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Newsletter. Issue 2008-20. September 27, 2008
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Goa News Clips

Red alert in Goa, security tightened at tourist spots
Posted online: Sep 22, 2008 at 1708 hrs

Panaji, September 22: Goa Police on Monday sounded a red alert in the state apprehending the possibility of a terror strike. IGP Kishan Kumar in a message to all the police stations has asked to tighten the security in their respective jurisdictions.

"The red alert is sounded as we do not want to take any chance and we are undertaking intense checking of all the vehicles," Samy Tavares, special officer attached with the DGP, said.

Goa was being considered on the terror radar after Kerala police had tipped off about the northern bound train carrying explosives with the aim to strike Goa. The state police had beefed up security around all the railway stations and Marusagar Express, which reportedly carried the explosives, was checked at Margao railway station on Monday morning. The train had arrived from Ernakulum (Kerala) and was leaving towards Jaipur (Rajasthan).

Police said all vehicles, especially those leading towards Coastal belt, are being thoroughly checked. The security has also been beefed up in the crowded areas, mostly frequented by the tourists.


Goa's Regional Plan to be open for scrutiny for 90 days

Panaji (PTI): Goa's Regional Plan (RP) 2021, prepared by a task force comprising experts from planning and industry sector, would be open for public scrutiny for next 90 days, its nodal officer said. The draft, which highlights issues like alternative national highway traversing through state's hinterland, doubling up of railway lines and conservation of heritage and eco sensitive zones, was submitted to Chief Minister Digamber Kamat on Monday.

The Plan would be presented to all the 189 village panchayats and 14 municipalities of the state where citizens would be allowed to suggest the amendments, task force's nodal officer Sanjith Rodrigues said.


Rains delay tourist season in Goa
Panaji (PTI): Goa tourism department is worried over continuing rain in the coastal state which has further delayed the tourist season here.

"We hope that there will be increase in the tourists this season. The season is getting delayed because of rains," state tourism director Elvis Gomes said today. The rains have continued lashing the state leaving the sandy beaches wet and sea rough, which is unfavourable for swimming.

The state tourism department, along with the Goa police has initiated drive along the coast to stop the tourists from venturing in the rough sea. The deaths due to drowning had become a regular feature in the state during this monsoon before police deployed special teams to restrict people from entering the sea. First it was global recession, later terror attack followed by delayed in chartered foreign tourist season and now the rains.

Goa's tourism season which formally starts in October is currently breathing on weekend domestic tourists crowd sans foreign arrivals. "People usually don't visit the state during rains," Gomes said.
The tourism department statistics indicate that last season ending in March, three lakh foreigners and 26 lakh domestic tourists visited the state.



The Mannerist Neo-Roman design Church of Saviour of the World in Loutulim, South Goa, was erected by the Jesuits some time in 1581 and re-constructed in the year 1586, according to the book "The Parish Churches of Goa" (Jose Lourenco).


PANJIM: Peeved over reports appearing in a section of the vernacular media about volunteers allegedly belonging to the Bajrang Dal burning his effigy, state NCP president Dr Wilfred de Souza has demanded a ban on the Bajrang Dal. He felt what has started with burning of his effigy might ultimately assume the form of violence as in Karnataka against the Catholic community. "It starts with this. Today it is effigies, tomorrow they will burn human beings. It has happened in Mangalore," Dr Willy remarked while calling upon state BJP president Shripad Naik and opposition leader Manohar Parrikar to control their workers to prevent such happenings. "They are burning my effigy because I brought to notice the matter pertaining to Saligao MLA's affidavit. I am fighting for the law of the land," he charged. [GT]


GBA to place RP 2021 before Core Group
PANJIM: The executive committee of Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) yesterday decided to place before the core committee the final Regional Plan 2021, for an appropriate decision even as it sought clarification regarding two parallels sets of Development Control/Planning Regulations being promulgated by the Government of Goa, in the final Plan released on Monday. Though the executive committee comprises five members, only four co-convenor Sabina Martins, secretary Rebony Saha, joint secretary Miguel Braganza and treasurer Anand Madgavkar attended the meeting. Co-convenor from South, Shridhar Kamat, abstained. [GT]


Set Up Archaeological Parks, Suggests RP 2021 Task Force
PANAJI: If the state government exercises its political will, Goa’s three former capitals - Chandrapur in Chandor, Gopakapattan in Goa Velha and Agassaim, and Cidade de Goa in Old Goa - could be converted into archaeological parks. Along with these, two other ancient passages may be promoted as heritage trails.

In a report containing several heritage-friendly recommendations, the task force on the draft regional plan 2021 has suggested archaeological parks in the three former capitals, a move that has delighted historians and heritage enthusiasts. Excavations carried out in Chandor, the Kadamba capital, by Fr Henry Heras of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai in the thirties and more recently by Archaeological Survey of India uncovered Kadamba period coins, statues and earthenware. [Paul Fernandes, TOI]


Hotels offer 20% rebate to foreign tourists
PANAJI: Twenty per cent discounts by starred and large hotels, and last year’s rates by small and medium hotels are carrots dangled before foreign tourists by the Goa tourism industry for the coming season. Gearing up to face the global economic recession, with potential customers abroad either losing their jobs or paying off


15% drop in foreign arrivals anticipated
PANAJI: The upcoming tourism season may not augur well for the state tourism industry with at last 15 per cent drop in arrival of foreign tourists and charters being projected by the industry, even as the first flight expected to land at the Dabolim airport from Russia on September 28 being deferred till mid-November. According to information provided by Mr Ralph de Souza, president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, only 7635 flights from 800 slots booked by tour operators have been confirmed. [NT]


Vessels jostle for space in Mandovi
PANAJI: The 'Riviera riverfront' of Mandovi river - approximately 1-km stretch - is fast turning into a battleground for various departments of the government as casino ships, ferries, barges and fishing trawlers jostle for space. The traffic on Mandovi river at the 'Riviera riverfront' is heavily congested. This stretch of the river has a fishing jetty, ferry ramps on Malim-Betim side and ferries on the Panaji side. Three casinos are moored and one casino berthed (part of the time) at this segment. And to cap it all there is continuous traffic of ore-laden barges and cruise boats ferrying tourists up and down through this stretch along with crisscrossing trawlers. [NT]


Ecoclean outsourced to keep Government hospitals clean
PANJIM, Sep 24: Following increasing complaints of unhygienic condition at State-run hospitals, and more so at Goa Medical College & Hospital, Bambolim, the Government has outsourced sweeping and swabbing of hospitals, dental college and nursing college. The work has been outsourced to M/s Ecoclean System & Solution, Panjim. [H]


Nuvem villagers up in arms over bungalow project
MARGAO: A project of 40 bungalows, spread across around 76,000 sq m, at Pateapur in Nuvem has come under scrutiny following an uproar by the villagers over its plan and the violations by the builder. Nuvem villagers have also got the support of Geraldine Fernandes, who is spearheading the Benaulim villagers action committee. The villagers, along with Geraldine, called on the acting sarpanch, Menino Mascarenhas, on Tuesday and said that the plan itself was faulty, besides pointing out to several irregularities like the retaining wall, sewerage and the set-back from the main road. [TOI]

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