Fear grips Bicholim villagers as leopard kills 10 bovines

NT NETWORK Sankhali Villagers from Sonarbhat-Ladfe and Latambarcem in Bicholim taluka have been gripped by fear as a leopard has killed 10 bovines some days ago.    A complaint in this regard has been lodged with the forest department by cattle owner Babu Nana Varak of Sonarbhat Ladfe and others.  Babu Varak in the complaint claimed …

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Sankhali

Villagers from Sonarbhat-Ladfe and Latambarcem in Bicholim taluka have been gripped by fear as a leopard has killed 10 bovines some days ago.   

A complaint in this regard has been lodged with the forest department by cattle owner Babu Nana Varak of Sonarbhat Ladfe and others. 

Babu Varak in the complaint claimed that the leopard has killed his 10 bovines – eight cows and two calves – causing a loss of Rs 80,000.

The cattle owner said that he witnessed the leopard mauling the bovines to death a few days ago, expressing fear that the wildcat could also attack human beings as the cattle

were killed in human settlements, where the villagers have now laid a safety net around their huts with logs, branches and twigs of trees.

He maintained that the state government should not hold him responsible in case any harm is caused to the wildcat, as the villagers are living under the fear of the leopard.

The complainants, including Vasu Varak, Santosh Shinde and Sandeep Shinde, urged the forest department to undertake preventive measures and to compensate Babu Varak for the loss of the bovines. 

Renting out house could be a hassle

NT NETWORK Panaji Non-compliance of tenant verification by house owners could become a cognisable offence, enabling police to register an FIR and even arrest the house owner. The Goa police department has submitted to the government a draft tenant verification bill for approval containing the abovementioned clause. A senior police officer said that if the …

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Non-compliance of tenant verification by house owners could become a cognisable offence, enabling police to register an FIR and even arrest the house owner.

The Goa police department has submitted to the government a draft tenant verification bill for approval containing the abovementioned clause.

A senior police officer said that if the bill is approved by the government then it will help streamline the tenant verification process and give powers to the police to register a case without the directions from district administration.

There will be increase in compliance level, the officer reckoned.  Police said that in terms of security

aspect it is mandatory for the house owners to get tenant verification done while renting out houses or flats.

Police said that tenant verification is very important as it helps keep a track on strangers coming to Goa, and their antecedents are verified from their native states.

Currently as per the order of the district collector issued under Section 144 CrPC, it is compulsory to get tenant verification done, failing which the house owner is subjected to legal action.

If any such violations are found, police send a report to the district administration.

Subsequently based on the complaint by the district administration police register an FIR against the house owner for failing to comply with tenant verification process under IPC Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant).

However, police claimed that many a times even after submitting reports to district administration, no complaints were filed.  

Tourist quarantined at GMC over coronavirus

NT NETWORK Panaji A patient suspected of fatal coronavirus has been kept in a quarantine ward at the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday, and his samples have been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology. The patient and his wife had recently travelled to a place, which is 750 km from the …

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A patient suspected of fatal coronavirus has been kept in a quarantine ward at the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday, and his samples have been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.

The patient and his wife had recently travelled to a place, which is 750 km from the Chinese city of Kunshan, which is suspected to be the outbreak spot of the coronavirus-related epidemic.

Identified as a tourist, he had travelled from China to Delhi a week ago, and subsequently arrived in Goa.

Secretary for health Sanjay Kumar, in the presence of the GMC dean S M Bandekar and director of health services Jose D’Sa, told media persons that the patient had developed influenza-like symptom, with sore throat.

“We have set up a more than 30-bedded quarantined ward at the hospital, with a two-bed intensive care unit for very serious patients,” he added, pointing out that the people arriving at the Dabolim airport and suspected of the contraction would be initially quarantined at the sub-district hospital at Chicalim.

Earlier, a meeting of the state taskforce constituted by the government to tackle novel Coronavirus (nCoV) was chaired by the health secretary.

It discussed prevention and control of Coronavirus in the state.

Maintaining that the situation in Goa is totally under control and no panic needs to be created on this issue, the secretary for health stated that the central government has provided thermal scanners to tier-I airports, which receive direct flights from China, and tier-II airports, which have connecting flights from that country.

“However, the Dabolim airport does not come under such categories,” he observed, informing that however, the Union ministry of civil aviation has been requested to provide a thermal scanner to the Dabolim airport since Goa is a tourist destination.

Kumar said the government is all set to issue advertisements related to the coronavirus for spreading awareness.

“We have also directed the hotels as well as casinos to inform the directorate of health services, if they observe any visitor to them with symptoms of the contraction,” he added.

The GMC dean said the persons contracting the particular virus display symptoms similar to influenza, followed by breathlessness and then speedily suffer from pneumonia.

“Subsequently their kidneys get affected, followed by multi-organ failure,” he added, stating that since no treatment is available for the coronavirus infection, the patients can be treated on symptomatic basis.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has tweeted, “We have come across a suspected case of #coronavirus, who is a foreigner travelling from China. The patient has been shifted to the isolation ward at the GMC.

The medical sample of the patient has been sent for further investigation to Pune, confirmation reports are awaited.

I would like to assure our citizens that the taskforce is reviewing the preparedness of the situation and are on vigil to tackle the virus.”

It was also informed that no paediatric cases of the coronavirus infection have been found, while low immunity adults including those having diabetes are found to be affected by the particular virus at a great speed.

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illness ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The coronavirus observed in China, however, is a novel strain, and not identified before. It has claimed more than 100 lives so far.

The virus is said to be transmitted from animals to humans.  

Move to shift Dhangars makes headway

NT NETWORK Panaji The forest department has started the spadework to identify families living in the dense forests of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary so as to rehabilitate them to some other places. The move comes in the heels of the sensational killings of four tigers in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary near Golavali village of Sattari …

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The forest department has started the spadework to identify families living in the dense forests of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary so as to rehabilitate them to some other places.

The move comes in the heels of the sensational killings of four tigers in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary near Golavali village of Sattari taluka. Flabbergasted by the tiger killings, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had announced that the government would explore possibilities of relocating the families, including Dhangar community members, living in the forest areas with their livestock.

A senior forest official told ‘The Navhind Times’ on Tuesday that the deputy conservator of forest has been asked to begin identifying the families living within the wildlife sanctuary.

“As part of rehabilitation policy, the department has designated the deputy conservator of forest for identifying the villages and the families living in the forest areas…,” he added.

The official said that a team led by the DCF will indentify the families and collect their details on

occupation, livestock and land ownership.

“Once such families are identified and data is collected then the government will identify the land for their rehabilitation,” he explained.

A rough estimate of the forest department says that some 14 families, mostly Dhangars, live in the wildlife sanctuary.

The Dhangars are totally dependent on dairy farming, which has been their traditional occupation for generations. They have cattle including cows and water buffaloes, and they herd them to the forests for grazing.

While rehabilitating the families, the government will have to ensure that besides providing housing and other facilities the provision of grazing land for the cattle will have to be made.

Ex-Merces sarpanch dies of gunshots at home

NT NETWORK Panaji Former sarpanch and incumbent panch member of the village panchayat of Merces Prakash Naik (46) died reportedly due to bullet injuries at his residence at Voilem Bhat in Merces on Friday. According to police, it appears to be a case of suicide, and prima facie they have ruled out any foul play …

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Former sarpanch and incumbent panch member of the village panchayat of Merces Prakash Naik (46) died reportedly due to bullet injuries at his residence at Voilem Bhat in Merces on Friday.
According to police, it appears to be a case of suicide, and prima facie they have ruled out any foul play in the death.
However, his family, friends and supporters were of the firm opinion that Naik could not commit suicide, suspecting the death to be a case of murder.
His family members said that they will not accept the body unless those responsible for the death are arrested.
Police said that all angles are being probed and that they will question the two persons named by Naik in a post on a WhatsApp group for allegedly harassing him and held them responsible for his death.
Old Goa police have registered as unnatural death case and the investigation is on.
Naik had contested the assembly elections from the St Cruz constituency on the MGP ticket. He had later resigned from the party.
The incident occurred at around 10.45 am on Friday, police said, adding that at that time his family members were at a temple, and their maid, a driver and a gardener were at the house.
Naik was on the first floor and reportedly shot himself in the head using his Indian made .32 caliber revolver. Naik had obtained the revolver licence in 2018.
However, police said the exact reason of the death is yet to be ascertained.
Before he was found dead, Naik had posted a message on the WhatsApp group.
In the message, Naik says that he is tired of everything, alleging that two persons – Wilson Gudino and Tahir – started harassing him.
Naik further says in the message that he has no option other than committing suicide. He mentions about a ‘property issue’, alleging that both the persons cheated him, and that he can’t handle pressure.
Naik says that these two persons should be held responsible for his death, further saying that they should compensate his family with Rs 2 crore.
Naik expresses his gratefulness to two friends – Rahul and Edward – who helped him when he was in need, and requested them to help his family in bad times.
The maid, who was working on the ground floor, had heard a sound (which was later found to be of the gunshots) and came out of the house to see what had happened. When she did not find anything amiss, she went back to the house and continued with her housework.
Police said the maid told them that she did not go to the first floor to check as her work was limited only to the ground floor.
Soon after Naik’s sister and her daughter came running into the house looking for him.
Police are of the opinion that his sister must have received the post that Naik had sent on the WhatsApps group. The sister found Naik lying motionless on the bed on the first floor.
The revolver was on his body and there was blood on the bed. The family members rushed him to the GMC in a car.
However, he was declared brought dead, police said.
Postmortem will be conducted on the body on Saturday at the GMC.
Meanwhile, the Goa Forward Party on Friday demanded a free and fair investigation into the death of Naik.
“This suicide is indicative of the treatment that elected representatives and the general public experience which the state has failed to protect them. It’s a complete breakdown of law and has brought national shame to the state,” Durgadas Kamat said.

South Goa could face water scarcity

NT NETWORK Panaji South Goa district could face water scarcity if two severely damaged clariflocculator tanks at the Xelpem water treatment plant in Saguem taluka are not reconstructed immediately. The public works department has expressed its inability to reconstruct the two damaged clariflocculator tanks at the Xelpem plant, as there has been no fund with …

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South Goa district could face water scarcity if two severely damaged clariflocculator tanks at the Xelpem water treatment plant in Saguem taluka are not reconstructed immediately.
The public works department has expressed its inability to reconstruct the two damaged clariflocculator tanks at the Xelpem plant, as there has been no fund with the department.
The plant located near the Selaulim dam has 160-MLD water storage capacity and supplies drinking water to South Goa district.
The plant has four clariflocculator tanks, with capacity of 40 MLD each. The tanks treat raw water. One of the tanks has been shut after it was damaged by a landslide induced by the downpour in September 2019. Yet another clariflocculator tank also sustained widespread damage.
Last September, the mud around the water facility washed away due to the leakage in the tanks, which were constructed some 35 years ago.
Sanguem villagers feared that there could be disruption in water supply if new tanks are not constructed immediately by the PWD.
It is pertinent to note here that Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar had visited the plant along with PWD officials after the tanks suffered damages last September. He had directed the officials to reconstruct the tanks so that there would not be disruption in water supply.
However, till date no serious attempt has been made to rebuild the tanks.
Sources told this daily that several meetings have been held in the PWD headquarters in the last few months so as to push for reconstruction of the tanks.
The sources maintained that PWD’s principal chief engineer said at the meetings that the department has been unable to take up the work due to the fund crunch.
The sources also said the department is still ascertaining the extent of damages to the plant.
Even after the lapse of four months neither the damaged tank has been cleared nor the work for constructing a wall around the plant has begun.
A senior PWD officer admitted that there is no option other than constructing two new tanks at the plant, observing that the government must prioritise the work to avoid water scarcity in South Goa in the summer.

GCZMA gets NGT relief over turtle nesting sites

NT NETWORK Panaji The National Green Tribunal has given more time to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority to file yet another action taken report on the demolition of illegal structures at turtle nesting sites, giving details on the compensation recovered from violators. The court directed the authority to submit the status report by February …

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The National Green Tribunal has given more time to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority to file yet another action taken report on the demolition of illegal structures at turtle nesting sites, giving details on the compensation recovered from violators.
The court directed the authority to submit the status report by February 19.
At the hearing, the authority submitted its action taken report and sought more time to file the status report since the orders of demolition needed to be communicated to violators within a week’s time.
The green court gave 30 days’ time to file the report and directed the GCZMA to include in the report the recovery of compensation assessed against the violators.
In its status report submitted to the court in compliance with NGT’s earlier order, the authority informed that total 241 structures were identified for
demolition; of which 166 structures were ordered for demolition. Seventy of the identified structures have been demolished and penalty of Rs 24 lakh has been recovered.
It further submitted that the violators who have failed to pay shall pay as arrears of land revenue through the mamlatdars of the respective talukas.
The principal bench of the NGT on May 1 last year had directed the GCZMA to deposit an interim environment compensation of Rs 1 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board within a period of one week for the alleged failure in compliance of the order.
However, the green court kept in abeyance its order from paying fine, directing the authority to complete the entire proceedings against all the offending structures and submit a report.

Tiger deaths: all five accused released on conditional bail

NT NETWORK Valpoi All the five Golavli villagers arrested over the deaths of four tigers in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary were on Friday released on conditional bail. The judicial magistrate first class, Valpoi, granted conditional bail to the five villagers on personal bond Rs 15,000 each. They have been asked to report for 10 days …

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Valpoi
All the five Golavli villagers arrested over the deaths of four tigers in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary were on Friday released on conditional bail.
The judicial magistrate first class, Valpoi, granted conditional bail to the five villagers on personal bond Rs 15,000 each.
They have been asked to report for 10 days to the investigating officer at the Maloli wildlife office.
Vitho Pawane (60), Malo Pawane (50), Bomo Pawane (45), Jyotiba Pawane (25) and Bhiro Pawane (22) were arrested after being accused of lacing the meat with poison, which was consumed by the four tigers that led to the death of the four wild cats.
Yeshwant Gauns, who appeared for the accused, told the court that there is no need of remand as the court had given sufficient time to the forest department to conduct an inquiry.
The counsel appearing for the department had asked the court to extend the remand. But the court refused, and sought to know as to why they wanted the extension of the remand as the accused had been in their custody for the last 10 days.
Replying to the court, the forest department counsel said that they want to trace the claws of one of the dead tigers which were found missing.
However, the court said that enough time had been granted to investigate the case.
Hence the court granted bail to the five accused on condition that they would report to the investigation officer for 10 days.
A report on the cause of tiger deaths is also awaited.

Contradictions galore in private forests claims

NT NETWORK Panaji A three-member committee constituted under the chairmanship of the joint revenue secretary to finalise a report on private forests has submitted an interim report to the government observing that claims made by the forest department on private forests in the state have been contradicted by affected parties. Sources in the administration told …

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A three-member committee constituted under the chairmanship of the joint revenue secretary to finalise a report on private forests has submitted an interim report to the government observing that claims made by the forest department on private forests in the state have been contradicted by affected parties.
Sources in the administration told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the three-member committee headed by joint revenue secretary Anthony D’Souza could not submit the final report on private forests matter to the government as the seven teams that were appointed to carry out site inspections of properties have not submitted their full reports.
The seven teams that were appointed to carry out site inspections of properties, which had been identified as private forests by review committees, have submitted partial reports to the D’Souza committee.
The government had set January 10 as the deadline to the committee to submit the final report, as next hearing on the matter is coming up before the National Green Tribunal on January 21, 2020. The sources said the three-member committee has submitted the interim report to the government in the light of the forthcoming hearing at the NGT.
It is learnt that the committee has clearly observed in its interim report that review committees, which had submitted their reports in 2016, had not mentioned properly survey numbers of the identified properties, which has led to confusion.
Moreover, the D’Souza committee has also observed that the claims that were made by the forest department as well as the review committees vary from the claims submitted by the affected parties, the sources explained.
Surprisingly, bushes on the private properties identified as private forests have been termed as thick forest trees by the forest department in its earlier report, creating doubts over the procedures adopted by the initially appointed committees.

Two Nigerians held with drugs at Arambol, Assagao

NT NETWORK Panaji/Mapusa Two Nigerians have been arrested with drugs in two separate cases. In one case, the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Goa police have arrested a Nigerian and seized drugs worth over Rs 4 lakh during a raid conducted at Arambol in the wee hours of Friday. The accused was identified as …

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Panaji/Mapusa
Two Nigerians have been arrested with drugs in two separate cases.
In one case, the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Goa police have arrested a Nigerian and seized drugs worth over Rs 4 lakh during a raid conducted at Arambol in the wee hours of Friday.
The accused was identified as Joseph Kchlechi (37) and was found with ecstasy tablets (14.061 grams) and cocaine (25.690 grams), valued at over Rs 4 lakh.
Police said that based on source information, the raid was conducted at Girkarwado-Arambol near beach and the accused apprehended for possessing drugs. The drugs were found concealed in his scooter and were meant for illegal sale to tourists, the police said.
The raid was conducted by the ANC team led by PIs Sudesh Velip and Shitakant Nayak under the supervision of SP Shobhit Saksena. PSI Pritesh Madgaonkar is further investigating the case.
In the other case, Anjuna police on Friday arrested a Nigerian for illegal possession of drugs worth Rs 6.30 lakh.
According to Anjuna police, on basis of reliable information, a raid was conducted at four-road junction at Bhoutawado, Assagao.
The raiding team comprised of PSI Vidyesh Pilgaonkar, ASI Tukaram Pednekar, Shrikrishna Redkar, Shyamsundar Parsekar, Mahendra Mandrekar, Raj Parab and Shankar Korgaonkar. The Nigerian was caught with drugs suspected to be cocaine weighing 62.9 grams, worth Rs 6.30 lakh and cash of around Rs 17,510 was also seized. Police also attached a scooter which was used in the crime.
In this connection, Anjuna police conducted panchanama and registered the offence under section 21(B) of NDPS Act and arrested Charles Oguejiofor, aged 37.
Under the supervision of SP-North Goa Utkrisht Prasoon, SDPO-Mapusa Gajanan Prabhudesai and PI Suraj Gawas, PSI Vilesh Durbhatkar is further investigating the
case.