the latest issue of Exotic Goa
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The special issue features Calangute and St. Alex
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He was recently injured in a “hit-and-run” road
accident suffering a broken collar bone and other
injuries. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery
Yolanda Souza - A Yeomans Service to Women's
football & the Art world
Bruno Coutinho - International Footballer of
Carmo D'Souza-Prof of Law, Mathematics & author
law & fiction.
Mary Kay Graves Fry Shares the memories of her
NoMoZo - II
Music Video Release and COncert by KARMA
IT RAIN', the umbrella project
the Indian Bull Frog
World Music Day
Dance Sport wins Dance Sport Nationals.
Joao celebrated in Goa.
Google I/O extended 2012
Friend - Poem by Ms. Prudencia
Sudarop met Captain Sullenberger
Goa govt to
invite global bids for Mopa airport
In Sept (Aneesh Phadnis, Business Standard)
To Goa's premiere mailing list, estb. 1994! Goa govt
to invite global bids for Mopa airport in Sept
Aneesh Phadnis / Mumbai Jun 24, 2012, 00:19 IST
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said all
concerns for the greenfield airport in Goa had been
addressed, and global tenders for the project would
be invited in September.
After sweeping to power earlier this year, Parrikar
has pushed for the airport in Mopa, north Goa.
Though the project had secured the Centre’s
in-principle approval in March 2000, it has been
stuck ever since, owing to land acquisition woes and
litigation. Politicians from south Goa have also
protested against the project, saying it would
considerably increase travel time to the new airport
from south Goa.
“Whenever we set about projects, people always have
differing views. There are difficulties. We will
overcome these. There are no hurdles in the way. We
will complete 95 per cent of the land acquisition by
July, and plan to issue global tenders in
September,” Parrikar told Business Standard.
Affected villagers, however, are unhappy with the
government’s acquisition and rehabilitation plans.
“The government is not even offering market rates,”
claims Siddarth Karapurkar of the Goan Farmers
The airport at Dabolim serves as a naval base and,
despite its upgrade and a new terminal at a cost of
Rs 500 crore, it can handle only 4.5 million
passengers. The state government estimates the Mopa
airport, on completion of all its phases, can handle
30 million passengers by 2045.
Concern has also been raised on the viability of the
second airport, as the Dabolim airport would also
remain functional. Critics say an International
Civil Aviation study, too, expressed similar fears.
Parrikar, however defends the decision. “Dabolim
Airport would be saturated in three-four years. It
has restrictions and does not allow flying during
certain hours. Traffic is also growing. In my
opinion, airport developers would queue for the
project,” he said, adding, “The airport would be
developed through private participation. The Goa
government’s contribution would be land. A financial
consultant has been appointed to prepare bid
conditions and the report would be available by
being handed over to mining barons: Goa's green
July 05, 2012 | Panaji IANS
A rampaging iron ore
mining industry and colluding officials are behind
the shocking exclusion of Goa's forests from a
cluster of 39 areas in the Western ghats region that
were included this week in Unesco's World Heritage
list, according to a leading green campaigner
Carmen Miranda, former director of global social
development agency Panos and a British citizen of
Goan origin, who has been campaigning worldwide to
end mining in Goa, said Chief Minister Manohar
Parrikar had been taking "disappointing" and
"misguided" decisions as far as mining is concerned.
Miranda, who co-ordinates a global campaign amongst
the Goan diaspora in 65 countries said that the
reason why the state government and the mining
industry conspired to deliberately leave Goa's
forests out of the protective heritage list was 745
million tons plus of iron ore on which the forests
"The previous administration betrayed the people in
many ways and presided over the biggest and quickest
destruction of the environment in Goa in the past 10
years, executed by the mining industry and real
estate developers. Their plan, I am quite sure, was
to hand over the Western Ghats in a plate to the
mining barons who for ages coveted the riches of our
Ghats," Miranda told IANS in an interview.
The Western Ghats are a contiguous stretch of
tropical forests spread across Maharashtra,
Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and are recognised
as one of the top 10 global bio-diversity hotspots.
Miranda also said that while the Parrikar government
had made some right moves, his disposition towards
mining was queer.
"While Parrikar admittedly is doing some good things
in Goa, his attitude towards the mining industry, so
far, does not seem to be very different from the
previous government. In fact, he is making some
worrying misguided decisions about mining, which is
very disappointing," said Miranda, who had submitted
a petition to the government, with signatures of
Goans across the globe seeking the inclusion of
Goa's forests in the Unesco World Heritage List.
Miranda said that she could still give the BJP-led
coalition government the benefit of the doubt. "The
new administration is just settling in. However,
there was plenty of time for Parrikar to have given
by now the 'OK' to go ahead with the application. He
was presented with a world petition signed by the
Goan Diaspora from 65 countries, over two months
ago," she said.
The activist said that Unesco status to Goa's
forests would significantly guard the green areas
against the mining scourge.
"The miners' supercilious attitude towards illegal
expansion into the forested areas, which so far was
done with impunity, will be curtailed by a UNESCO
tag for our Western Ghats. The government will have
to step up the conservation and protection of this
region, as the eyes of the entire world community
will be on it. The tag comes with tough obligations
and responsibility," she said, adding that the Goa
government still had time to catch the Unesco boat
until January 2013.
"All that needs to be done now is to lobby with
Parrikar and (Forest Minister) Alina Saldanha to
immediately give the department of forests the
permission to go ahead and support the application.
But the ground work and preparation must start
immediately," she said.
ignored UNESCO on Western Ghats heritage status
Rajendra P Kerkar | Jul 4, 2012
apathy of the Goa government has been responsible
for five sites in the Western Ghats region of Goa
missing out on being included among world heritage
Already, a cluster of 39 sites from Maharashtra,
Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has been inscribed
in the heritage list. However, four wildlife
sanctuaries and one national park of Goa has missed
this year's opportunity of getting world heritage
UNESCO delegation members of government of India,
the MOEF, had asked Goa for its participation prior
to India submitting the proposal to the World
Heritage Committee in February, 2010. The Goa
government neither concurred with the application to
UNESCO, nor did it supply any information on Goa's
protected areas of Mhadei, Bhagavan Mahavir,
Netravali and Cotigao to the MOEF.
On September 15, 2011, not a single official from
Goa attended the meeting between the delegates and
the co-coordinating agencies held in Banglore. On
June 28, 2011, the then Union minister of
Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, who has led
India's nomination process at UNESCO, wrote a letter
to the Goa chief minister asking him to take
immediate steps on submitting a proposal for the
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) to be brought under
the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
It was one of the last things the minister did
before moving onto the Union ministry of Rural
As per India's Forest Report of 2011, Goa has one
National Park at Mollem in Dharbandora taluka with
107 sq km area and six wildlife sanctuaries covering
an area of 648 sq km a total of 755sq km area
constituting 61.68% of the recorded forest area and
20.4% of the geographical area of the state as under
The forest cover in the state, based on
interpretation of satellite data of February 2009 is
2,212sq km which is 59.94% of the state's
geographical area. In terms of forest canopy
density, the state has 543 sq km area under very
dense forests, 585sq km area under moderately dense
forests and 1,091sq km area under open forests.
Out of six wildlife sanctuaries, Bondla Wildlife
Sanctuary is not inside the Western Ghats region of
Goa. However, the rest of the four wildlife
sanctuaries and one national park with the total
protected are of 745.10sq km are lying in the
Western Ghats. Amrutsingh, president of Animal
Rescue Squad, said, "It is indeed painful for us
that our Western Ghats region is not given a
heritage tag, when the region has areas rich in
Goa is bestowed with a relatively rich floristic
diversity. Late V D Vartak in 1966 in his 'Flora of
Gomantak' has recorded a total of 1,512 species of
plants over an area of 3,282sq km. Wildlife
International, Cambridge, has officially classified
Goa's area as one of the endemic bird areas of the
world. The sections of the Western Ghats that lie
within Goa are one of the richest reservoirs of
biodiversity, reflecting a complexity of plants,
animals and bird life.
Ramesh Gauns, environmentalist from Bicholim, said,
"Goa's Sahyadri is an extremely important source of
fresh water for people. The legal protection of the
green cover has facilitated and sufficed the
increasing demand for fresh water. By inscribing the
region in the World Heritage list, our efforts to
protect and conserve the region will be
The officials from Goa's forest department said, "We
are making our best efforts to get Goa's sites in
the Ghats a World Heritage status.
However, final decision in this matter lies with Goa
cocktails, discounts luring tourists to rain-hit Goa
Joaquim Fernandes, TNN | Jun 25, 2012,
cocktails in a certain time slot, free transfers to
and from the airport and
railway station, free use of sauna, sight-seeing
tours plus a boat cruise on
the river and discounts of between 20% to 30% on
room tariffs are some of the extra goodies offered
by Goan hoteliers to attract guests this monsoon.
The downpour has been steady in Goa in the last few
days and some of the beaches are awash with flotsam.
hotels in Goa are claiming occupancies of about
55%. Ralph de Souza, immediate past president of the
travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG),
however, said occupancies were between 10% to 12%
lower in the present fortnight compared to the same
period last year.
With juicy allurements from hotels on offer,
tourists find the rains not much of a dampener.
For example, a five star resort in south Goa has
slashed its 'superior room' rate from its December
high of 10,900 per night to 5,800 now. Add to that
free cocktails for an hour from 7.30pm, free sauna,
free half-day sightseeing, river cruise, gifts to
children and free pasta cooking classes.
A 3-star resort in Arpora-Baga has cut its tariff by
about 50% compared to the peak Christmas period.
Besides, during the 'happy hour', guests get 20% off
on drinks. The resort also has an off-season menu
with fewer dishes but at lesser prices. Their
3-night-4-day package that cost 18,000 in January
for two, is now cheaper by 3,000.
Edwin Dias of a resort in Baga (North Goa) says this
June, his hotel boasts of 50% occupancy. In earlier
years, the hotel had just 20% to 30% occupancy in
June. Dias feels that the present proliferation of
online travel agents helps disseminate offers to a
wider audience. Hotel discounts and sops were high
on Sunday, when Goa celebrated the feast of St John
the Baptist-popularly referred to as "Sao Joao".From
Besides church services, Goans celebrate this feast
by jumping and bathing in wells, ponds and lakes
wearing crowns of flowers and bingeing on drinks and
seasonal fruit. Many hotels offered packages for Sao
Joao celebrations, opening their swimming pools to
revelers. A weekend stay in a 3-star hotel went for
between Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,750 per person per night,
all inclusive; which means, the night stay, all
three meals mostly of traditional Goan dishes,
drinks on the house and unlimited frolicking in the
De Souza feels it won't be just showers of rain but
tourists too who will pour into Goa for the
remainder of the monsoon. Besides dealers'
conferences and incentive tours, honeymooning
couples and young executives are flocking to Goa.
"For July and August, inquiries are coming in. In
August and September, occupancies will definitely
pick up," he said.
slams 'mining-friendly' BJP govt
Jun 30, 2012
out at the South Goa collector's reversion of the
monsoon ban on ore transportation, Fatorda MLA Vijai
Sardesai said this reeked of the government
succumbing to the mining lobby's demands.
"This government will do favours to the mining
lobby," he said, alleging a prominent mining firm
had contributed to the election coffers of parties-"
2 crore to Congress, 1.75 crore to BJP and smaller
amounts to state units of NCP and Trinamool
"The ban (on ore transportation in some parts of Goa)
was initially imposed to prevent accidents during
the monsoon. After the Goa mineral ore exporters'
association made a representation to the government
to allow transportation of only lumpy ore the
decision was reversed. Which makes the common man
ask: does this mean trucks carrying lumpy ore do not
cause accidents? Will such accidents cease to
occur?" asked Sardesai.
Further slamming the government's decision to
auction mining dumps, Sardesai said the
pro-environment should not keep hope in the
mining-friendly BJP government.
"The plan to auction mining dumps in government
lands, which incidentally are located in forests,
amounts to a total U-turn by the parivartan BJP
government and its environment minister Alina
Saldanha," said Sardesai.
He pointed out that Saldanha had publicly stated
that she would not allow an inch of forest land to
be given to mining. "The government decision will
totally affect the forests' ecosystems," Sardesai
Parrikar's fellow techies to the rescue?
Jul 1, 2012
Panaji: A Goa-specific
and need-based software to detect mining fraud, its
implementation, information technology to introduce
automation in Goa's village Panchayats, a
10-megawatt solar powered plant for Goa and several
other such proposals are among those being discussed
by chief minister Manohar Parrikar with members of
the IIT Bombay alumni association (IITBAA) in a
two-day all-chapter conclave in Goa.
The conclave, with eminent IIT alumni from across
the globe participating, will dwell on prioritizing,
revitalizing and developing sectors that were
The alumni association has already received
proposals on various fronts that could be
implemented in Goa. For example, the 10 MW solar
powered plant proposed in Goa is by an entrepreneur
who is already participating in the solar-powered
park project in Gujarat. While that falls in the
energy sector, another proposal in the field of
education looks at new ways of teaching science to
children. Yet another proposal in the social sector
involves detecting narcotics abuse through
scientific abuse. Also, in healthcare, there is a
proposal for economical dialysis for failed kidney
Speaking on the initiative, Shridhar Shukla,
chairman of IITBAA, said that for the
out-of-the-box-thinking IIT Bombay alumni community,
this partnership is a great opportunity to make a
difference. "For IITBAA, this is a historic moment
and we're thrilled to be part of it," he said.
Screening the proposals, Dinar Bhatkar, alumnus and
a Goa chapter leader along with Bakul Desai,
director IITBAA, said, "Each of these proposals has
been carefully shortlisted by the IITBAA keeping in
mind the larger picture of building a progressive
society through robust and transparent methods that
enable even big institutions and the wealthy to
conduct themselves responsibly and make
contributions for the common good."
All the entrepreneurs who have come to present their
proposals will interact with Parrikar in special
one-to-one sessions on both days of the conclave.
IITBAA also plans to create a structure for whetting
future proposals with recommendations and ensuring
follow-up action with the government of Goa.
IITBAA's Bangalore chapter is also running a
highly-successful initiative known as VKC (village
knowledge centre). This initiative of spreading
computer literacy and e-enabling rural areas will
also be showcased to Parrikar. "If this initiative
can be replicated in Go with due patronage from the
state government, it will open up the possibility of
starting this initiative in all the IITBAA chapters
and make it visible enough to seek support from
governments, NGOs and volunteers across India,"
IITBAA members opined.
Forum 2012 seeks to woo investors to the state
Krish Fernandes, TNN | Jun 30, 2012, 06.38PM IST
Panaji: Aimed at
wooing investors to the state, the Goa Investment
Forum 2012 was held in Panaji today with leading
executives from major companies in attendance.
The day-long conference organised by the Goa Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in association with
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FICCI) and Government of Goa began with
the chief minster Manohar Parrikar holding a
closed-door breakfast meeting with CEOs of leading
companies. The breakfast meeting was held to
facilitate one-to-one discussions between the chief
minister and the CEOs on proposed new projects
informed Manguirish Pai Raikar, president of GCCI.
Parrikar then formally inaugurated the Forum in the
presence of industries minister Mahadev Naik, power
minister Milind Naik, and tourism minister Dilip
Parulekar among other government officials.
The chief minister assured investors that the
policies of the government will be clear,
transparent and time-bound. He also promised to put
in place a single window clearance system.
R V Kanoria, president of FICCI said "FICCI will
continue to lend its support to Goa" and hoped the
state would emerge as the "best state in the
Pai Raikar expressed hope that Goa would soon see
economic growth in the state, as a result of the
buoyant perception among investors. Over 100
representatives of companies and institutions from
the IT and IT-enabled Services, pharmaceutical and
bio-technology, entertainment and education sectors
attended the Forum.
Among the companies in attendance were Accenture,
Wipro, Persistent Systems, Tech Mahindra, Mastek
Ltd, WNS Global Services, Indoco Remedies Ltd,
Airsonic Travels, Essel Group, Royal Orchid Hotels
Ltd and Ranbaxy Pharma.
called upon to invest in the state's development
Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN |
Jul 1, 2012, 07.21PM IST
Wilfred Mesquita, Goa Commissioner for NRI Affairs,
has said that Goa Government will encourage
non-resident Goans to participate in the state's
development. He also assured the NRGs that the Goa
government will also ensure protection to their
property and interest in the state.
Dr Mesquita, was speaking at the 23rd Annual General
Meeting of the Goan Welfare Association at
Hyderabad, on Sunday.
The NRI Commissioner said that Goenkars around the
world have risen to the pinnacle of name, fame and
glory and many of them have amassed wealth.
"Therefore, Goa beacons its sons and daughters to
share their intellectual resources in a big or even
small measure with mother Goa. Goa chief minister
Manohar Parrikar has promised a single-window
clearance system soon for investors,"" Dr Mesquita
said. He said, batting for investments from NRGs,
that this has created an atmosphere conducive for
quick and transparent approvals, sanctions, and
quick redressal of grievances in the state.
Dr Mesquita seized the opportunity to inform Goans
all over the world that Parrikar has launched a
web-based land records system known as Darnakash,
which will enable the Goans anywhere in the world to
view map outlines of properties in Goa and even
print them after making the necessary payments.
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