Goa CM Manohar Parrikar chosen Indian of the Year 2012 in politics category

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was on Wednesday chosen the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2012 in the politics category. The IIT alumnus won the award for being the architect of the win of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader faced a tough contest in the politics category with the likes of young leader Akhilesh Yadav, veteran Parkash Singh Badal and dynamic politician Jairam Ramesh.

Apart from Parrikar, the other nominees in the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2012 politics category included Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken for making consistent efforts to reform Indian sports, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for scripting his party’s win in India’s most politically critical state, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for being one of the most dynamic and no-nonsense ministers in UPA-II.

The other nominees were Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan for shoring up some of his party’s image through personal probity and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for successfully defying a four decade anti-incumbency tradition in the state.

Goa churches to preserve historical artefacts

The Portuguese era artefacts lying in various churches across the state will now be given a new lease of life by Archdiocese of Goa, which is toying with the concept of ‘museums in each of the churches’.

The Church has decided that the Christian heritage artefacts, which are securely lying in various churches, will be preserved by forming special heritage cells, that would be manned by experts.

Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao recently told a gathering near Panaji that every parish (village level community) can take care of the age-old articles lying in the churches. This heritage needs to be “protected, preserved and conserved” in the form of museum, he said. “If needed it should be restored so that it can be passed on to the next generation,” Ferrao said.

Christianity arrived in Goa centuries back during Portuguese regime. The state has 27 per cent catholic population, who worship through 180-odd churches and chapels spread across Goa.

All these structures are architecturally rich and house the monuments, which give a peep into the Christian heritage. The archbishop said that “absence of professionals could be disastrous for the protection and restoration of these artefacts.” “The church is not primarily a custodian of art and architecture. The mission of the church is fundamentally spiritual. A mighty outpouring of human artistic creativity entire to the glory and worship of God has resulted in the Church becoming, defacto, the custodian of immense treasure of culture and artistic heritage,” he added. The archbishop has asked all the parishes to make an inventory of such artefacts.

Courtesy: samaylive

Fresh trouble for Goa mining industry

In fresh trouble for the mining industry in Goa, the pollution control board has refused operating consent to all 107 mining leases in the state under the Air and Water Pollution Control Act. Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), in its order yesterday said that since the case against these mining leases is pending with the Supreme Court, their application for consent stands withdrawn. The apex court is hearing the petition filed by NGO Goa Foundation against the illegal mining activity in the state, pending which all mines have been asked to stop operations.

GSPCB Chairman Jose Manuel Noronha, who heard the petitions filed by the mining firms before the board, said that the apex court has halted the mining operations, the board cannot renew the consent under air and water pollution act to these mining leases. The consent to operate under these Acts have expired on 31 July, 2012. The mining firms will have to re-apply once SC decides on the matter, Mr Noronha said. The state’s mining industry is in doldrums after the SC halted the mining operations asking the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) to investigate into the illegal mining.

Courtesy: thestatesman

Goa Khazan Bachao Abhiyan to ‘awaken’ ryots over ‘good’ legislation

The newly-formed Goa Khazan Bachao Abhiyan (GKBA) has hailed the draft Goa  Development Board Act, 2012, as a “step in the right direction”, stating that the state’s unique heritage faces the threat of destruction from misuse by fish farmers and global warming.


“The farmers are concerned about illegalities and want to protect their land from the control of mafia raj, which is carrying on pisciculture,” said Premanand Mhambre of GKBA. The abhiyan held two preliminary meetings recently. “The benefits of any change should come to the farmers, but first we need to awaken them,” said Mhambre.

GKBA members have planned to bring ryots from khazan heartlands of Bardez, Tiswadi, Ponda, Bicholim and other talukas together on a platform to discuss burning issues. “It is important that we hold deliberations and ensure that whatever comes (the Act) is free of loopholes. In the past, citizens have had to fight against loopholes in legislations to ensure implementation of the law,” he said.

Large tracts of fertile lands reclaimed through a remarkable feat of engineering are being lost due to flooding. “We may lose large areas of the 18,000 ha of our precious khazan preserved by our ancestors due to global warming,” said Mhambre.

But when pointed out that the board will be vested with sweeping powers under the Act, Mhambre hinted that unwanted components can be weeded out. “It is up for suggestions,” he said.

Courtesy : TOI

Coal Block allotted to M/S Goa Industrial Development Corporation in Chattisgarh

Union Minister of State for Coal  Pratik Patil, informed Mr Shantaram Naik M.P. in the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to his question whether  Goa Government has been allocated any Coal Block,  Naik was informed that the Coal Block allotted to M/S Goa Industrial Development Corporation in Chattisgarh is in the State of obtaining statutory clearances and land acquisition.

Minister said “Gare Pelma Sector III coal block in the State of Chattisgarh was allocated to M/s Goa Industrial Development Corporation on 12.11.2008 to meet the coal requirement for their 188 MW thermal power plant to be set up in Raigarh District in the State of Chattisgarh.”

“The coal block is at the stage of obtaining statutory clearances and land acquisition. The responsibility of developing coal block as per the prescribed guidelines and milestone chart attached with the allocation letter rests with the allocatee company as per the extant law. Further, the allocatees have to submit Bank Guarantee which remains valid at all the times till production from the coal block reaches its peak capacity.”Minister has said in his replied.

Patil informed  that “Coal production from the captive coal block shall commence within 36 months (42 months in case the area is in forest land) in case of open cast mine and in 48 months (54 months in case the area fall under forest land) in case of underground mine from the date of preparation of Geological Report.”