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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Smart City ambitions come under question

    TNN | Jul 7, 2018, 11:22 IST

    PANAJI: The capital city waterlogging woes exposed the poor planning and misplaced priorities of civic authorities. After severe waterlogging, questions were being asked about Panaji's Smart City ambitions.

    Residents said that even before heavy rains lashed the city, the capital's roads were beginning to show signs of neglect with potholes, puddles of water, jutting out fibre optic lines.

    All this even as Imagine Panaji Smart City Development limited pursued projects such as the public bicycle sharing system, Goa Intelligent City Management platform and the City Smart Card Payment System.

    "Installation of CCTV cameras is a misplaced priority in the Panjim Smart City Mission as other real issues are ignored like construction of better roads, drainage system, sewage facilities, garbage management, uninterrupted electricity, and restoration of the St Inez Creek, which should take precedence," former NIO scientist Stephen Dias said.

    As St Inez Creek overflowed, garbage lay strewn on roads, and rain water gushed into shops and homes, city residents began to question the city's smart ambitions.

    Some residents, including councillors, said the rains had clearly caught the Corporation of the City of Panaji napping. CCP commissioner Ajit Roy rejected the claim and said that "all precautionary steps were taken" and a team of CCP workers were ready to tackle flooding issues.

    Roy added that while the city had grown, the drainage network had not kept pace with the rapid construction activity.

    "There have been problems in a few places in the city, in wards 9 and 10 because of the carrying capacity of the city," Roy said.

    Ironically, the name Panji or Ponji is said to mean the "land that never gets flooded" a fact that finds mention on the Smart City website.

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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      Rivers overflow, enter homes and flood markets in Bicholim, Sattari

      TNN | Jul 7, 2018, 11:28 IST

      Water levels rose and flooded the river front at Bicholim

      KERI/BICHOLIM: Two continuous days of rainfall affected traffic and normal life in Sattari and Bicholim.

      As the water resource department (WRD) did not remove the plates of the Vasant Bandharas before the onset of the monsoon, water from River Par entered some houses on the right bank at Moite Vaddo. In Nanoda, Latambarcem, water from the overflowing stream entered houses. The Western Ghats received heavy rainfall due to which River Valvonti overflowed. To restrain the flow into the market, the WRD initiated pumping of water into the river.

      Traffic on the Chorla Ghat repeatedly came to a standstill due to trees falling and landslides. Sattari fire officer Sripad Gawas told TOI, "Our staff immediately attended to the calls. We removed trees and landslide debris from last night till Friday."

      In Bicholim, low-lying areas were waterlogged causing much inconvenience to commuters. The water also entered a temple at Sal Bicholim. Compound walls of some houses in Sal collapsed. The water level also rose in the Ark tributary near Shantadurgahigh school junction. Areas like Bandarwada, Gaonkarwada, Mandrekarwada, the river front and market area were flooded.

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        Mining body submits memo to President

        tnn | Jul 8, 2018, 03:00 IST

        Panaji: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday assured members of the Goa MiningPeople’s Front, an umbrella organisation of mining dependents, that he will forward their memorandum to the authority concerned for necessary action. The GMPF, in their memorandum, demanded that the Centre come out with an ordinance to amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act so that mining activities can resume in the state.

        It states that, till date, 35 civic bodies have passed a resolution supporting immediate restarting of mining in the interest of those dependent on the industry.

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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          Despite heavy showers, Mapusa sees no flooding

          TNN | Jul 8, 2018, 03:50 IST

          Mapusa: Even though heavy rains pounded the state on Friday, Mapusa did not witness any flooding and waterlogging due to efforts of the Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC). Mapusa MLA Francis D’Souza and the MMC recently faced heavy criticism when several parts of the town were flooded after heavy rainfall.

          The incident also resulted in a verbal battle between Calangute MLA Michael Lobo and D’Souza.

          But, MMC was ready for the downpour over Thursday and Friday with Mapusa residents saying that the municipality has done “a commendable job” in cleaning the nullahs, thus preventing flooding from occurring.

          Mapusa resident Mahesh Rane said, “MMC’s work of cleaning the nullahs allowed the water to find a smooth passage.”

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            Deluge causes landslide in Canacona

            TNN | Jul 8, 2018, 03:51 IST

            Poinguinim/Canacona: Heavy rainfall in Canacona taluka on Saturday resulted in floodwater entering houses as well as a landslide that disrupted flow of traffic.

            As stormwater drains were not cleaned at Palolem, rainwater entered into the residential houses of Harish Pagi, Joao Minguel Fernandes, Chandrakanth and Ramesh Pagi causing inconvenience and minor damages.

            Speaking to STOI, ward councilor Dayanand Pagi said that rainwater entered into the compound and verandah of the residential houses as the drainages were not cleaned before monsoon. Pagi approached the Canacona mamlatdar and sought for labour assistance to partially clear the drainages after which the water receded.

            At Carvem, Gaodongrim, a huge tree fell on the house of Mhalgo Gaonkar, causing damage of Rs 90,000. A portion of almost 15-18m of road between Gaodongrim and Sanguem was also cordoned off due to a landslide.


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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              Nature’s safe house

              Rajendra P Kerkar | TNN | Jul 8, 2018, 03:55 IST

              In Goa, as in the rest of the country, sacred groves or holy forests have afforded sanctuary to vast forest ecosystems for as far back as memory goes. Today, however, this tradition, which finds its roots in ancient nature-worshipping, agro-pastoral tribal communities, stands on rocky grounds with several of the state’s groves succumbing to development and changing socio-religious ethics.

              The practice of labelling different facets of nature as ‘sacred’ was devised with the simple goal of according them protection and preserving them for posterity. History and time are witness that the method proved effective in securing the survival of certain trees, hills, animals, water bodies and forests. All by way of declaring them ‘sacred’.

              “It is not always religious/cultural issues, but some underlying practical experiences that may play a major role in the establishment of a tradition,” write Rajasri Ray, M D Subash Chandran and T V Ramachandra in their study ‘Sacred Grove: Nature Conservation Tradition of the Ancient World’.

              Indian sacred groves have pre-Vedic origin and in the Western Ghat region the tradition came to take birth after expansion of agriculture and human settlement destroyed vast tracts of forest land, resulting in soil erosion, loss of water resources and local biodiversity, all of which affected life and livelihood.

              These adverse consequences led the society at the time to realise the importance of forest ecosystem in soil and water conservation as well as livelihood security, which ultimately manifested in the form of protection being extended to the remaining forest patches, the study states.

              In Goa, it was the Gaudas, Kunbis, Velips and Dhangar–Goulis — the tribal community of the land — who promoted the tradition.

              While, by and large, this practice was separate from icon-oriented mainstream religions, in the state, there are instances of some sacred groves where the entire biological wealth receives total protection on account of their association with some deities. Besides, there are groves where preservation is also carried out under the aegis of ‘spirits’. The belief was that the protector would get offended if trees in the grove were cut, or flowers or fruits plucked, or even if animals living within its perimeter were killed.

              In size, these ancient nature sanctuaries could range from a mere clump of say 10 trees, to as much as a 10-hectare forest. However, the grove’s significance was independent of size.

              There are instances where some plants have disappeared from a locality and can only be found in these traditional institutions of ecosystem conservation. In the ‘Devachi Rai’ (God’s grove) of Derodem in Sattari, magnificent specimens of the Dhup tree have been well preserved.

              Presently, with no legal protection accorded by the state and central governments to sacred groves, and with development taking over tradition, many sacred groves have been sacrificed.

              Listing various factors that contribute to the decline of sacred groves, the study by Ray, Chandran and Ramchandra states that fragmentation, area shrinkage, degradation, alien species invasion, grazing, resource extraction, etc, are prime culprits. Moreover, changes in social structure and resource management also affected grove tradition.

              “Changing social structure plays an important role in the gradual decline of the sacred grove system. These nature-centric worship places, in many areas, have already been replaced by temples/solid structures. Once the deity is shifted to the temple, the surrounding places become irrelevant to the people, thus immediately converted for other usage,” the study states.

              However, those groves within wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and government protected forests continue to thrive. Some others, where villagers continue to revere and respect the guardian spirits, are also doing well.


              In the sacred grove of ‘Paikapann’ in Neturlim, Sanguem, is an idol of the folk deity Paik depicted as seated on horseback and holding a sword in hand

              In Cudshem, Sattari, a degraded sacred

              grove has a beautifully carved panel of Gajlaxmi, which also depicts coconut trees, erotic scenes, processions and well-equipped warriors

              In Derodem, Sattari, there are sculptures of different folk deities of which the Gajlaxmi panel depicting an eco-cultural heritage is striking. Locals worship these deities

              In Avachitwada, Bicholim, there is a tiger idol, which is worshipped within a small patch of vegetation that has the remnants of a sacred grove

              ‘Sidhachi Rai’ of Vadawal in Latambarcem, Bicholim, is home to the biggest known Shivling in the Konkan region. Here, sculptures of Mahishasurmardini, Sati stones and Betal can be found

              Goa’s largest known sacred grove

              ‘Holiyechi Rai’, situated at some distance from Caranzol in Sattari, covering 27 hectares is said to be the state’s largest grove. The Ranes of Sattari and their supporters, before initiating the revolt against the Portuguese, would worship a sacred stone slab within this grove

              In Kerala, spaces where the cobra is believed to reside got marked as sacred groves

              NO ACTIVITY ZONE

              In its original form, the tradition forbade all interference with grove biota

              Thus, lifting of leaf litter, grazing, hunting is prohibited

              Earlier, man relied on these groves for various medicinal plants, shrubs and creepers. But, to pluck these, certain rituals had to be performed to please the resident spirit/deity

              In remote Goa, where heath facilities are lacking, till date, locals turn to sacred groves for medicinal needs


              Locally, sacred groves are called ‘Devachi Rai’ meaning god’s abode. However, Velips of Canacona refer to them as ‘Devadano’

              Sometimes, like seen in Keri-Sattari, the grove is dedicated to an unseen holy spirit called ‘Ajoba’ and is called ‘Ajobachi Rai’. Till date, this grove remains untouched

              No human activity is permitted within the boundaries of such holy forests, including use of foul language

              Those entering the grove must do so barefoot

              Nothing, other than medicinal plants, can be removed from the grove. Then, too, before plucking, villagers first offer a prayer and then seek the blessing of the guardian deity or spirit before entering the grove

              It is strongly believed that the presiding protector goes around the forest on horseback at night to guard his area


              In a unique initiative, as a tool for eco-restoration, three panchayats in Wayanad district of Kerala will set up as many as 120 sacred groves

              The integrated project is aimed at combating drought and desertification in three panchayat areas of this district

              It will be the largest cluster of sacred groves to come up in the state in modern times

              Project cost: Rs 80 crore

              BACK TO THEIR ROOTS

              During the festival of Shigmo, the forest dwelling Velip community of Canacona leave their homes and temporarily live in the forest. Here they eat only vegetarian food and refrain from consuming alcohol. As part of the festivity, the Velip men perform folk dances. In the past, the Velip women would celebrate an eco-feministic festival called Dhillo within the sacred grove, which would be marked with folk dances and songs


              ‘Nirankarachi Rai’ of Maloli in Sattari is home to the myristica swamp vegetation, which has inverted U-shaped roots. This grove offers protection to the Malabar Tree Nymph as well as the Malabar Pied Hornbill

              Satrem in Sattari has a sacred grove situated near a historic natural fort and is known for the hump-nosed pit viper. It is home to the tiger, sloth bear and Malabar giant squirrel, besides other wild animals. A beautifully carved panel of Gajlaxmi is found here

              ‘Poshyachi Rai’ of Caranzol in Sattari is known so as it is the natural habitat of the Pompadour green pigeon

              Mopa has a sacred grove dedicated to Barazan. Here, a huge tree belonging to the ficus family offers shelter to numerous birds

              ‘Birmanyachi Rai’ of Copardem in Sattari is home to a towering Tetramelous nudiflora tree locally known as ‘Shidam’. The tree not only supports wild creepers but also numerous insects, birds and other creatures

              ‘Barazan’ at Bhati in Sanguem, within the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, houses swamp vegetation and perennial sources of water


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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                Modern 40MW substation to be built at Patto

                TNN | Jul 8, 2018, 03:56 IST

                Panaji: In a move to improve electricity infrastructure in Panaji, the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) has taken up a project to set up a gas-insulated substation in Patto at a cost of Rs 26 crore. The two-phase project will also house the new office of the electricity department, said EDC chairman and GSIDC vice-chairman Sidharth Kuncalienker.

                Gas-insulated substations differ from air-insulated substations as the major structures of the high voltage substation are insulated in a sealed environment with sulfur hexafluoride gas.

                In the first phase of the project, which is expected to be completed within 15 months, 21 11KV electricity panels and 21 33KV electricity panels will be setup.

                “In the past few days and in summer, there have been several power cuts,” Kuncalienkar said. “Today, we have a capacity of just 12 MVA of electricity, but in the future, we will need more.” The former Panaji MLA said that the modern gas-insulated electricity substation was being set up in view of future power requirements of the city and surrounding areas.

                The gas-insulated sub-station and the new electricity department office will come up in place of the existing power sub-station. The existing substation in Patto is 28 years old, while the other one, in Altinho, is 50 years old. Once the new substation is set up in, it will occupy a smaller space while also reducing the number of power outages, sources said.

                “There is a need for such a substation in the city,” said GSIDC chairman Deepak Pauskar. “It is part of the masterplan that the chief minister has for the city.”

                The proposed electricity department office will have six floors, along with two floors of parking. The building will have a built-up area of 3,742 sq m, and will cost Rs 20 crores.


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                  Three landslides in and around Ponda taluka in 24 hours

                  TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 07:02 IST

                  Work was under way on Saturday to repair the damaged pipeline at Kerye

                  PONDA: Within a span of 24 hours, on Friday, the state witnessed three landslides, at Kerye-Khandepar, Prabhunagar-Ponda, and Shirshirem-Borim. While no casualties were reported, two water pipelines and one road were left damaged. This is the third landslideat Kerye and Shirshirem in as many weeks.

                  At Kerye, a water pipeline was damaged which led to taps in areas of Khandepar and Usgao running dry.

                  The pipeline was repaired on Saturday. Earlier, on June 29, in a similar incident, a water pipeline had been damaged, too. At the time, Khandepar, Usgao, Tisk and parts of Dharbandora went dry.

                  In Prabhunagar, a section of the steps in front of the Shree Ayyappa temple collapsed, damaging a water pipeline supplying water to a reservoir on top of the hillock. Water division staff removed the mud and work on replacing the pipeline was on till Saturday afternoon.

                  In Shirshirem, a 10m stretch of a hill collapsed, blocking the road beneath. This is the third such incident on the same stretch in less than a month, with the first having occurred on June 15 and the second on June 24. Sources said a road was hastily cut into the hill in the later half of 2017 to facilitate the holding of a religious festival on the hilltop. No retaining wall had been constructed.

                  Borim panch member Sunil Sawkar that if a retaining wall and a stormwater drain had been built, it would have prevented the landslides.

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                    Day after deluge, Panaji civic body goes in search of drains

                    Newton Sequeira | tnn | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 06:57 IST

                    Rain water inundated roads and footpaths in Panaji on Friday

                    PANAJI: The water may have receded in the state capital but authorities have been left groping in the dark as they search for a solution to end Panaji’s waterlogging and near-flooding woes. While the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) basically said its role was limited to cleaning of drains, it has been revealed that the civic body has no maps of the city’s drainage network.

                    Speaking to STOI, chariman of Economic Development Corporation Sidharth Kuncalienker said that under the smart city mission, Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd had initiated a study of the city’s stormwater drains. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the water resources department and CCP.

                    “CCP does not have plans for the drains. No drawings are available and we are groping in the dark,” Kuncalienker said. “Only three old staff are available with CCP who know where the drains are.”

                    Kuncalienker said that 90% of the city’s stormwater drains had been mapped with visual inspection and with a ground penetration radar. Once the study is complete, a report will be submitted to Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd.

                    “WRD will give recommendations on what corrections have to be made to the stormwater drains. If the slope has to be corrected, if the drains have to be widened or if we need more drains,” Kuncalienker said.

                    When asked if CCP would take any steps on their own to improve the stormwater drainnetwork, CCP commissioner Ajit Roy said, “Our role is limited to desilting the drains.”

                    Roy said that CCP will study and revive proposals to build better drains in the city. The projects, which were to be executed by PWD, were shelved a few years ago.

                    The city on Friday witnessed unprecedented waterlogging and near-flooding across the city. Kuncalienkar said that the waterlogging took place due to the unprecedented rainfall and due to the rampant dumping of plastic and debris near stormwater drains.

                    “Small establishments and even some big ones, dump plastic waste into the drain which then clogs the drainage network,” he said.


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                      Goa approaches NGT for nod to cut over 21,000 trees

                      TNN | Jul 8, 2018, 07:05 IST

                      On November 7, 2017, NGT had ordered that no trees would be cut at Mopa

                      PANAJI: The state government has approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for permission to cut 21,703 trees at the site of the greenfield airport at Mopa. This comes in the wake of the June 13 order of the high court of Bombay at Goa directing the state to do so.

                      On November 7, 2017, the NGT had directed that there would be no tree felling in the area. The current affidavit before the tribunal filed by directorate of civil aviation states, “The trees will be serially numbered, zonewise, and the serial numbers will be painted on the trunk of the trees.” The affidavit also states that the department would exercise due care and look into the feasibility of transplanting local, rare and endemic trees and that a separate record of the same would be maintained.

                      On November 22, 2017, the NGT modified its earlier order by recording the statement made on behalf of the state government that there shall be no cutting of trees without the same being examined and there being a valid no-objection certificate (NOC) granted by the appropriate authority.

                      Later, GMR Goa International Airport Ltd., the special purpose vehicle (SPV) developing the airport, asked the deputy conservator of forests for permission to cut trees at the site. In February 2018, the department granted the NOC for the felling of 21,703 trees.

                      Pursuant to the NOC, president of Federation of Rainbow Warriors Rony Dias filed an appeal under the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of Trees) Act, 1984. In March the appellate authority dismissed the appeal. A writ petition was then filed before the HC, which remanded the matter to be heard by the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF). The PCCF, in its order, issued various safeguards to be complied with before permission for felling trees is granted.

                      The current affidavit before the NGT follows from para 7 of the June 13 order of the HC, which states that permission would be issued only after approval by the NGT.

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