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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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    NGT upholds GCZMA ruling on Baina structures

    TNN | Updated: Aug 14, 2018, 13:09 IST

    Representative image

    PANAJI: The National Green tribunal (NGT) has upheld a decision of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) rejecting permission to regularize 121 structures in Baina within the Coastal Regulations Zone (CRZ), as they have been built in violation of laws in the no-development zone.

    In its recent order, the tribunal dismissed appeals filed by persons living in the seaside structures. “The area is admittedly eco-fragile and is under stress due to illegal and unauthorised constructions and the area is ‘no-construction zone,’ the bench noted.

    After a survey, the authorities had found that the structures were within CRZ area and a show-cause notice had been issued seeking an explanation why the structures should not be demolished.

    Earlier, the high court had directed the GCZMA on an appeal by the occupants to hear them personally in the matter and pass an order.

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      Mhadei verdict a huge setback for Goa: Congress

      Bindiya Chari | TNN | Aug 14, 2018, 22:17 IST

      PANAJI: While Goa government has hailed the verdict of Mhadei water disputes tribunal (MWDT) as "a big victory to Goa," the Opposition, Congress Party said that it is a big setback for Goa and Goenkar.

      MWDT on Tuesday submitted its final recommendations to the ministry of water resources, awarding 5.5 TMC water to Karnataka as against its claim for 7 TMC. Goa government had staunchly opposed to release of water to Karnataka.

      Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), Girish Chodankar said, “This is in no way a victory of Goa as claimed by the government. In the long run, it will have a huge negative impact on Goa."

      Chodankar said that it appears now our legal team was toiling to make Goa Chief Minister's assurance in a letter to BJP leader B S Yedurappa prior to Karnataka assembly elections in January to allow diversion of water for purposes of drinking.

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        Margao civic body to ensure no plastic at Ganeshotsav mandals

        TNN | Aug 15, 2018, 07:45 IST

        Volunteers will be deployed at the venues to dissuade people from throwing waste at places other than the designated bins.

        MARGAO: Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has decided to outsource the task of waste collection from various Ganeshotsav mandals during the Ganesh Chaturthifestival to a private agency. The agency will be selected by inviting tenders, the notice for which will be issued shortly.

        After a meeting with representatives of various sarvajanik Gaeshotsav mandals in the city on Tuesday, MMC chief officer Siddhivinayak Naik told reporters that the dedicated waste collection exercise will be carried out from September 13 to 25. Chairperson Babita Prabhudessai and representatives of 17 Ganeshotsav mandals attended the meeting.

        Naik said that garbage collection vehicles will collect waste twice a day from the celebration venues. The MMC will also strictly enforce the plastic ban at community Ganeshotsav celebrations.

        "The mandals have been told to refrain from distributing prasad in plastic donne(dishes), and also not to use thermacol for decoration so as to reduce the generation of waste," Naik said, adding that two dustbins each will be provided to all mandals.

        The mandals have also been directed to ensure that the immersion venues are cleaned once the ceremony is over. MMC has also offered to erect temporary ramps at immersion sites if such a request comes from the mandals.

        Volunteers deployed at the celebration venues may be tasked with dissuading people from throwing waste at places other than the designated waste bins, Naik said.

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          Goa's capital, known for its quality of life, ranks 90 on livability index

          Newton Sequeira | TNN | Updated: Aug 14, 2018, 05:45 IST

          Panaji was ranked 90 out of the 111 cities in the country that participated in the ease of livability survey b... Read More

          PANAJI: The state capital narrowly missed becoming one of the worst cities in the country to live in. Panaji was ranked 90 out of the 111 cities in the country that participated in the ease of livability survey by the ministry of housing and urban Affairs (MoHUA).

          As ironic as it may sound, the Goa government has been highlighting the quality of life that the state offers, as it seeks investment from industries and IT startups.

          Panaji scored a disappointing 27.84, a far cry from Pune which scored 58.11 to top the rankings. Panaji scored well on parameters associated with open spaces and educations, ranking 43 and 23 respectively.

          The capital was let down on the parameters for health, housing, economy and employment.

          “The rapid pace of urbanization and the increased number of urban dwellers could exacerbate existing challenges like pollution, overcrowding, rising crime levels, poor access to water supply and sanitation facilities, and congestion, among others,” the survey report said.

          Benchmarks derived from national and international standards

          The report said states must lay greater focus on improving governance, quality of urban infrastructure and service delivery, which have a direct bearing on the quality of life offered by the cities to its citizens.

          The ministry of housing and urban affairs launched the ‘Ease of Living’ index in January to help cities systematically assess themselves against global and national benchmarks and encourage them to shift towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management.

          Each city was given a score between 0 and 100 and benchmarks for these scores were derived from national or international standards. The housing ministry expects the Ease of Living index to help cities fine tune their smart city or AMRUT proposals. “The index can help validate these and, if required, revisit the expenditure and sequencing (of projects),” the report said.

          Rampur in UP was ranked as the worst city to live in, coming in last among all the 111 cities.

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            On Margao-Panaji road, it takes four hours to travel four-km stretch

            Lisa Monteiro | TNN | Updated: Aug 14, 2018, 05:34 IST

            For those proceeding to Panaji from Margao, the traffic snarl began as far up as at the Verna industrial estat... Read More

            PANAJI: For the third consecutive day, nearly four hour-long traffic jamdeveloped along the four-kilometre Verna-Agasaim stretch on NH 66 severely inconveniencing commuters travelling on the Margao-Panaji route. Angry commuters berated the government for the “crater-sized” potholes on the road, which made the bottlenecks worse, and raised a finger at the incompetence of traffic police in managing the problem.

            For four hours in the morning and then right through the day, traffic came to a standstill along the road leading from the Verna slope till Agasaim junction due to the bad condition of the road.

            The situation was compounded by the large number of tourists visiting Goa on the weekend prior to the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

            Advocate Agnetha Moniz, travelling from Margao to Panaji, missed important cases in the Children’s Court, arriving three hours later than she expected.

            “This is ridiculous and it’s not the first time. People carried their heavy bags and preferred to walk and hitch a lift. An ambulance was stuck in traffic, too. The crater-sized potholes made the bottle necks worse,” she said, adding, “My heart was in my mouth with all the heavy traffic that came to a standstill on the Zuari Bridge,” she told TOI.

            One commuter, Priya Naik, who tried unsuccessfully to travel from Margao to Panaji for two consecutive days, said, “On Saturday evening I got stuck at Verna plateau so I decided to return home. On Sunday, I left home around 4pm again, only to get caught in the jam for two hours at Cortalim. I was furious and came back home.” Priya, who has a cousin’s wedding in Panaji in November, said she had better travel two days prior to the event so as to make it in time.

            A number of motorists also blamed drivers for not maintaining lanes and the traffic police for doing little to control them. “Potholed roads, dangerously placed barricades, motorists filling very conceivable gap, breaking every rule and courtesy all while police stood around in groups turning a blind eye. You can judge a community by their road discipline. No amount of superhighway infrastructure will change that,” Arjun Rebelo of Margao, said.

            For those proceeding to Panaji from Margao, the traffic snarl began as far up as at the Verna industrial estate and eased only at Agaccaim, after the potholed road.

            An ambulance’s shrieking siren fell on deaf ears as some motorists stuck in traffic for hours were reluctant to make way for anyone while others found themselves helpless in trying to help with the roads chock-a-block. One ambulance driver was left with no other option but to put lives at risk, including his own, by driving against the oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.

            A number of citizens turned their vehicles around to avoid a repeat of a nightmare that they have been all too familiar with.

            Nelson Fernandes set out at 9.30am from Margao for an important appointment at the Archbishop’s Palace at Panaji, only to return home when he found that traffic wasn’t moving at Verna. “I had lunch and set out on the journey at 2.30pm again thinking the situation would have improved, but it took me more than two hours to reach Panaji. It was a waste of time, fuel and money,” he said.

            “No planning has gone into the bridge work as far as the public is concerned. The large potholes at Agasaim leave motorists travelling at a snail’s pace. There was an ambulance behind me and I tried to make way for it, but there was absolutely no space on the road approaching Zuari bridge. People’s lives are at stake and the government needs to seriously manage traffic effectively along this important route,” Fernandes added.

            Those travelling by public transport have no turn-around option. One government employee said she reached office late on Monday due to the massive traffic jam. “I have a harrowing time these days as most of my time is spent travelling to and from work, stuck in the bus, waiting for the traffic to move. Due to these daily traffic jams, I have to also wait in long queues at the KTC shuttle bus counter at Panaji bus stand till 8pm.” Expressing worry about the situation when tourist season begins, the government employee said, “I shudder to think what will happen in the forthcoming months of peak tourist season from October to December. The government should either come up with a traffic plan or temporarily suspend the ongoing construction work that has narrowed the Cortalim-Verna road.”

            The large potholes at Cortalim and especially Agasaim, have turned into death traps for bikers and force vehicles to move at 10km per hour.

            “The poor quality roads and potholes are responsible for slowing down the traffic and causing the jam. Is it such a difficult task for the government that is promoting tourism, to get them filled?” Danush said.

            College student Elijah D’Souza, trying to get from his college in Quepem to his home in Anjuna for the weekend, ended up travelling for six hours. He was stuck for two hours at Cortalim on Saturday evening. “I missed my connecting bus and had to ask my father to pick me up from Mapusa. I reached home only at 10pm,” he said. Outside Dabolim airport, taxi drivers charged customers more taking into consideration the roadblock.


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              Use of plastic bags at Saptah to attract Rs 5k fine

              TNN | Aug 16, 2018, 03:36 IST

              Vasco: Vendor at the Vasco Saptah fair found with plastic bags will not only have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000, but will also be not allowed to participate in the fair for the next three years, chief officer Mormugao municipal council Agnelo Fernandes said.

              “We need to be thinking from the point of environment conservation. We can’t be taking such serious issues for granted. The Mormugao municipal council has strictly set its guidelines, discussed the matter in meetings and informed all vendors at the time of issuing stalls,” Fernandes said.

              In lieu of plastic bags, the council will be distributing 4,000 paper bags among these vendors. Fernandes said that the council got the bags readied well in advance with the help of voluntary organisations who roped in schoolchildrenand senior citizens to make them. Some bags were bought.

              The municipality, Fernandes said, will try and get more paper bags.

              A team from the municipal council will conduct surprise inspections to ensure that vendors are not using plastic bags.

              Meanwhile, Vasco police has installed 25 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and ten watchtowers at the Saptah fair.

              Besides police, 30 commandos and three male and two female IRBn platoons will be stationed at the fair from Thursday.

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                Government to embark on ambitious plan of developing detailed digital map of Goa

                TNN | Updated: Aug 16, 2018, 07:18 IST

                Manohar Parrikar government plans to create a centralized repository of digital maps.

                PANAJI: In an ambitious move towards e-governance and time-bound delivery of services, the Manohar Parrikar government plans to create a centralized repository of digital maps.

                The e-governance portal will collate and provide over 60 government departments with access to GIS (geographic information system) spatial layers that will come in handy while taking key policy decisions.

                Government sources said that the initiative will provide various government departments with a single window portal. The departments will be able to access detailed GIS map for the entire state which will be developed using satellite imagery and available information. “The satellite image will be digitized to prepare a base map by digitizing all the features and attributes available to the public such as roads, bridges, railway tracks, parks, gardens, stadiums, traffic squares and water bodies (rivers, lakes, ponds, drainages, canals),” a government official said.

                The e-governance portal will also collect information about utilities such as street lighting, water supply lines, sewerage network, waste-water, telecom, electricity, gas and storm water drain from the relevant departments. This data will be added as a layer on top of the satellite imagery.

                The department of information and technology has already tendered the project. “It is envisaged to provide a robust and reliable decision support system to departments, local bodies, corporations and boards by integrating the GIS data and e-governance system,” the government source said.


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                  Despite ban, plastic waste continues to go up in flames

                  Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Aug 16, 2018, 07:42 IST

                  For many shops and stores, and even some banks in the state, burning plastic in their backyards is considered ... Read More

                  PANAJI: For many shops and stores, and even some banks in the state, burning plastic in their backyards is considered to be an easy way to dispose it. Piles of ash and half-burnt material outside almost every shop, especially in rural areas, highlights the sad tale of mismanagement of waste and apathy in finding solutions, sources say.

                  Citizens and activists blame local self-governing bodies and higher authorities for lack of a proper waste management system and control unscientific disposal methods. “As collection at the local level is inadequate, people don’t know what to do, or are least bothered about the consequences, or are unaware of them,” Raj Vaidya, a concerned citizen says.

                  A handful, like Vaidya and Arturo D’Souza, mustered the courage to file complaints, an action that reminded the authorities that burning waste in open places is banned. Vaidya’s complaint against the Mapusa municipal council and the corporation of the city of Panaji saw each being slapped with a Rs 25,000 fine by the Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB). D’Souza’s complaint about bonfires in St Cruz also elicited a similar action.

                  Burning of garbage has become something of a routine for many households and most shops in villages. “Even the staff of a bank in Margao burn plastic. But sweepers do it and the officials are unaware,” an activist says.

                  The crude disposal method is a hazard to public health.

                  “Volatile cancerous chemicals like dioxins, which can cause respiratory problems, are released in the air due when plastic is burned,” says Joe D’Souza, former head of the microbiology department at Goa University.

                  Activists find that the administration has lost its way in implementing measures outlined by the national green tribunal and the high court to curb the menace.

                  “In a public interest litigation, the high court of Bombay at Goa had directed the state to constitute a team/squad to act against burning of waste some years ago,” D’Souza says.

                  In some areas, the fines appear to have served as deterrents. The St Cruz panchayat, for instance, has reduced some black spots. Villagers also claim that burning of waste is no longer rampant.

                  GSPCB sources bemoan the lack of manpower to monitor waste-burning. “But whenever citizens have complained, we have verified and imposed fines, as per NGT orders, on panchayats and municipalities concerned,” the official said.

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                    ‘Goa will emerge as most progressive state by 2022’

                    TNN | Updated: Aug 16, 2018, 07:50 IST

                    PANAJI: Each one of us must be a catalyst of growth in order to propel the nation to great heights, said panchayat minister Mauvin Godinho.

                    He was speaking after unfurling the tricolour to mark the Independence day celebrations at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Wednesday.

                    On the occasion, Godinho paid homage to freedom fighters, highlighting that “as citizens we are free and secure because of the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters and the soldiers who defend us at the border.”

                    The minister further said that it is not only the government’s responsibility, but it is also each one’s duty to contribute towards nation building. Highlighting various developmental works being carried out, Godinho stated that Goa will emerge as the most progressive state by 2022.

                    Also present were deputy collector Mahadev Arondekar, mamlatdar Satish Prabhu, deputy superintendent of police Sunita Sawant, joint mamlatdar-I Shripad Naik, joint mamlatdar-II Ravi Nipanikar, police inspector Nalasco Raposo and former speaker Rajendra Arlekar.

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                      State’s first garbage handling plant at Bicholim awaits modernisation

                      Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Aug 17, 2018, 06:53 IST

                      Picture used for representational purpose

                      PANAJI: The garbage handling plant at Lakerem, Bicholim, was among the first in Goa and projected as a successful model for a small town population, but citizens are critical of lack of plans to modernize it for the war against plastic.

                      For a few kilometres around, barring a small cluster of houses about a km away on its south-western side, the single shed plant sits on a low and scenic plateau. After a longish interval, a truckload of waste, predominantly wet, arrives from the town about 3km away.

                      The operations are entirely manual with only two baling machines to compress the bulk of plastic waste for dispatch to the cement factories. The workers sort out the recyclable waste, which is classified into 10-odd categories. The wet waste is composted and sold to agricultural farms.

                      “The plant receives on an average four tonnes of wet and just over two tonnes of dry waste,” said chief officer, Bicholim municipal council (BMC), Vivek Naik. Citizens and others are generally happy about the first plant in this region catering fairly well to their needs. But while Saligao plateau was chosen for setting up a Rs 150 crore plant, they are disappointed that their local facility has been ignored for even modest upgradation.

                      “Though a good model for garbage handling initially, the plant is to some extent a white elephant, as the potential of the site has not been fully utilized,” says local social activist, Sameer Vaigankar.

                      The authorities have tried to improve the segregation at source, but some basic requirements have to be considered. “There are some houses which do not have bins for wet and dry waste. The other issue is the plant is overdue for a technical upgrade,” said environmentalist Ramesh Gauns. The residential areas are fairly clean, but plastic litter and garbage can be seen at the riverside bus stand and open spaces. “The visitors and passersby are mainly responsible for this,” a citizen said. With the garbage plant away from habitation and a lot of land available, there is immense scope for expansion and improving services. Many officials in agricultural and technical fields from Bicholim are working in various departments. “Their help could have been availed for the plant to curb the plastic menace,” Vaigankar said. Officials conceded that the ratio of recoverables from plastic is not satisfactory, but asserted that efforts are being made to train the staff to improve it. “Plans for expansion of the plant and technical upgrade with new equipment are in the pipeline,” Naik said.

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