Three big issues dominated Goa in 2012

A radical political shift, cheap petrol and the ban on mining ensured that Goa remained in the limelight in 2012.
The year’s first big surprise was the manner in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) romped to power, trouncing the Congress-led coalition government whose ministers were battling severe corruption allegations. Even Chief Minister Digmabar Kamat was found desperately staving off allegations of corruption and papering over illegalities in the mining sector. This gave the BJP an opportunity to return to power after a hiatus of eight years.
“Our victory was on the plank of development. That the Congress did not do anything at all for the state and was involved in one controversy after the other also helped us,” Health Minister Laxmikant Parsenkar, a former state
BJP president, told IANS.
For the record, the Congress was reduced to a single digit – a more nine – in the 40- member assembly, while the BJP won a majority of 21.
The election also saw four members of the Alemao family – one of the most powerful and controversial in Goa – lose in the elections. Three of them had contested on the Congress ticket, while one fought as a Nationalist Congress Party candidate.
The ban on mining had been a long time in coming.
Unprecedented levels of illegal mining, under a sympathetic government had already been wreaking in the Goan hinterland, with over 30 percent of the ore mined (50 million tonnes) reported to be illegal, according to the state
government records.
“The Supreme Court ban (in October) had to happen. The way in which illegal mining was gathering momentum, something had to give way,” said Ramesh Gauns, a schoolteacher who was one of the key activists against illegal mining.
That the ban was imminent was clear when the report of the Justice M.B. Shah commission of inquiry was tabled in parliament, pegging the illegal mining scam at Rs. 35,000 crore. It also brought then chief minister Kamat and several other bureaucrats and mining companies into the ambit of the scam.
The Shah Commission report, which was attached as evidence by anti-mining petitioners in the Supreme Court, was a basis on which the apex court banned mining in Goa, pending a probe by its central empowered committee.
The ban continues, as does the Supreme court hearing on the issue.
And finally the fuel did not add to the fire. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s poll promise of reducing petrol prices by Rs.11 (after reducing VAT down to 0.1 per cent) made the state one of the cheapest places in India where one could buy petrol at Rs 55.70.
According to Parrikar, “the average estimated loss for the year 2012-13 to the exchequer would be about Rs.165 crore”.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at mayabhushan.n@ians.in)

Courtesy : NT

Gujarat angle in ‘college girl’ sex racket nailed in Goa

The sex tourism issue has taken a fresh turn in the so-called internationally acclaimed tourist destination of Goa after a spate of raids by police on prostitution rackets in the State over recent weeks having unearthed what could be major racket being run with girl students, primarily from Mumbai, being trafficked into Goa for sexual encounters. The girls are lured into the sleaze trap, police sources told HERALD, with the promise of a “great holiday” and are used sexually by the group that pays for their tickets, accommodation and other holiday expenses; subsequently, at the end of the “holiday”, some of the girls are pushed into the call girl/prostitution racket that “supplies” ~ complete with advertisements ~ “college girls” to clients i.e. mainly Indian sex tourists.
“We have found that reasonably well off Indian tourists, especially from Gujarat, are the main users of this ‘service’ and many a times they have misled these young, somewhat naive girls recently out of school into believing that they are being taken for an all-expense paid holiday. We have found this to be a clear trend after analyzing the outcome of a series of raids on massage parlours and other joints that double up as prostitution dens,” said an officer who has been part of the raids.
Leading South Goa-based NGO ARZ, working in the field of rehabilitating girls trafficked into the sex trade, told HERALD that such “deals” are usually struck outside Goa but the tourist spots in the State are being exploited for the illicit activity. NGO ARZ Director Arun Pandey said young girls are being lured to Goa with the promise of great holiday where they don’t have to pay anything. “All their expenses are paid by the group that has persuaded the girls, usually known to at least one member of the group, to join them ~ the girls have to return the favour by allowing sex,” he said. Some of the girls are forced to stay back in Goa and enter the call girl racket.
Police have also noticed that in a move to avoid detection at border check-posts when entering the states, groups of sex tourists rarely if ever travel with the girl. Pandey said the group of men could comprise students or businessmen and they usually meet the “girls” at a disco or nightclub in Goa from where they are taken to hotel rooms or other places. Data accessed by HERALD shows the victims are as young as 19 and usually come from middle class homes. These girls usually travel in a group led by an older woman (who is in effect the pimp). It so happens that many of them do not know they are being trafficked into prostitution. Some of the members of the group may be sex workers, however, and once they all land in Goa the girls who have come under the impression that they are here on a holiday often get sucked into the sleaze trade, added Pandey.

Courtesy : Herald

Goa CM shedes crocodile tears : Goa MP

Shantaram Naik M P has condemned the shedding of crocodile tears and adoption of hypocritical attitude by Chief Minister of Goa,Manohar Parrikar, at the meeting of National Development Council when he complained against AGMU cadre and its officers posted in Goa when he has opposed a separate cadre for Goa.

Naik said that it is precisely because that Goa’s development is suffering under AGMU , which is a common cadre for Arunachal,Goa,Manipur and all the seven Union Territories, and it is because the officers posted in Goa come for a short period ,  there is no continuous commitment of such officers towards development works in the state, and that , since they do not obey the Government of the State the way the officers in the State cadres do.

Naik) has been pursuing the demand of separate cadre which BJP government led by  Parrikar, scuttled by writing letter to the Home Ministry on 4/4/2012 that Goa is not interested in separate cadre of All India Services.

The AGMU Cadre’s controlling authority is Union Home Ministry and Goa Government has to obey the rules of AGMU Cadre . Parrikar has to understand the administration and should not expose his ignorance in such a blatant manner bringing in disrepute the prestige of VJTI and try to experiment hydraulic pressure in administration.

Naik also reminded that the high growth rate and high per capita income of Goa which he has boasted of in NDA meeting , has been achieved under congress regime and not in the last 8 months of BJP rule.
As regards mining closure, BJP closed the mining operation in Goa On 10 th September, 2012, by issuing an illegal order without quoting any provision of law suspending the mining operations in Goa.
In fact , Union Ministry of Environment and Forest in their order dated 14th September 2012, quoted provisions of Environment Protect Act .

Naik said he has always opposed the encroachment of judiciary in the realm of executive and legislature but one has to speak with respect and dignity while referring to apex court .
Now it has to be en devour of everyone to see that Supreme Court vacates their order dated 5th November, 2012 and allows legal mining to commence .
It is only a inhuman and heartless person who will say that I will not start mining in Goa even if Supreme Court orders me to do , disregarding the plight of hungry children of those affected by mining.

Naik said that Government of Maharashtra has now proposed payment of Rs 2 lakhs per affected family in lieu of jobs, which means the Maharashtra Government is not now insisting on giving jobs to PAP by Goa Government.

But  Naik said that Maharashtra Government has quoted National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Settlement Bill for the purpose. A provision in the bill cannot be enforced as a law, he said.

However, Mr Naik said he has written to Union Minister of Water Resources  Harish Rawat and sought his intervention in the matter.

When asked about National Secretary Act ,  Naik said that in principle and considering that Goa is under constant threat of terrorist attack, I am of the view that the State Government should have such a legislation to meet any contingency, but he added, it should not be like “MAKDACHEA HATANT KOLIT (Charcoal in the hand of a monkey)

Naik has expressed his happiness that Goa CM has demanded Special Status for Goa.

Goa’s CM demands special economic package

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Thursday sought a special economic package from the central government for people affected by the ban on the mining industry in the state.

“The centre should sanction a special financial package for people whose livelihood is affected due to the mining ban,” Parrikar said at the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC).

Parrikar has also demanded special status for Goa under Article 371 of the Constitution, because of its unique identity which, he said, was under threat due to rampant in-migration.

Courtesy: smetimes

Over 140 vacant posts in Goa’s technical institutes

The state’s education secretary, Keshav Chandra, has publically pointed to the severe shortage of trained faculty in institutes of higher education in Goa. Technical education institutes in the state are the worst affected with over 140 posts lying vacant.
The report Status of Technical Education in Goa, 2011 by director for technical education V B Kamat shows that only 463 posts for faculty members have been filled of the 605 sanctioned positions in Goa. Of the 15 technical institutes in the state, Goa College of Engineering at Farmagudi had the highest vacancies, where only 73 of the 134 posts have been filled.

Excluding a couple institutes, all technical institutes have at least a few posts waiting to be filled. The education secretary has come on record to state that the lack of trained faculty members in Goa is forcing the state to employ teachers on contract basis and not regularize their services. The state government is looking at making amendments to the recruitment rules to allow filling up of at least some of the positions and Goa is also exploring the possibility that meritorious non-Goan teachers can be accommodated to improve the delivery of quality higher education in the state.

According to the ‘Statistics of Higher & Technical Education 2009-10’ of the Union ministry of human resource development, Goa’s pupil teacher ratio for higher education stood at 16. While this is higher than the all India average of 24, it is lower than states like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu.

The gross enrolment ratio in Goa is on the rise and if measures are not taken to fill vacancies for teachers, the pupil teacher gap could grow wider.

The overall gross enrolment ratio in higher and technical education institutes between the ages of 18 to 23 years in Goa has increased substantially from 12.66% in 2006-07 to 28.3% in 2009-10.

Courtesy : TOI