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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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    Monserrate set to head PDA of Greater Panaji

    tnn | Feb 13, 2018, 04:24 IST
    Panaji: The government has finalized the constitution of the Greater PanajiPlanning and Development Authority (PDA) and in the coming days is expected to notify the appointment of former Santa Cruz MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate as the chairman of the PDA.

    The government has also appointed the MLAs of the respective constituencies as members of the Greater Panaji PDA. The constitution of the PDA was decided by town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai, sources said.

    Sources said the appointment of Monserrate, who joined GFP just ahead of the Panaji by-elections, was being rewarded for supporting CM Manohar Parrikar and the BJP in the Panaji bypoll.

    Monserrate was initially expected to contest on the Congress ticket against Parrikar.

    The other members of the Greater Panaji PDA are Parrikar, Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate, St Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes, St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira and Cumbarjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar. The sarpanchas of Taleigao, Chimbel, St Cruz, Old Goa and Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim have also been appointed as members of the PDA, since the villages have been incorporated into the Greater Panaji PDA.

    Former senior town planner Pedro Coutinho, along with Mario Fernandes, Vivek Angle, Raj Malik and Atrey Sawant are also members on the board.

    The town and country planning board, which is headed by GFP president Vijai Sardesai, took the decision to divide the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) into two more planning authorities.

    The residents of Santa Cruz have opposed the inclusion of St Cruz in Greater Panaji PDA. Paddy fields, Bondvol lake and forest areas are brought under Greater Panaji PDA.

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      HRD team to inspect Sanguem land for IIT Goa

      TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:50 IST
      Panaji: A site selection team from the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry is expected in Goa this month to inspect the new land identified by the state to establish the permanent Goa campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Sources said that the site selection committee will be taken to only one site of 9-10 lakh sq m located in Sanguem taluka, even though some others sites in Ponda and Cacora were earlier in consideration.

      Officials said that most of the land identified in Cotarli in Sanguem is already in the government’s possession, which will make the land acquisition process easier, once and if the site gets the HRD team’s nod.

      IIT Goa began operations in 2016 and has been functioning from within the Goa Engineering College campus since then.

      In 2016, land was identified for the IIT in Loliem in Canacona, which was also inspected and approved by the site selection committee of the HRD. IIT Goa was given the go-ahead based on this site’s selection to begin operations in Goa. But opposition to the land being utilised to construct the permanent campus of the IIT then emerged from locals, who said their water sources, besides the eco-sensitive plateau where the land is located, would be affected.

      “The Sanguem land is as good as finalised by the state government. Once it is approved by the HRD team, the government will begin the further procedure,” said an official.

      Currently, IIT Goa offers BTech programmes in mechanical engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering with an intake of 30 each. The institute is moving to its third year of operations, which means adding another batch of students to its numbers. The institute is also going to introduce a fourth BTech degree in mathematics and computing from the next academic year 2018-19, and it is also in the process of recruiting more faculty. All this means that the IIT may be staring at a space crunch soon if the process to establish its new campus does not begin soon.

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        Parts of Mapusa parched as locals blame PWD for poor management

        TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:48 IST Mapusa: Certain areas in and around Mapusa have been reeling under acute water scarcity over the last few days.

        Owing to irregular water supply for past three months, irate villagers of Verla-Canca recently confronted the assistant engineer of public works department (PWD), Subhash Belgaonkar over the issue. They demanded the immediate transfer of the junior engineer for his inability to resolve the issue, and warned of scaling up their agitation and approaching water resources department (WRD) minister Vinod Palyekar.

        Residents of Khorlim and Dangui Colony of Mapusa have also been up in arms over irregular water supply for the past two weeks. They marched to the PWD office at Mapusa recently, complaining that despite promptly paying their bills, water either trickles through the taps owing to low pressure, or runs dry altogether. Consumers also questioned how water is being released to residential complexes and other commercial projects if a genuine shortage exists.

        Sources said that locals are of the opinion that although there is adequate water available for release, there is no planning on the part of the department concerned, while also highlighting that complaints go unattended.

        Locals of several villages in Bardez have also alleged that PWD authorities in Mapusa are involved in a racket of pilfering water from the department and in turn selling it to private hotels and construction sites. They alleged that some PWD tankers take water at the filling point, but are eventually diverted elsewhere. They also claimed that private tankers have been illegally taking government water and selling to it private parties.

        Local MLA and urban development minister Francis D’Souza has expressed dissatisfaction over the issue of irregular water supply.

        A review meeting to discuss the water shortage in Mapusa was recently held by chief minister Manohar Parrikar in the presence of D’Souza, Mapusa Municipal Council chairperson Rohan Kavlekar and other.

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          Transfer, sublease of industrial plots to be fast-tracked now

          Newton Sequeira| TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:46 IST
          Panaji: After years of sluggish progress, the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has initiated a roadmap for quick approvals and time-bound clearance of pending files. For the first time in the state, applications for sublease or transfer of industrial plots will now be deemed to be approved if the GIDC does not process the applications within 21 days.

          The new rules, which have been notified in the GIDC Transfer and Sub-lease Regulations 2018, will apply to scores of such applications that have been pending with the corporation’s screening committee for over a year.

          “The industry, in a representation to the government, had stated that the process of allotment, transfer and sublease of GIDC plots continues to be affected by inordinate delays, indecision, misinterpretation, confusion, heavy levies and penalties. This has adversely affected industrial activity,” GIDC managing director Narayan Gad said.

          As per the new regulations, once a transfer or sublease application is received by the corporation, a decision has to be conveyed to the applicant within 21 days, failing which the application shall be deemed to have been approved. However, all pending dues have to be cleared before GIDC begins processing the application.

          The new regulations have cheered up the industry not only because ease of doing business in the state is expected to improve, but also because industrial land currently not used for manufacturing will be used efficiently.

          “The important feedback from the industry was that there was no timeline for approvals. There were applications pending for 1.5 years. It was decided that the GIDC must have a timeline to bring in discipline,” Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sandip Bhandare said.

          As per the new regulations, which have come into force, no industrial plot can be transferred or subleased without approval from the GIDC. Plots where no construction has taken place can also not be transferred or sublet. The government will also constitute a special committee to settle disputes pertaining to transfer or sublease of industrial plots.

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            Increase in mangroves boosts state’s forest cover

            TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:36 IST
            Panaji: Increase in mangrove cover continues to be the main factor in maintaining the 5% growth in the state’s forest cover, as per the latest biennial assessment by forest survey of India (FSI).

            Goa had 542 sq km of very dense forest (VDF), 580 sq km of moderately dense forest, 1,102 sq km of open forest, FSI’s 2015 report stated. This meant the total area of forest was 2,224 sq km as against the state’s total geographical area of 3,702 sq km.

            As per FSI’s 2017 report, the area under very dense forest has increased to 543 from 542 sq km and to 585 from 580 of moderately dense forest, registering a 5% increase.

            While a section of the state citizenry and activists are disappointed over massive felling of trees for development, the increase in forest cover is attributed to growth of mangrove cover. The chief minister had expressed satisfaction about Goa’s forest cover.

            Non-cultivation of paddy fields over a couple of decades has led to growth of mangroves. “Just by being satisfied with the increase in mangrove cover, we cannot go on destroying prime forest areas, as we need oxygen to breathe due to increasing pollution,” says Siddarth Karapurkar, a social activist said. Goa’s landscape is changing rapidly due to urbanization and industrial activities. Many plateaus are being targeted for new industries, educational institutions and housing.


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              When garbage collection became rewarding for tourists

              Lisa Monteiro| TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:20 IST
              Panaji: Students from the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) collected a sizeable amount of plastic waste during a trial run on Calangute beach by rewarding tourists who collected and deposited waste.

              Tourists were only too happy to walk over to a small kiosk manned by the students on the beach, and deposit their garbage in return for restaurant discount coupons.

              A team of seven management students came up with the unique idea of rewarding tourists for keeping the beach clean.

              During the pilot run, around 50 tourists carried plastic bottles, packets and wrappers to the kiosk. The students had a tie-up with six restaurants in the area, and handed coupons to the tourists, which had discounts ranging from 10-20%, Rs 200 off on a bill, and special discounts for Valentine’s day.

              “It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” a first year management student at GIM, Suchi Rajput says. “People bringing in waste, receive discounts. Restaurants benefit from an increase in footfall and the panchayats are happy that their beaches are kept clean,” she says, adding that the idea is also cost-friendly with no capital required to implement it. The students propose that the waste collected should be segregated and sent to the solid waste management plant at Saligao and the money received from the recycled waste can be ploughed back to maintain the kiosks.

              “During our research we found that no matter how much you educate people, they continue to litter. The only option left is to reprimand them or reward them. People are fined for littering abroad but this doesn’t happen here. That’s how we came up with the idea of rewarding them for keeping the place clean,” Suchi says. The response for the pilot run was good, considering there was not much awareness created before the idea was implemented. Calangute panchayat members are now studying the model and considering implementing it around the village. “Since beaches are regularly being cleaned, we are looking at other spots to implement this,” panchayat member Shawn Martins told TOI.

              The students conceptualised the idea for the confederation of Indian industries (CII) Young Indians’ Swachh Bharat mission, as part of GIM’s social project ‘Give Goa’.


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                Sand dune razed for parking in Candolim

                TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:11 IST
                Panaji: Another sand dune on Candolim beach has been destroyed to create a parking facility. In August 2017, a huge sand dune within 100m of the coastal regulations zone (CRZ) had been flattened after an excavation for the construction of a toilet block.

                The project for the toilet block on the southern side of the road to the beach had kicked off a controversy as some villagers criticized the tourism department’s casual attitude of razing sand dunes. Tourism officials argue that these facilities are needed for tourists and bemoaned the lack of an alternative site.

                The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) had issued approvals to the project on the condition that pavers be used for the parking facility. “The contractor has flattened a 40-50m-wide sand dune, which was nearly 1.5m high,” Agnelo Barreto, a local resident alleged. Former MLA Agnelo Fernandes said that the project will disturb the area’s biodiversity. “They have violated CRZ provisions and even GCZMA has overlooked the destruction of the sand dune,” he said.

                GCZMA had noted while approving the project that one sand dune has been levelled for the toilet block. On Sunday, the flying squad visited the site which was earlier inspected by the talathi. “This type of development will attract domestic tourists at the cost of high-end visitors that Candolim is known for,” Fernandes said.

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                  PM wants report on economic impact of mining closure: CM

                  TNN | Feb 14, 2018, 03:23 IST
                  Panaji: A day after the Supreme Court cancelled mining leases in the state and ordered stopping of all operations from March 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office called for a report on the economic impact of the judgment on Goa, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

                  Parrikar said the state will e-auction the already mined ore, which will yield enough revenue for the current mining season ending May 31. He said the actual impact, if any, of the ban will be felt only in the next mining season.

                  “I received a call from the PMO, as PM was not in India. They asked what is the issue, what is the economic impact and sought a report. PM sent a message that I could meet him in person if needed. This was the message from his office,” the chief minister said.

                  Last week, the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of lease granted to the mining companies by the state government.

                  “I will be speaking to the mining belt MLAs on Wednesday. But it will take some time to analyse the impact. Presently, there is no crisis as we have time till March 15. We will see that it is pulled up to May 31 by e-auction and other means. So the issue of this season is resolved. Whatever ore is left for e-auctioning, we will do it so that the current season is taken care of,” said Parrikar .

                  He, however, said that he is not in favour of forming a mining corporation to tackle the issue. “Some people suggest that a corporation be set up. Is there any other way? You have seen how corporations function. Will the government really be able is the question. I do hold my own opinion, but I will consult all stakeholders and only then will I tell you the final policy,” said Parrikar.

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                    State govt working towards zero garbage landfill sites

                    Newton Sequeira| TNN | Updated: Feb 14, 2018, 05:44 IST
                    Rpresentative image

                    PANAJI: Replicating the Saligao solid waste treatment plant model across the state can help Goa achieve its ambitious target of eradicating landfills altogether. Of the 61,000 tonnes of mixed waste that the Saligao plant has accepted, just 5% remains as residue and even that will be used in road construction, managing director of the Goa Solid Waste Management Corporation, Sanjit Rodrigues, said.

                    The fully automated facility accepts 12 different kinds of waste — including plastic, glass, metal and Styrofoam - from 109 different villages.

                    “Till date, we have treated 61,000 tonnes of waste and all that remains is inert grit of 3,200 tonnes, which is a minuscule amount,” Rodrigues told TOI. “We have sent the grit for analysis and I am confident reports will enable the use of the grit for land filling.”

                    On an average, the Saligao plant receives 125-130 tonnes of garbage per day. During the segregation process, bales of inorganic waste are made and subsequently sold to vendors.

                    The remainder is converted into methane, of which over 23 lakh cubic metres have been produced so far, generating power of over 27 lakh kilowatt-hour.

                    The electricity generated by the plant works out to 7,000 units per day, of which 4,000 units are supplied to the electricity department’s grid. The remaining is used for the plant’s operations.

                    “The facility shows that Goa is working towards a zero waste, zero landfillphilosophy,” Rodrigues said.

                    Built at a cost of Rs 146 crore, the solid waste treatment plant is operated by Hindustan Waste Treatment Pvt Ltd.

                    Till date, 7,800 tonnes of recyclable waste have been sold by the plant, while non-recyclable waste such as diapers, sanitary pads and soiled plastics - technically known as refuse derived fuel (RDF) - is sold for incineration at cement manufacturing plants in Karnataka, Rodrigues said.

                    After the anaerobic digestion process, the digestate is converted into compost which is sold off to Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited or to the locals themselves.

                    “Many locals are calling up and asking for compost, so even before we can sell to Zuari Agro, the compost is taken,” Rodrigues said. Compost is sold at Rs 4 per kg.

                    Any water derived from the treatment process is also recycled at the facility’s effluent treatment plant and then used for gardening and non-drinking purposes.

                    Though the plant primarily caters to mixed garbage from villages along North Goa’s coastal belt such as Candolim, Calangute, Arambol and Arpora-Nagoa, it also handles waste from the far off villages of Pirna in Bardez and Panchwadi in Ponda.

                    The government plans to set up similar plants at Verna, Cacora and Bainguinim to address garbage dumps that have mushroomed across the state.

                    Unsegregated solid waste has proved a bane for the tourism dependent state and chief minister Manohar Parrikar has vouched to make Goa garbage-free by 2020 through an integrated approach to waste management.

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                      Protect ecology while mining for sand: Dept

                      tnn | Feb 14, 2018, 03:01 IST
                      Panaji: With a view to protecting the state’s riverine and in-stream systems, the directorate of mines and geology (DMG) has directed sand extractors not to disturb turbidity, velocity and flow-pattern of rivers or estuaries during extracting. Any violation could result in cancellation of permits, the directorate said.

                      “The permit holder shall not interfere or cause any damage to bunds, river banks, agriculture fields, eco-sensitive zones, fish, migratory birds and breeding grounds,” the directive, aimed at mitigating likely ecological impact caused by sand extraction, stated.

                      The department has also sought permit-holders help in fighting illegal extraction, storage and transportation of sand.

                      With regards to sand extraction and storage, permit holders have been informed that extraction within estuarine regions will be limited with no sand removal being allowed within buffer zones.

                      Stating that sand will have to be stacked close to the river banks to facilitate verification of the quantity of extracted and enable collection of due amount of royalty, the directorate said, “Transportation and traded cannot be carried out without payment of royalty.”

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