabral are upset with the BJP for asking him to resign as minister, with many threatening to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and not campaign in favour of the BJP. The supporters voiced their displeasure when they met him at his residence in Curchorem on Monday and reiterated their unconditional support to Cabral. Many supporters demanded an explanation from the party for asking Cabral to sacrifice his ministerial berth to pave the way for Aleixo Sequeira to be inducted as minister. They also sought to know from Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and the BJP as to why Cabral was made Cabral to sacrifice his post. Claiming that there were many who were first-time ministers in the Cabinet, they said that Cabral had got elected from Curchorem constituency for the third time in a row and Minister on Tuesday. “So far, CM has not spoken to me about the portfolio. It is for the CM to decide when to allocate but I feel it should be done in one of these days,” he added. Sources said that some minor portfolios held by the Chief Minister may come to Sequeira for now. “It is not necessary that CM allocates all the portfolio’s held by Cabral to Sequeira. The decision will be taken shortly,” sources said. WHY CABRAL? Supporters demanded an explanation why Cabral had to sacrifice his ministerial berth for Aleixo Cabral got elected from Curchorem for three times in a row and had been senior to many ministers There are many first-time ministers in the Cabinet he has been senior to many ministers in the Cabinet. Many supporters threatened to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and not campaign in favour of the BJP Party, if the party does not re-induct Cabral in the ministry before the elections. They assured Cabral of their unconditional support to him. Cabral politely informed his supporters that he had to abide with the party’s decision and assured them that >Continued on P5 Rules likely to be amended to expedite mundkarial cases SAWANT HOLDS MEET WITH TOP REVENUE BABUS THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Giving legs to his initiative to speed up disposal of the backlog of mundkarial cases within the next two months, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant along with Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goel and Revenue Secretary Sandip Jacques, IAS, held a brainstorming session with top revenue officials where they resolved to iron out the logjams and procedural hiccups that impede speedy disposal of cases. At the meeting, it was decided to amend rules and if need be tweak the principal Sawant issued directives to fill unmanned positions at the joint mamlatdar level in all the talukas where mundkarial cases are pending and reiterated his diktat to clear backlog within two-three months law even to do away with certain procedural duplication experienced by mamlatdars and joint-mamlatdars presiding over the quasi-judicial courts, a senior official told The Goan. North Goa Collector, Geete, IAS, South Goa Collector Asvin Chandru, IAS, several deputy collectors officiating as sub-divisional officers or magistrates and a handful of mamlatdars attended the meeting. Mundkarial cases have a pendency of some 1,000-odd in South Goa and another 920 in the North. At the meeting, Sawant issued directives to fill unmanned positions at the joint mamlatdar level in all the talukas where mundkarial cases are pending and reiterated his diktat to clear all the backlog within the next two-three months, one official who was in attendance said. >Continued on P5
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