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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Goa government plans demolition squad for illegal structures

    Newton Sequeira | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 18:47 IST


    PORVORIM: The revenue department has made a financial provision of Rs 25 lakhs for each district for demolition of illegal and unauthorized structures. The government had also appointed a dedicated deputy collector in each district with a demolition squad to take action at identified illegal structures, revenue minister Rohan Khaunte said.

    “Both deputy collectors have been given the money and the process has started to ensure that they have their own squad in place to supplement the requirement as and when there is a requirement,” Khaunte said while responding to a private member’s resolution moved by former Congress chief minister Luizinho Faleiro.

    Faleiro had demanded the formation of a separate demolition squad headed by an independent officer to take immediate action against illegal constructions, encroachments and violations in the state.

    The resolution, which was withdrawn, found favour with Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral.



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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      Goa lost Rs 1,400 crore due to mismanagement, says CAG

      Newton Sequeira | TNN | Updated: Aug 4, 2018, 08:01 IST


      Representative image

      PORVORIM: The state government’s famed social security schemes came under intense criticism by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for wasteful expenditure and if one adds up the monies that the auditor said several departments have wasted or failed to recover, Goa could have missed out on at least Rs 1,406.3 crore in 2016-17.

      The government’s expenditure increased by 22% in 2016-17, but the CAG in its report on the state finances appeared worried as it may have incurred some “avoidable extra expenditure” due to “weak internal controls and monitoring mechanisms” in various government departments.

      Apart from the Rs 1,406 crore, CAG also said crores of taxpayers’ money that was given to “ineligible and bogus beneficiaries” under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme, Griha Aadhar Scheme and Laadli Laxmi schemes.

      The CAG report for the year ending March 2017 said the state government spent Rs 10,976 crore in 2016-17, of which the revenue expenditure of the government stood at Rs 8,866 crore, a 20% increase.

      The report gives special attention to the social welfare schemes—some of which that the BJP government initiated in 2012—and made scathing observations about the manner in which the state incurred expenditure on the three schemes.

      “A performance audit of implementation of these three schemes for the period 2012-17 revealed deficiencies in identification of beneficiaries due to inadequate scrutiny of applications by the implementing departments, flaws in the application software system, and failure to conduct periodical survey of target beneficiaries,” the CAG report said.

      During the routine audit of the commercial tax department, the CAG identified deficiencies in “internal control mechanisms” and irregularities in assessments that led to a shortfall in revenue and lower tax collections.

      “Uncollected revenue recoverable by the (commercial tax) department was Rs 1,223.8 crore as on March 31, 2017, of which Rs 441.7 crore was pending recovery for more than six years,” the CAG noted.

      The tax revenue raised by the state government in 2016-17 was Rs 4,261 crore.

      Failure on the part of the directorate of mining and geology in assessing the correct amount of stamp duty resulted in short recovery of stamp duty and registration amounting to Rs 108.4 crore in 2016-17.

      Similar lapses were observed by the CAG in the public works department (PWD). The PWD prepared the estimates for a water supply project based on the schedule of rates of 2008, while tenders for supply of ductile irone pipes under the project were floated in December 2013. Since the rates of the pipes had reduced significantly during the intervening period of five years, the department ended up paying Rs 2.3 crore more to the contractor, the CAG report said.








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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        Anomalies by sewerage corp caused extra Rs 100cr liability: Audit report

        Paul Fernandes | TNN | Aug 4, 2018, 03:13 IST

        Panaji: The comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India has exposed several irregularities by the sewerage and infrastructural development corporation of Goa ltd (SIDCL) in planning, tendering and execution of sewage projects which resulted in extra financial liability to the tune of over Rs 100 crore.

        Headed by public works department (PWD) minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, the company took up sewage projects in Porvorim, Navelim and Margao, but incurred avoidable expenditure and created idle capacity beyond the scope of the detailed project reports (DPR). These are some of the lapses pointed out by CAG in its report for the financial year 2016-17.

        As per the DPR for Porvorim, in April 2010, the PWD envisaged laying of a 171.4 km sewer network and three sewage treatment plants (STP), one in each phase with a total capacity of 15.30 million litre per day (MLD) at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crore. However, in April 2014, this estimate was revised to Rs 283.5 crore.

        The projected 15.30 MLD capacity plant was meant to cater to a population of 1.35 lakh up people up to 2041 and the 10.84 MLD plant for 96,000 people up to 2026. The project was expected to be completed by March 2017.

        However, due to land acquisition problems at Porvorim, it was decided to set up a single 20 mld STP plant at Mapusa, 5.5 km away.

        Laying trunk mains to carry sewage to Mapusa cost the company Rs 60.4 crore.

        As of now, no sewer connections can be released to the public due to a few factors including inter-linking works and capacity utilization in phase one will be 54% of 4 MLD envisaged for the first phase. The CAG has rapped the company for poor planning and disregarding provisions related to execution of the project.

        In Navelim, the designed capacity of the STP as per DPR was 11.5 MLD It was to be built at a cost of Rs 16.9 crore and cater to a population of 94,000 people. The company, however, undertook work for a 20 MLD plant at a cost of Rs 37.8 crore. The audit said it could not find any justification for raising the capacity as it would remain unutilized at least up to 2041.

        In the Margao sewerage project, non-inclusion of casing pipes in the estimates resulted in an additional expenditure of Rs 10.8 crore on extra items. The company also installed high-sized pipes for railway crossing works that were not specified in the tender specification, resulting in an extra expenditure aggregating Rs 4.6 crore which could have been avoided, the audit report highlighted.

        Several other irregularities have also been pointed out in the report.







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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          Parrikar promises to unveil ****** policy by month-end

          TNN | Aug 4, 2018, 03:00 IST

          Porvorim: Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, on Friday said he will come out with a ****** policy by August end wherein areas will be identified and notified where offshore casinos dotting the river Mandovi can be shifted to. The casinos will also be allowed a maximum of four years to shift.

          Parrikar said that since three of his ministers were not in a position to reply to queries regarding their ministries, he had taken on their workload due to which the ****** policy could not be vetted earlier.

          He further said that under the new policy, licenses of offshore casinos would be renewed, provided they declare their willingness to shift operations to the designated zones within a year from the date of the declaration of the policy. Thereafter, he said, they will be granted four years for the shifting process.

          “Taking into account the huge investment involved in such projects, licenses for ****** operations in designated zones could be consider for a tenure of 10 to 15 years,” Parrikar further said

          Meanwhile, referring to the issue of the gaming commission, he said that the same will be appointed by December-end. “As a policy, Goans will not be permitted to enter the playing areas. A mechanism in this regard will be put in place once the gaming commissioner is appointed and appropriate rules for regulation formulated,” Parrikar said.

          He also said that if required, a clause authorizing the removal of the word offshore casinos from the act by legislature method could be initiated.

          There are six offshore casinos operating in the river Mandovi and dozens of onshore casinos operating across the state. Aiming to increase state revenue, the state government recently hiked licensing fees by up to 4.5 times for both, offshore and onshore casinos. Initially ****** operators resisted the fee hike, but later started paying the increased fee.

          Meanwhile, a senior officer, who is part of the team drafting the ****** policy said the state would not have any objection if offshore casinos moved operations close to the upcoming Mopa airport. Under the concession between GMR, which is constructing the greenfield airport, and the government, land has been already acquired and earmarked for business activities.


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          • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

            Rs 25 lakh per district for razing illegal structures

            TNN | Aug 4, 2018, 03:02 IST

            Porvorim: The revenue department has made financial provision of Rs 25 lakh for each district for demolition of illegal and unauthorised structures. The government has also appointed a dedicated deputy collector in each district, who has been provided with a demolition squad, to take action on identified illegal structures, revenue minister Rohan Khaunte said.

            “Both deputy collectors have been given the money and the process has started to ensure that they have their own squads in place as and when needed,” Khaunte said while responding to a private members’ resolution moved by former Congress Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro.

            Faleiro had demanded the formation of a separate demolition squad, headed by an independent officer, to take immediate action against illegal constructions, encroachments and violations in the state.

            The resolution, which was withdrawn, found favour with Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral.

            “In the south, 27 structures were marked for demolition, of which 21 demolition notices were issued. The remaining are pending,” Khaunte said. In north Goa, 17 cases seeking demolition were identified by the deputy collector of which eight cases are pending and nine are waiting availability of equipment, he said.









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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              India’s first integrated solid waste plant leads by example

              Gauree Malkarnekar | TNN | Updated: Aug 4, 2018, 07:56 IST


              Waste management

              PANAJI: At 6.45am on Wednesday, the first truck of the day, containing nearly two tonnes of wet waste from the Calangute panchayat area, arrives at the Saligao solid waste treatment plant. After the guard at the gate verifies if the truck is authorised to enter, it is let in and weighed on a weighing bridge.

              A little ahead, the truck tips its waste for processing at India’s first integrated solid waste management facility, where anything from glass, hard and light plastics and tetra packs to thermocol, leather and clothes are accepted for management, unlike anywhere else.

              At 8am, around 80 labourers and 70 executives take their positions for the long day ahead. Once the engines are switched on by the mechanical engineer, the waste treatment chain will remain in action till midnight. Workers operate in two shifts and meals are served inside the premises to make it possible for the plant to run over the long hours.

              “We receive waste from 27 panchayats in North Goa, the entire coastal belt and from garbage collection units along the highways. We deal with 140 to 150 tonnes of waste each day, which is processed the very same day,” senior executive Nathan Vaz, explains. Plant in-charge Pradeep Patil, says only three per cent of the waste that comes to the plant ends up in a landfill.

              Spare parts are always kept at hand for a quick fix, if required. Technicians in Germany and Italy, from where the technology has been bought, are available to provide assistance over the phone.

              At 8am sharp everyday, earthmoving machinery lifts the garbage brought in from the panchayats and feeds it into the machine. A drum-like contraption helps open the garbage bags automatically. “The idea of using machines to even open the bags is to put as few workers directly in contact with waste as possible,” Vaz said.

              The waste comes mostly segregated into dry and wet, thanks to awareness initiatives at the panchayat level. The larger chunks, which are separated by the machine, are forwarded for manual sorting.

              Fifteen to twenty women are each allotted the task of sorting a particular kind of waste: Tetra packs, polythene bags, shoes, thermocol and glass.

              All wet waste and smaller refuse is pressed into a pulp, which then goes to an anaerobic bio-digester. The digester’s heat varies between 50 and 55C, and helps produce biogas, which, in turn, generates around 7MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity everyday. Most of it is used to run the plant itself.

              “The excess electricity goes to the local power grid. At times, if we are unable to produce enough energy, we take it from the local grid,” mechanical engineer Dhananjay Wagh, said.

              Recyclable waste like hard plastics, go to recycling units outside the state. Potato wafer packets, multi-layered gift wrapping paper, cloth etc are pressed into bales and sent to cement factories, which use them to fuel their furnaces at high temperatures so the air is not polluted.

              The plants leads by example by adopting simple green initiatives. For instance, a pond that harvests rainwater is used for fish-breeding. Produce from a vegetable garden and fruit trees nurtured by the compost from the plant is used to prepare meals for the workers. Over 14,000 trees have been planted on the premises. “This year, we planted 730 more to mark our second anniversary; one plant for each day of the two years we have been operating,” Patil says.







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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                One-time use plastic items behind a lifetime of pollution

                Gauree Malkarnekar | TNN | Updated: Aug 3, 2018, 07:07 IST



                single-use plastic items include shopping bags, straws,cutlery and drinking water bottles

                PANAJI: Straws, cutlery and other such single-use plastics have been recognised as the largest contributor to the plastic waste menace the world over. In Goa, one of the biggest challenges facing citizens is refraining from the use of the cheap use-and-throw plastic bags that are handed out so freely.

                Those working in the field of solid waste management point out that such plastics alone cannot be labelled as evil. The evil lies in the way they are used, or rather, abused.

                “Of course, it is advisable to keep a cloth bag in your car or in your handbag at all times. But there is also no harm in using a plastic bag as long as we reuse its multiple times. We, however, wish that the authorities in Goa impose a complete ban on single-use plastic bags. One can see plastic bags of thickness below the legally permissible limit being freely handed out in markets everywhere,” Clinton Vaz, founder of waste management service vRecycle, said.

                Vaz said takeaway food services themselves right from chaat stalls to fine dining family restaurants generate one of the largest amounts of single-use plastic waste in Goa.

                “Citizens just need to take their own containers to collect bhel or take a bag in which to place takeaway orders,” he said.

                To do away with the use of plastic straws, the solution is simple, Vaz said. “Put your lips to the glass and enjoy the beverage. One should not even be talking about alternatives as there is no need for them. A mindset change is required. We just don’t need a straw.”

                In Calangute, restaurateur Clinton Fernandes has stopped all use of straws in his establishment. “We have also stopped buying packaged drinking water. Instead, we serve purified drinking water in reusable glass bottles. This saves waste of around 100 to 200 plastic bottles being created everyday,” Fernandes, who had also initiated the ‘Team Up to Clean Up Goa’ drive, said. During cleaning of beaches and other public areas frequented by tourists, Fernandes said he observed that, apart from glass bottles, single-use plastic cups constituted the largest chunk of the waste generated.

                “Though our initiative received a lot of attention, it was after conducting around 15 drives that I realised it just didn’t make sense to keep cleaning after others littered. People must be sensitised. You see Goans themselves just drawing down their car windows to discard garbage while they drop their children to school. When the child witnesses this, we are only helping create a new generation of litter bugs,” Fernandes said.






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                • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                  AAP: Political backing behind land conversion

                  TNN | Aug 5, 2018, 03:44 IST

                  Panaji: The conversion of 1crore sq m of orchard and agricultural land became a reality due to the government’s official patronage and inaction by officialdom despite peoples complaints, said Sidharth Karapurkar of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

                  Displaying copies of peoples’ complaints against illegal sale of non-settlement lands through open advertising, Karapurkar questioned, “Is the government not supposed to act? How can people go to court every now and then?”






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                  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                    Versatile yet vicious: Plastic use linked to cancers, birth defects

                    Gauree Malkarnekar | TNN | Updated: Aug 5, 2018, 07:15 IST


                    Representative image

                    PANAJI: From teethers to bottles, the use of plastic has become such an integral part of our lives, that it seems impossible to kick the habit. However, doctors and studies warn that if used wrongly, plastics can be carcinogenic. They advise special caution over what plastics children, in particular, are introduced to.

                    Cancer surgeon Dr Shekhar Salkar, who heads the department of oncology at Manipal Hospital, Dona Paula, says users need to refrain from the common practice of heating foods while still in plastic containers.

                    “Consuming food heated in a plastic container, or boiling plastic in any way, or inhaling fumes of burning plastic can be carcinogenic. Only high-quality plastic employed for medical purposes can be heated for sterilisation,” Salkar says.

                    Burning plastic is known to give out hazardous emissions, including hydrogen chloride, dioxin, and cadmium. Dioxin can affect normal functioning of the reproductive and immune systems, according to researchers.

                    Though Salkar says studies have not yet been able to conclusively prove that eating food stored in plastic containers can cause cancers, many nations, including the United Arab Emirates, have issued advisories asking citizens to avoid use of plastic teethers for infants and to stop storing acidic or fatty foods in plastic containers, among other things.

                    Indian researchers Neeti Rustagi, S K Pradhan, and Ritesh Singh, in their paper published in 2011 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, USA, have long pointed out to similar health effects caused by irresponsible use of plastics.

                    “Exposure to harmful chemicals during manufacturing, leaching of stored food items in plastic packages, or chewing plastic teethers and toys are linked with adverse health outcomes such as cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive effects etc,” the paper states.

                    The researchers explain that although the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published three regulations that deal with the safety aspects of toys, none of these give limits for phthalates (a component of plastic) in toys and childcare articles. Also, these guidelines on toy production are self-regulatory and not mandatory.

                    “Whether carcinogenic or not, it is proven beyond doubt that plastics cause damage the environment in a number of ways and it is best to reduce its use in daily life as much as possible,” Salkar says.









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                    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                      Existing PMC admin building to be rebuilt

                      TNN | Aug 6, 2018, 03:02 IST

                      Ponda: The Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) has decided to undertake the reconstruction of its existing administrative building soon.

                      The 50-odd-year-old building has become old and also has a limited space inside to house several administrative departments of the civic body.

                      The new council expects the reconstruction would be undertaken keeping in view the rising population of the town. PMC chairperson Pradeep Naik said that a resolution has been passed in a recent council meeting.

                      “By the time, the construction would go on, the council would work from its market complex at Budhwarpeth,” Naik said.

                      Chief officer Navnath Naik said the decision to shift the office on the second floor of the market complex is under consideration. tnn








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