Goa to probe
if excessive mining causing cracks in houses
Thursday, July 26th 2012, 07:21 AM
Panaji, July 26 -
After cracks developed in land and houses of
a town in Goa, the state government has suspended
mining in the area and ordered a detailed
investigation to see if excessive mining caused the
damages, a minister said Thursday.
In a written reply tabled in the Goa legislative
assembly, Revenue Minister Francis D'Souza said that
cracks had developed in the land and houses located
within the municipal area of Barajan Nagar in
Bicholim, 35 km from here. It has a population of
The minister said mining in the area has been
suspended and the Goa government has ordered a probe
"The site was inspected by a team of officers headed
by the deputy collector and sub-divisional officer
and comprising of officials from the director
general of mines safety, water resources department,
police and Sesa Goa Corporation," D'Souza said.
"The report of deputy collector suggested stopping
the mining activities in the said area until
detailed investigations are carried out by expert
agencies such as Geological Survey of India and the
same is under consideration of the government," the
Excessive mining near habitation areas and
transportation of ore through populated regions over
the last few years have resulted in a sustained
conflict between civil society on the one side and
administration and the mining industry on the other.
Goa exports over 50 million tonnes of ore annually.
According to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, 40 out
of the 100 odd operational mines are functioning
Affordable housing: no easy way out over a vexing
problem (Eduardo Faleiro)
Eduardo Faleiro |
There is a genuine concern in Goa about the
non-availability of land to the sons of the soil,
particularly those belonging to the lower and middle
income groups. In Panjim and some other areas, the
cost of land may go up to Rs 100,000 per square
metre and in Salcete, Bardez and Tiswadi no land
below Rs. 2000 per square metre is available except
perhaps in some very remote areas.
The Supreme Court of India has pronounced in several
judgements that the State has a duty to provide
adequate facilities for shelter to every citizen so
that the fundamental right to life is meaningful. In
Goa, a special provision under Article 371 of the
Constitution was sought for this purpose. Neither
the Union Government nor the main Opposition Party
agreed to the demand. However, the State Government
itself can take several measures to provide
Why are prices of land so high in Goa? One of the
reasons is the large scale purchase of land by
outsiders. In July 2007, Government disclosed in our
Legislative Assembly that as per the records of the
Land Registrar, 562 foreigners from 27 countries had
bought 21.44 lakh sq mts of land in Bardez
taluka during the previous three years.
In Salcete, within the same period, 482 foreigners
from 22 countries purchased 12.44 lakh sq mts of
land. Most of the other talukas have witnessed a
similar sharp rise in the number of foreigners
buying land in Goa. Morjim is now known as 'little
Moscow' and Arambol might well be named 'little
According to RBI guidelines, foreigners can acquire
immovable property in India only if the concerned
individual has established a place of business in
this country according to FERA or FEMA, the property
is necessary to carry such business and all
applicable laws, rules, regulations and directions
have been duly complied with. It is reported,
however, that many foreigners evade these
The National Security Council Secretariat has
cautioned that real estate projects by foreigners in
Goa might include drug trafficking, gun running and
prostitution and that some foreign drug cartels are
attempting to turn Goa into a base for their
activities. Government should scrutinize all land
deals by foreigners and if they find any illegality,
confiscate the property and impose punishment on the
offender and his local associates, if any.
The economic benefits as well as the social costs of
tourism need to be evaluated. It is necessary to
formulate a development strategy which provides
employment to our people whilst being less dependent
Another reason for the high cost of land is
inadequate implementation of the Industrial Policy.
According to the Goa Industrial Policy, "the mission
of the Industrial Policy is above all to create
sustainable employment for the local youth in the
State". This does not appear to have been achieved
to any significant extent, though large tracks of
land and other facilities are provided to
Information Technology enterprises seem to be the
most suitable for the youth of Goa in view of the
rather high literacy rate in this State. IT
industries require smart work rather than hard
physical work. These are the industries of the
Knowledge Society and they will continue to grow.
Affordable housing is a most important concern
across the world. Planning mandates in the United
Kingdom have generated 20 to 30 percent of all
affordable units built over the last decade. South
Africa distributes free plots for houses to its
poorest income group. Singapore provides public
housing for more than 80 percent of its population.
In India, in Rajasthan for example, the State
Government makes available thousands of houses as
well as plots to people belonging to different
income groups. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has
proposed that the statutory right to shelter should
be included in the forthcoming Five Year Plan.
In Goa, an Action Plan needs to be drawn to provide
affordable housing to the average Goan. It will
require an efficient Housing Board, interest rate
subsidies and other financial devices to make
housing affordable to all.
(The writer is a former
Goa will not
get power from Kaiga, says Manohar Parrikar
TNN Jul 28, 2012, 04.35AM
minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that Goa
will not get power from the Kaiga nuclear plant at
Karwar, even as he said two companies have
approached the government to set up a gas-based
power plant in Goa.
Power minister Milind Naik said the government
intends to undertake underground cabling in the
state at the cost of 20,000 crore over the next five
Intervening in the discussion on demands for grants,
Parrikar said that Goa is a member of the western
grid and Kaiga is in the southern region. "Hence,
Goa will not get power
The Kaiga issue was raised by Dabolim MLA Mauvin
Godinho, who wondered why Goa is not getting power
from the nuclear station when it is so close to Goa.
He said that the state government should approach
the Centre on the grounds that Goa would be a
casualty if there is an accident at Kaiga.
On the gas-based power plant, Parrikar said that one
company has approached him while the other has
indicated to the department that they're ready to
set up the plant. "We'll have to see who can give us
the cheapest power," he added. He was referring to
the project of Gail which will come up in Sancoale.
The power minister, Naik, said that underground
cabling would be taken up on priority in coastal
areas and towns including Porvorim. Stating that the
cost would be around 10,000 crore, he said that if
the state goes in for dedicated trenches, the cost
Members cutting across party lines drew the
attention of the government to the electricity
department issuing bills after 3-4 months. The
minister said that there is shortage of meter
Others in the house too said that the government has
failed to detect power theft, especially in Cuncolim
and Kundaim industrial estates, by power guzzlers.
One MLA demanded insurance to people whose domestic
appliances get burnt because of voltage
fluctuations. Aldona MLA Glenn Ticlo demanded a
24-hour complaints section. Members also said that
when lights go off, the department phones either
kept off the hook or are found busy.
To a query from Nuvem MLA Francisco 'Mickky' Pacheco
regarding recruitments just before the election code
came into force, the power minister agreed to his
demand for a inquiry.
Responding to Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal's question,
Naik said instructions would be issued to provide
power supply to Sal village which is currently
getting power from Maharashtra. The village is
excessively-billed by the neighbouring state.
Naik also said that the central allocation of power
to Goa is around 462 MW. Besides, Goa receives 17 MW
from Ratnagiri, 12-16 MW from Reliance and 20 MW
from cogeneration power plant. In 2017, the power
requirement will be around 825 MW, he said.
Minister Manohar Parrikar talks tough on new liquor
TNN | Jul 29, 2012,
next month, the state government will put a freeze
on all new liquor licences for both, retail as well
as wholesale outlets, in residential colonies in Goa,
chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.
Parrikar was speaking at an event to celebrate
Statistics Day at the Kala Academy, Panaji, at a
function organized by the department of planning,
statistics and evaluation (DPSE).
Citing statistics provided by DPSE, Parrikar said he
was "shocked" and " disturbed" to learn that there
are over 30,000 widows in Goa. He said that a small
percentage of these will be due to road accidents
and other phenomena claiming the lives of men.
Parrikar said that the figure of deaths cannot be
fudged. He added that a large percentage of deaths
in Goa are because of alcohol abuse and that the
figure of 30,000 indicates that Goa has a serious
social problem to be addressed.
The freeze on new liquor licences on retail and
wholesale outlets in residential colonies is the
government's attempt to reduce the problem.
Parrikar praised the work of the DPSE, saying that
though the department is not seen in the frontline
of public service, it is valuable data and
statistics that the department provides, which helps
the government to frame policies for the people. He
recalled how information provided by the department
had helped him eliminate a problem in schools some
He said he was puzzled by a report of the
comptroller auditor general (CAG) which criticized
the low distribution of raincoats to students in
government schools. Data showed that there were
about 1.12 lakh students enrolling from Classes I to
IV in schools. But information from DPSE showed that
Goa's birth rate was in the range of 20,000.
Armed with this knowledge, Parrikar investigated how
primary schools had enrollment of 1.12 lakh. He
found that teachers were simply enrolling names to
show a large number of students in their schools so
that they would not be transferred to other
locations. It was information by the DPSE that
helped him eliminate a problem in Goan schools,
In his welcome speech, DPSE director Anand Sherkhane
reiterated his department's resolve to identifying
the state's problems, designing appropriate studies,
analyzing the data and suggesting corrective
measures. He said that though Statistics Day is
normally celebrated to commemorate the birth
anniversary of Prof P C Mahalanobis on June 29, it
had to be postponed to July 28.
The Times of India
Goanet Reader: Rule of One
(Devika Sequeira, in Herald
Devika Sequeira |
An intriguing story has been doing the buzz in media
circles here. An ambitious new BJP minister from
South Goa who accepted a gift for an official favour
received a visit from a party functionary. Acting on
instructions from the chief minister, the BJP man
asked the embarrassed minister to make over the
'gifted' amount to the party treasury.
The shamed politician also received a signed receipt
for the Rs 50,000. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's
admirers -- currently they are legion -- see this as
yet another example of his unimpeachable integrity
and resolve to keep his band in line. To his
critics, these are glaring instances of the
second-time CM's obsessive need to crack the whip to
show who calls the shots.
After years of fragmented governance (two power
changes to be precise since Parrikar's 2000-2004
stint) "we have a single power centre and a modicum
of sanity in administration", a senior bureaucrat
tells me. He sees this as "good for Goa". Another
official who was regularly kicked around in the
whimsical administrative shifts and reshuffles -- a
ploy used by most politicians to keep state civil
servants on a leash -- also expresses relief that
"there is someone in command -- at last".
Surprisingly, the praise for the new chief minister
is also tempered with a large degree of uneasiness
among those in his administration, just four months
after his takeover. At the core of this is the
question of his sincerity to his new "secular"
avatar given his quiet yet resolute moves to
delegate key institutional positions to men who are
deeply saffron or Saraswat or both, and the extent
of his commitment to the stack of pre-electoral
"His body language may have changed, but has his
ideology?" a former Congress minister who has rubbed
shoulders with Parrikar for years, asks. The
question is relevant to those on both sides of the
Among the mostly faceless line-up of new BJP
legislators the politically travelled Vishnu Wagh
stands out and is the only one willing to speak
candidly: The chief minister is a far more
accommodating politician than he was earlier, he
"I can understand his compulsion on the medium of
instruction (MoI). It was a promise he had to keep,
and some compromise was to be expected." But Wagh
sees little clarity in Parrikar's MoI decision
favouring Diocesan schools. Will it continue or is
there a time-frame for the assistance? BJP cadres
are not happy, he says, and within the RSS there is
even more resentment over the decision.
Conceding that Parrikar is on tricky gradient on the
mining issue, the BJP MLA says "one doesn't get the
picture that the government is tackling it with an
iron hand". The chief minister's twists and turns on
mining in the current session of the state assembly
lend credence to the suspicion that having used the
issue politically to shame and sink the Digambar
Kamat government, the BJP leader is likely to adopt
a far more forgiving approach with the cash-rich
mining marauders now that he is at the wheel.
"Don't forget," one of his bureaucrats stresses,
"that at least five BJP MLAs (Nilesh Cabral, Ganesh
Gaonkar, Subhash Phaldesai among others) have
interests in the iron ore export business". Mining
and casino funds fuelled a large dose of the March 3
election campaign and its fallout is showing on
government policy, he says.
One of the biggest advantages of the clear mandate
is that Parrikar can be his own man. In his previous
stint as chief minister he was hampered by the pulls
and counter-pulls of coalition politics, says UGDP
leader Radharao Gracias. With the Cabinet in his
control and the likes of the Dhavlikars in check,
Gracias expects we'll see "more and more" of
Parrikar and less and less of his other Cabinet
colleagues. Even a senior minister like Francis
D'Souza, the number two in the ministry line-up, is
hardly seen, he points out.
Parrikar makes a good administrator, but he is so
distrusting of his colleagues and their abilities to
perform in government to the point of being
contemptuous, Wagh believes. "He looks down on
others. I've never seen him taking advice from
anyone," he says. The chief minister's compulsive
need to be in absolute control, vet every file and
make every decision, is a major irritant for his
officials. One of them said he had been waiting days
for an appointment with the overburdened head
of government, even though there were urgent matters
With a judicious mix of accommodation and ideology,
Manohar Parrikar has managed to reinvent his
political persona pre-March 3, cultivating the image
of a balanced politician and new-found champion of
the minorities (read Catholics). How much of this is
genuine and how much political posturing to harness
Catholic votes for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections will
become clear in the months to come. Within his party
there are signs of discomfort over the increasing
influence of RSS Saraswats. "The bahujan samaj
accounts for the BJP's biggest share of votes.
Parrikar should never forget that," Gracias says.
The Church which cozied up to saffron in this
election is also playing a wait and watch game.
"It's apparent that things are not as rosy as they
appeared," says Fr Savio Fernandes, executive
secretary Council for Social Justice and Peace. The
lack of transparency in government decisions and the
concentration of power in one man's hands were
worrying trends, he felt.
"I had problems satisfying the demands of my
constituency. The public's expectations of this
government are very high. How will they deliver?"
former Congress minister Vishwajit Rane wonders.
The challenge is before Manohar Parrikar.
Prayers and politics
It is no secret that the Goa Church has been openly
political. It has often rallied on social issues,
willing to take these quite literally to the streets
on several instances in the past. What however is so
striking are the individual Church voices that have
so openly been raised to promote the return of the
BJP against the eloquent silence of the Hindu
Fr Eremito Rebello, rector of the Joseph Vaz
institute in Sancoale will most famously be
remembered for his highly political homily during
the funeral of Matanhy Saldanha. Rebello's speech,
an embarrassment that had secular people squirm in
their seats that day, practically dictated the
course of a byelection in which several candidates
were bought off.
"Why do priests involve themselves in politics?"
Jose Philip D'Souza wonders. The former NCP minister
is upset that after having put himself out for the
parish priest of Vasco, helping in church repairs
and other works, Fr Jose Antonio Costa campaigned so
actively against him.
All the CM's Men
Unlike countless governments that have preceded this
one, Manohar Parrikar's Cabinet team is largely
Francis D'Souza, Dayanand Mandrekar and the MGP's
Sudin Dhavlikar are the only ministers to have been
in government in the past. But that, apparently, is
not the reason the chief minister relies so little
on his Cabinet colleagues.
An A team of close confidants functions virtually as
a Super Cabinet, say BJP insiders. Within the core
group around Parrikar are Satish Dhond, Narendra
Sawaikar and Dattaprasad Kholkar, all RSS
men, fairly young and unflinching in their dedica
tion to the saffron cause. The three function as key
advisors to the CM and pointsmen in matters
Seen as the virtual No 2 in this government, Dhond
prefers to play the political game from the shadows,
calling the shots from behind the scenes,
orchestrating street agitations and party strategy.
His name stood out prominently in the Curchorem
riots case. It was doing the rounds recently when
Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado appeared to be
veering toward the Vijai Sardessai pressure group.
Dhond is credited with having corralled him back to
the BJP stable.
Narendra Sawaikar who's replaced Ramakant Khalap as
chairman of the state's Law Commission contested and
lost a Lok Sabha poll. A close aide of Parrikar's
for years, Sawaikar has in recent weeks been
assigned a more public relations role with the token
Catholic face Wilfred Mesquita somewhat sidelined
after the election. Also out from the shadows is
businessman Dattaprasad Kholkar who the chief
minister has elevated to the position of deputy
chairman State Planning Commission.
Kholkar's credentials for the post have more to do
with his caste and loyalty to the right of centre
ideology than real competence, the more liberal BJP
members feel. The Insiders Club has become a source
of friction within the larger BJP group which
resents that senior partymen like Damu Naik and
Govind Parvatkar have been deliberately ignored.
Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni who has cultivated
connections across the political spectrum and also
represented some of the biggest mining companies and
hotel groups is another key advisor Parrikar relies
on, say sources close to him. Nadkarni was advocate
general during the Sardinha government's stint and
in the earlier Parrikar-led coalition.
Apart from the political movers and shakers who are
a part of his inner circle, Parrikar relies heavily
on a handful of officials to act as his ears and
messengers. His quick decision to pull in Prasad
Lolayekar and Michael D'Souza as OSDs (officers on
special duty) to the CM did not go unnoticed.
Reliable, honest and efficient, Lolayekar, director
Art and Culture has managed to steer clear of
politics and stay with the job. D'Souza who heads
the department of Science, Technology and
Environment has become the chief minister's most
dependable asset, affording him quiet access to the
Church's views on the medium of instruction and
other crucial matters. Sources in the government
credit the self-effacing official, known to have
been close to Parrikar even through Congress rule,
with helping the BJP CM steer through the MoI
(medium of instruction) mine-field. -- Devika
Sequeira in the Herald Review, Goa, July 22, 2012.
Comunidades, English Translation
Frederick FN Noronha
fredericknoronha1 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 28 09:54:19 PDT 2012
There's an official translation -- into English --
of this, a copy of which was shared with me by Anand
Salgaokar <anand.salgaokar at gmail.com> for which,
See the document here
A PDF of the document, the full 237 pages, can be
downloaded by those who have a Facebook Account
image for .pdf excerpts
Russian and Israeli tourists from forming enclaves
Indian tourist resort of Goa will not allow the
existence of private enclaves created by foreigners,
especially Russian and Israeli tourists.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state
legislative assembly that from the coming tourist
session starting in October, the monopoly of any
area by the foreign nationals will not be tolerated.
There have been many complaints in the past against
the presence of so called restricted areas. Most of
them are located in the villages in north Goa.
Entire neighbourhoods in many of these beach
villages have become virtually foreign territories
where the entry of locals is banned or heavily
Foreigners on long visas even business visas have
bought rows of houses in particular areas to create
such enclaves. There have also been scuffles between
locals and foreigners over the issue.
To express his seriousness Parrikar also warned that
the hotels and beach shacks, which serve exclusively
to foreigners could lose their trade licences. From
now on all their signboards have to be in the local
language Konkani or English. Currently many of them
use only Russian or Hebrew to serve exclusive
The so called foreign enclaves have existed for many
years and are the known centres of drug abuse and
its trading. Despite many efforts the authorities
have not been able to tackle the problem.
Russian and Israeli tourists in particular are known
to have all kinds of vices and are known to over
indulge when they arrive in large numbers around
Christmas and NewYear and disturb the peace of the
Every year Goa attracts two million tourists many of
whom stay for months in their respective enclaves.
The session that starts in October lasts up to
Courtesy : Press TV
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