Govt makes badge, 15-yr domicile, police clearance mandatory for taxi operators

NT NETWORK Vasco The directorate of transport has made mandatory having taxi badge, 15 years domicile and police clearance for all the taxi operators in the state and the circular in this effect has come into force from October 16. Briefing media about the circular issued by the directorate of transport on Wednesday, the Minister …

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The directorate of transport has made mandatory having taxi badge, 15 years domicile and police clearance for all the taxi operators in the state and the circular in this effect has come into force from October 16.

Briefing media about the circular issued by the directorate of transport on Wednesday, the Minister for Transport Mauvin Godinho said that “by making the taxi badge, 15 years domicile and police clearance norm mandatory, a step in the right direction has been taken to protect Goa and Goenkarpon, thereby ensuring opportunities to the sons of the soil in the taxi
business.”

He said that the state government superseded/withdrew the earlier circular/ judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Mukund Dewangan v/s Oriental Insurance Company Ltd in civil appeal delivered on July 3, 2017 and issued a new circular on October 16 wherein the taxi drivers need to apply for a badge, have 15 years domicile certificate and police clearance.

 “The consequence of issuing new circular will be that Goans will remain in the taxi business. I had given assurance in the Assembly of examining the judgment of the Supreme Court wherein it was misinterpreted by the law department,” he said.

“All taxi operators compulsorily need to apply for a badge, 15-year domicile and also for the police clearance wherein the transport authorities will give sufficient time to get the formalities done,” he maintained.

Sanitary pad incinerators to be installed in schools, colleges

NT NETWORK Panaji In a bid to help treat sanitary waste and give a push to menstrual hygiene, the Goa State Urban Development Agency has invited private bids for supply and installation of sanitary pad incinerators with warranty and on-site maintenance support for three years in 147 schools and colleges of the state. The work …

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In a bid to help treat sanitary waste and give a push to menstrual hygiene, the Goa State Urban Development Agency has invited private bids for supply and installation of sanitary pad incinerators with warranty and on-site maintenance support for three years in 147 schools and colleges of the state.

The work will be tendered for a total of 349 sanitary pad incinerator units, however, initially only five units will be installed, commissioned and reviewed by a technical committee and if these machines are found to be working then the remaining 344 units will be installed within 120 days.

These five units will be installed in selected schools and colleges for trial checks including Goa College of Architecture at Altinho, Our Lady of Grace High School in Bicholim, St Andrews Higher Secondary in Vaddem, Deepvihar High School at Headland-Sada and Mahila & Nutan English High School at Comba.

The work for installation of 349 sanitary pad incinerator units is estimated to cost Rs 89.04 lakh and after finalisation of bidder, the units will be installed in 120 days which will begin from November for which the GSUDA has already obtained NoC from education department for installation of such units in educational institutions.

However, so far, six companies, including a startup, have submitted technical bids and they include Alterenergyz, Tendril Products, Oasis Scientific Technologies, Inovativa Waste Aid and Management Private Limited, Eltech Electro Designs and Energy Systems Pvt Ltd and Indotech Industrial Solutions Pvt Ltd.

The qualifying bids of the technical evaluation process shall only be considered for further evaluation of financial bid. The financial bid will be opened in the presence of the technically qualified bidders/ designated representatives on October 25.

The last date and time of online submission of tender is October 22 and on the same day technical bid will be opened.

According to the tender document, the intending bidders should be an original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) or an authorised system integrator (reseller/distributor/dealer) for sale, support and service of the OEM in India. NABL certifications will be pre-qualification criteria for bidder for the purpose of quoting in this tender.

Electricity dept warns of action against use of generators sans permission

NT NETWORK Panaji Stating that the use of power generators without permission is illegal, the state electricity department on Wednesday warned of initiating action against those resorting to such practice. The department has made mandatory for all consumers to have prior permission from the concerned electrical inspector before commissioning of the domestic generator (DG) set …

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Panaji

Stating that the use of power generators without permission is illegal, the state electricity department on Wednesday warned of initiating action against those resorting to such practice.

The department has made mandatory for all consumers to have prior permission from the concerned electrical inspector before commissioning of the domestic generator (DG) set in homes, firms, shops, hotels, factories, etc.

The department has said that as per the Indian Electricity (IE) Rules, 1956, no consumer or occupier can commission a generator of a capacity exceeding 10KW without approval in writing of the department.

 “The supplier of the generator has to maintain a record of test results obtained at each supply point to the consumer, in a form to be approved by the inspector. If as a result of such inspection and test, the supplier is satisfied that the installation is likely to constitute danger, he shall serve on the applicant a notice in writing requiring him to make such modifications as necessary to render the installation safe. The supplier may refuse to connect or reconnect the supply until the required modifications have been completed and he has been notified by the applicant,” read the IE rules.

The rules also define precautions against leakages that may occur that is “the supplier shall not connect with his works the installation or apparatus on the premises of any applicant for supply unless he is reasonably satisfied that -the connection will not, at the time of making the connection, cause a leakage from the installation or apparatus of a magnitude detrimental to safety.”

Chief electrical engineer Reshma Mathew has urged the consumers to abide by the rules and regulation for their own safety and also the safety of people residing in the area or else face action by the department.

“Even if small generators are installed, the consumers should ensure its safety and see that the supply is not back-fed to our system or else it becomes a problem for our linesman and poses a risk to their lives,” she said.

The department has observed that the generator sets, which are installed by the domestic, commercial consumers as well as industrial consumers without taking prior approval from the competent authority, are illegal.

Hence, the department has asked all the stakeholders to regularise their generator equipment which have been installed without obtaining permission/approval of the competent authority within the next three months.

VPs to comply with solid waste rules before issuing construction licenses

NT NETWORK Vasco The directorate of panchayats has laid down restrictions on the issuance of construction licenses and occupancy certificates to multi-dwelling and commercial projects in all the village panchayat jurisdictions across the state until the panchayats comply with Solid and Liquid Waste Management Rules. Addressing a press conference in Dabolim on Wednesday, Panchayati Raj …

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The directorate of panchayats has laid down restrictions on the issuance of construction licenses and occupancy certificates to multi-dwelling and commercial projects in all the village panchayat jurisdictions across the state until the panchayats comply with Solid and Liquid Waste Management Rules.

Addressing a press conference in Dabolim on Wednesday, Panchayati Raj Minister Mauvin Godinho said that all the block development officers (BDOs) have come to a decision to put restrictions on village panchayats when it comes to exercising powers to issue construction licenses and occupancy certificates until the local bodies comply with norms under the Solid and Liquid Waste Management Rules.

“All the BDOs have been directed to impose restrictions on the issuance of construction licenses and occupancy certificates by the village panchayats within the state in case of multi-dwelling residential projects having more than 4 units and commercial projects having 200 square metres or above total built-up area till the panchayats fulfill the Solid and Liquid Waste Management norms and the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT),” Godinho said.

Govt drops idea of having Margao bus stand project on PPP model

NT NETWORK Panaji Dropping the idea of taking up the construction work of new bus stand in Margao on public-private partnership basis, the state government has decided to take up the project through its own funds. The discussion on taking forward the new bus stand project in Margao was held in a meeting at Secretariat, …

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Dropping the idea of taking up the construction work of new bus stand in Margao on public-private partnership basis, the state government has decided to take up the project through its own
funds.

The discussion on taking forward the new bus stand project in Margao was held in a meeting at Secretariat, which was chaired by the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. The meeting was attended by the Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, Leader of Opposition and Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, chairman of Kadamba Transport Corporation Carlos Almeida and officials of Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC).

Speaking to media after the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the ambitious project of constructing the new bus stand in Margao would be taken up in a phased manner.

“We have dropped the idea of having the project on PPP model. The bus stand project in Margao would be taken up in a phased manner. The first phase will comprise of bus stand and parking facility which will be costing Rs 70 crore,” he said.

Sawant informed that the work of rest of the phases would be taken up later, adding that, the bus stand will be built on the existing structure and a revenue model has been worked out by way of leasing out shops under the project.

Meanwhile, a primary discussion was held on the Sonsoddo garbage issue on Wednesday between the Chief Minister Sawant, Waste Management Minister Michael Lobo, Margao and Fatorda MLAs.

In order to find out permanent solution to Sonsoddo garbage dump issue, the government has decided to hold a crucial meeting of the high powered committee headed by the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant before October 25.

The Minister Lobo informed that a discussion on Sonsoddo issue was held in the meeting that took place between him, the Chief Minister and Fatorda MLA.

“Chief Minister has said that he will convene a meeting of the high-powered committee before October 25,” he added.

State all set to host Vibrant Goa summit from today

NT NETWORK Panaji With close to 500 individuals involved in coordinating, assisting and pre-event planning, the state is all set to host the mega, three-day Vibrant Goa global summit from October 17- 19. Organisers have roped in around 400 senior students from local colleges, the engineering institutes and Goa University (GU) as ‘buddies’, who are …

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With close to 500 individuals involved in coordinating, assisting and pre-event planning, the state is all set to host the mega, three-day Vibrant Goa global summit from October 17- 19.

Organisers have roped in around 400 senior students from local colleges, the engineering institutes and Goa University (GU) as ‘buddies’, who are escorting international delegates from the time of their arrival at the airport to the venue – the S P Mukherjee Stadium at Taleigao Plateau.

Every international delegate is assigned a ‘buddy’ to facilitate their stay in the state. Buddies have been given training in training sessions conducted at the auditorium of GU to act as guides. All buddies sport distinctive t-shirts sporting the Vibrant Goa logo.

Around 530 international delegates are expected to attend the trade summit, most of who have already arrived in the state and have been accommodated in six hotels. The domestic visitors, estimated at around 2,000, are yet to arrive in full strength and are expected in groups. Most of the delegates will be in the state for the entire duration of the three-day summit with several expected to extend their stay, said the organisers. 

The state’s first Vibrant Summit aims to attract investments and showcase Goa as a destination for business. “Conceptualised on the lines of similar vibrant summits held in other states, its objective is to give the Goan businessmen an

opportunity to seek new trading partners and forge collaborations, joint ventures with outside companies,” said Manoj Patil, member of the event managing committee. 

Local self-help groups (SHGs) have been given a special place in the trade expo with around 80 SHGs expected to participate in the summit by displaying their products in the stalls. The state government also has several stalls at the event.

The summit will have 25 knowledge series lectures addressed by around 86 speakers. The lectures are aimed at helping Indian and Goan diaspora set up units in foreign countries. In addition, there will be B2B sessions, sector-specific panel discussions and booths set up by local companies. The opening function on Day 1 will have a battery of speakers with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant inaugurating an investor booklet.

The state hopes to attract investment through the Vibrant Summit with special focus on tourism-related projects, IT industry, education hub, construction, shipbuilding and green industry. Sports, wellness and entertainment are other focus areas where the government is anticipating investments.   

Lightning claims 2 lives as thundershowers lash state

NT NETWORK Panaji/Margao Lightning claimed two lives in the state even as many parts of the state received thundershowers accompanied by gusty winds on Wednesday. A 43-year-old woman from Barcem in South Goa, who was proceeding home through fields along with another woman, collapsed all of a sudden and became unconscious after lightning struck the fields. She was …

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Lightning claimed two lives in the state even as many parts of the state received thundershowers accompanied by gusty winds on Wednesday.

A 43-year-old woman from Barcem in South Goa, who was proceeding home through fields along with another woman, collapsed all of a sudden and became unconscious after lightning struck the fields. She was later declared dead at the Balli health centre.

In another case, a 28-year-old construction worker reportedly died on the spot after lightning struck him while he was working at an under-construction building in Old Goa. Police have identified the deceased as Bajrangi Ravidas from Jharkhand and registered a case of unnatural death.

Though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday confirmed that the southwest monsoon has withdrawn from the country, Goa is expected to receive light to moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm till Sunday. The rainfall is a result of the extreme heating of land during daytime, said the weather department.

According to the meteorological centre in the state, thunder and lightning activity has intensified since Tuesday due to the cyclonic circulation over east central Arabian Sea off the South Karnataka coast. The state has been witnessing thundershowers accompanied by lightning and gusty winds at a few places and this is likely to continue till October 20.

Cuncolim police disclosed the name of the woman from Barcem as Pushpa Tilu Velip. They said that a case of unnatural death has been registered and the dead body has been sent to the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC) in Bambolim for postmortem examination.

According to the police, there were no injuries on the woman’s body to claim that she died as a result of lightning striking her. Postmortem examination report will throw more light on the cause of death, said police.

A senior police officer said that the deceased was a fruit vendor and had been to Barcem in connection with her occupation. The officer said that while returning home, it was raining heavily and she collapsed as lightning struck the fields. The officer added that she was shifted by the woman accompanying her, with help from villagers, to the Balli health centre where she was declared dead.

According to the IMD, the rainfall received in October is called post-monsoon and since October 1, rainfall has not been up to the mark with an overall deficit of 17 per cent.

Over the next four days, Goa is likely to experience partly cloudy skies. Temperatures remained slightly higher than normal in the state on Monday at nearly 3 degree Celcius above normal resulting in the heating of land thus attracting rain clouds.

“Few spells of evening thundershowers are possible this week, mainly due to the excessive heating of the ground during the daytime. Clouds are developing due to an increase in the temperature and thunderstorm formation has been strong all this week. The maximum temperature is likely to be around 35.2 degree Celcius, three notches above normal,” an IMD official said.

Normally, between October 1 and October 15, monsoon starts withdrawing from the east central Arabian Sea and the adjoining Konkan coast. In 2018, monsoon was declared withdrawn on October 14 and in 2017, it withdrew on October 24. This year, withdrawal of monsoon from the country including from Goa was declared on October 16, making it the second most delayed withdrawal in recorded history.

Goa has received the maximum rainfall in recorded history during the official monsoon season from June to September this year shattering other records after receiving 3,943.8 mm of rain, about 968.2 mm more than what it normally receives from June 1.

The state also witnessed seven ‘heavy to very heavy rainy days’ (when the rainfall crossed over 100 mm within 24 hours).

The state recorded 34 per cent excess rainfall this monsoon season, breaking the past ten-year-old record even though the southwest monsoon had set in over the state on June 20, after the longest delay of 14 days.

Meanwhile, fire personnel attached to the Margao fire brigade were kept on their toes on Wednesday after trees got uprooted and came crashing down on roads in Salcete taluka. The fire station office in Margao attended to seven calls in the evening after rain lashed Salcete followed by lightning. 

The first incident occurred at Betalbatim where a tree got uprooted and came crashing down on a road, while at Mungul, a mango tree fell on the main road. At Khareband in Margao, three trees including a coconut tree fell on the main road. At Benaulim near petrol pump, a tree came crashing down on a road while near a hotel in the heart Margao, an electric pole fell on a car causing damages.

Sources in the Margao fire station office said all the trees were removed and the roads cleared for smooth movement of traffic.    

Sunburn Klassique gets in-principle nod to hold EDM

NT NETWORK Panaji The state government on Wednesday granted in-principle approval to ‘Sunburn Klassique’ to hold an electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Goa at December-end. The interim approval has been granted to host the event on December 28, 29 and 30 at Vagator in North Goa. “We have today given in-principle approval to Sunburn …

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The state government on Wednesday granted in-principle approval to ‘Sunburn Klassique’ to hold an electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Goa at December-end.

The interim approval has been granted to host the event on December 28, 29 and 30 at Vagator in North Goa.

“We have today given in-principle approval to Sunburn Klassique to host the musical festival. The promoter of the event will now have to approach the state-level permission committee for further formalities,” said Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar while speaking to this daily.

He said that the promoter will not be granted the final approval if he fails to fulfil the criteria laid down by the government. He also said that no-objection certificates from the fire and emergency services, local bodies and other concerned authorities are mandatory.

“The promoters of the event are yet to clear a part of the previous dues. I have given instructions to my officers that all pending dues should be recovered before giving them the final approval to host the festival,” the minister said.

Govt waived 50% road tax without doing its homework

Panaji: The decision arrived at by the state cabinet to reduce road tax by 50 per cent on purchase of all types of motor vehicles for three months till December 31, 2019, is likely to hit the revenue of the state treasury with an estimated loss of over Rs 50-60 crore in the current fiscal …

Panaji: The decision arrived at by the state cabinet to reduce road tax by 50 per cent on purchase of all types of motor vehicles for three months till December 31, 2019, is likely to hit the revenue of the state treasury with an estimated loss of over Rs 50-60 crore in the current fiscal year.

It is pertinent to note that the state is currently facing a revenue generation crunch and the government has been making attempts to balance the financial situation by borrowing money from the market on regular basis though it is within the prescribed limit of 3 per cent of the gross state domestic product.

Sources told this daily that the government has stated in the cabinet note that the loss of revenue on account of reduction in the motor vehicle tax will be partly compensated by way of revenue through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected on induced sale of vehicles, caused by incentivising another tax.

The government has also justified in the note that there will be an additional Value Added Tax (VAT) collection on the sale of petrol and diesel which these newly purchased vehicles will use in the months to come, arguing that such a measure will benefit the economy but qualification in rupee cannot be done.

Interestingly, the sources also informed that the cabinet note clearly stated that there was no clearance for this proposal from the finance department. The note stated that the finance department had sought details of revenue loss to the government on account of reduction in the rate of road tax. The finance department had also questioned whether the reduced rate of tax would be compensated by a resultant increase in the sale of vehicles.

Moreover, according to the sources, the cabinet note stated that the Transport Minister had proposed to cut tax on motor vehicles from October 1 to December 31, 2019, considering the prevailing circumstances, and as per the assurance given in the last assembly session, it was approved by the Chief Minister and file returned to the department to be put up for notification for government approval and vetting by the law department with verbal instructions to put it up for cabinet approval post facto.

It also claimed that the proposal was vetted by the law department and the file was received with verbal instructions of the Secretary Finance to put it up for cabinet note as table item.

As far as the financial implication is concerned, sources said that the cabinet note maintained that currently the economy is sluggish and a push is needed to kick-start the economic activity by way of fiscal and non-fiscal measures. When a minister was contacted, he said that a copy was not circulated among the ministers present for the cabinet meeting. Hence, they were not aware about what exactly the proposal said.

As per data given by the transport department, the revenue receipts through road tax for the last five years were Rs 414.19 crore in 2014-15, Rs 223.26 crore in 2015-16, Rs 235.97 crore in 2016-17, Rs 292.02 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 181.02 in 2018-19, while in the current fiscal year up to August 2019, it is Rs 87.74 crore.

Tie-up opportunities for local companies at Vibrant Goa summit

PANAJI: With an aim to bridge the gap between the Goan industries and national as well as international players, a Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019 will be held in the state from October 17 to October 19 at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Taleigao. The summit will basically stress on …

PANAJI: With an aim to bridge the gap between the Goan industries and national as well as international players, a Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019 will be held in the state from October 17 to October 19 at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Taleigao.

The summit will basically stress on creating investment and joint venture opportunities in Goa.

The summit will have technology transfer, knowledge-sharing seminars, opportunities of investment and joint ventures, videoconferencing with overseas companies and multi-sectoral exhibition.

The three-day summit will have important sessions like strategic shift in the United States’ trade approach and opportunities for Goa and India, growing Indian diaspora in Canada and how Goan and Indian small and medium entrepreneurships can benefit from it, trade and investment opportunities with Malaysia for Goan and Indian companies, business regulation changes in UAE (the third largest trade partner of India) and how can Goan and Indian companies prepare to take advantage, introduction to the international investor network and the IBD platform, taking the US$5 billion trade between India and Oman to US$7 billion by 2021 – challenges and opportunities, Singapore ranks second in ease of doing business – lessons for Goa and India and the challenges of landlocked nations and opportunities in two-way trade between Goa, India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping and for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari will be chief guest for the inaugural function of the summit.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik, Industries Minister Vishwajit Rane, IT Minister Jennifer Monserrate and other dignitaries will also be present for the function.