Herald

  • CM warned over attempts to foist SEZs on Goa

    The SEZ Virodhi Manch has warned Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat that any attempts by the Ministers in his government or by other vested interests in Goa or by the Ministry of Commerce to foist the SEZs on Goa under any label or force the pace of industrialisation by any other scheme will be resisted by Goans will all their might. In a letter to the Chief Minister, the SEZ Virodhi Manch while appreciating the recommendation to the government of India to scrap all SEZs, including the three notified ones in Goa, has expressed deep concern about recent media reports suggesting that the promoters of notified SEZs should served show cause notices and that they should be invited for discussion on the payment of compensation. The Manch has said the Goa government should flatly refuse to pay compensation to the SEZ promoters. On the contrary, the Manch has asserted that the promoters should be compelled to pay heavy compensation to the people for rampant hill-cutting, land-filling, rock blasting and other destruction carried out on the allotted land without authorisation from the competent authority. "The GIDC has no authority under SEZ Act to issue any permission to do hill cutting or developers. Construction activities have taken place before the SEZs were notified. Hence, all the constructions initiated in the SEZs are illegal', the Manch maintained. Saying that bore-wells sunk by the SEZ promoters at Keri and Verna have affected sub-soil water levels in surrounding areas and that wells and springs have dried up, the Manch said this ecological disaster should be investigated and the promoters made to compensate the respective villagers. Requesting the Chief Minister to instruct the GIDC to cancel the land allotment they had made and to resume the land they had alloted, the Manch said the land can be utilised in the future for purposes only after involving the Gram Sabhas of the local Panchayats in all future procedures for the use of this land. Reminding the Chief Minister about the demand for a CBI inquiry into the fraudulent allotment of land to the SEZ promoters by the GIDC, the Manch said the criminal compliant made with the Goa police is yet to be registered as an FIR. "Such inaction on the part of the government gives reason for suspicion', the Manch said and hoped the government does not force Goans to resort to agitations again to seek justice.

  • Aviation generated pollution (editorial)

    By Wg Cdr N K Pant (Retd) Scientists estimate that the effect of aviation emissions on the climate is up to five times the impact of emissions occurring on the ground. The primary gas emitted by jet aircraft engines is carbon dioxide, which, scientists believe, can survive in the atmosphere up to 100 years. It means denying the coming generations from living in a world where they can breathe clean air, enjoy diverse ecosystems and eat healthy food. Some of the major airlines of the world seem to be lately realising the adverse role of their big passenger jets on climate changes on account of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the engine-exhausts into the earth's atmosphere. In this context Virgin Atlantic's first flight of a commercial aircraft powered with bio-fuel from London to Amsterdam on February 24, 2008 to show it can produce less carbon dioxide than normal jet fuels was an appreciable endeavour. This particular flight was partially fueled with a bio-fuel mixture of coconut and babassu oil in one of its four main fuel tanks and is expected to produce much less CO2 than regular jet fuel. Since aircraft engines emit gases and particulates that reduce air quality, spearheading the test flight was indeed a potentially useful experiment aimed at cutting down emission of greenhouse gases. A few weeks prior to this, an airbus A 380 too had taken off on a similar test sortie, powered on a blend of regular fuel and liquid fuel processed from natural gas with the hope that the super jumbo will become a centerpiece of efforts to develop the next generation of cleaner fuel. Several airlines have also pledged to clean up their fleets as fears about global warming and fuel costs have mounted. The petrol and diesel driven vehicles leave harmful trails of smoke on the roads. Thousands of air turbine fuel (ATF) guzzling aeroplanes release tonnes of hazardous fumes into our biosphere daily. The increasing size of aircraft, the emission of black smoke during take-off, and the density of air traffic at major airports, have drawn environmentalists' attention to pollution by aircraft. A loaded jumbo 747, for instance, uses tens of thousands of litres of fuel on merely take-off. Pollution by aircraft arises from the jettisoning of spare fuel after being airborne. It must be released at a height sufficient to allow it to vaporise so that it does not reach the ground in liquid form. Commercial jet planes make a significant contribution to the problem of global warming. According to a UN report, aviation is responsible for over half of the pollution caused by transportation on the surface. In India the number of passenger and freight aircraft flown by private airlines is fast multiplying. The Indian Air Force is likely to increase its flying operations in the coming years. Its increasing use of supersonic combat aircraft flying at high altitudes may lead to increasing pollution of the upper air, where pollutants may accumulate since natural dispersion at such heights is not very effective. It is estimated that one multi-engine passenger aircraft is being added every fortnight to the fleets of India's domestic carriers that are engaged in cutthroat competition to fly to the remotest corners of the country. As a result, the number of aircraft flying the Indian skies has gone up considerably. Air Force, Army, Navy and the coast guard has more than 1,000 fighter jets, transport planes and helicopters kept aloft in routinely scheduled day and night flying.

  • Zuarinagar locals protest erratic water supply

    A group of residents of Marathi Ward, Zuarinagar, confronted officials at the PWD office in Baina on Monday, to complain about the erratic water supply for the last 20 days. Accompanied by local Panch Nilesh Dalvi, the residents confronted Assistant Engineer (AE) M S Kunju and demanded immediate water supply to the affected areas. While threatening to damage the main pipeline, which supplies water to the entire Zuarinagar, the residents have warned an agitation at the Margao PWD office, if authorities failed to restore regular water supply within a specified time. Anticipating the tension situation in the office, Mr Kunju asked Dalvi and a junior officer to accompany him to identify the area affected by irregular water supply. After inspecting the pipeline, which connects the particular area, Mr Kunju assured the crowd that regular water supply would be restored within a week. Mr Dalvi alleged that two PWD tankers, allotted to the area, were seen providing water to the hotel lobby and other influential colonies. Mr Kunju explained that the shortfall in water supply was due to augmentation work at the Salaulim water plant, the altitude of the affected area and the increase in new water connections. He pointed out that the situation was worse last year and the installation of two high capacity pumps had solved the problem to a large extent this year. Refuting these claims, Mr Dalvi sought to know how influential colonies and establishments were provided with regular water supply in the same geographic location.

  • Project for urban poor in Panjim gets nod

    The first project under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) for the capital city of Panjim entitled

  • Leopard enters house at Bicholim

    A leopard entered the verandah of a house in Lamgao-Bicholim on Thursday, as wild cats have continued to haunt residents of Bicholim taluka. Animal Rescue Squad Chief Amrut Singh told Herald that a leopard entered the verandah of the house owned by one Desai, in an attempt to kill a domestic cat. Officials of the forest department later visited the site on hearing the news. In a similar case, a leopard is believed to have attacked a dog that was tied in the verandah of the house belonging to one Shripati Khedekar at Naiginim-Bicholim. The family switched on the lights at night after hearing a commotion and the wild cat fled under the cover of darkness. The dog was later treated for injuries from the attack. Meanwhile, the forest department has made concerted efforts to catch wild cats who have caused panic in Bicholim taluka. A number of traps have been laid at Lamgao and Kudchirem.

  • GPCB visits Vasco fishing jetty,collects coal dust samples

    The Goa Pollution Control Board (GPCB) on Wednesday collected samples of coal and coke dust from the Vasco fishing jetty. Following demands from the Mormugao Bachao Abhiyan (MBA), the GPCB had installed a Mobile Respriable Dust Sampler unit at the fishing jetty on Tuesday at 8 am. After a gap of 24 hours, GPCB officials removed the unit and collected the samples. That the coal and coke dust levels were high seemed evident as the machine was covered with coal and coke dust, visible to the naked eye, despite the ongoing strike that has paralysed coal and coke handling operations at Berths 10 and 11 at the port. Admitting that there was coal and coke dust pollution, GPCB officials, however, declined to comment on the actual dust levels and only stated that the samples would be sent for tests. Speaking to Herald, MBA Convener Simon Pereira said: "The unit was installed on Tuesday and within 24 hours, coal and coke dust has settled on the unit, even though coal and coke handling operations have stopped due to the strike. Because of the 2000-odd workers, the entire population of Mormugao has to suffer.' A senior citizen, who was present at the site when officials collected the samples, claimed that coal dust enters his flat and settles on the floor, fan and clothes, creating a lot of inconvenience. Agreed Councillor Lavina Pinto: "Coal dust has created a lot of problems as it enters the houses along the costal belt of Khariwada. People have to clean their homes at least twice a day and the dust has also affected the health of the children.' Another Councillor Arnald Rego admitted that ailments like Asthma have been on the rise in the Port town. Residents at the site accused the Rojgar Bachao Abhiyan (RBA) of racking up the issue of coal for their personal benefits. They alleged that most truck and shovel owners are direct beneficiaries of the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), while citizens have had to suffer from the coal dust.

  • Panjim finally cleared of garbage

    Acting CCP mayor apologises for inconvenience As Panjim enjoyed a breath of fresh air today after four days of garbage stench, acting mayor of the City of Corporation of Panjim, Yaten Parekh today apologised to the citizens of the city for the inconvenience caused owing to the workers' stir. Parekh speaking to Herald today said that the corporators along with the team of employees worked round the clock since late Monday night and cleared the accumulated garbage from every nook and corner of the city. While most of the garbage was cleared last night, remains at remote locations were lifted early today morning. The corporation today categorically denied allegations that the Tonca landfill site is being used to hold the city to ransom at the behest of politicos. The acting Mayor disclosed that even after chief minister assured action against the culprits in the assault of CCP Mayor, that locals residing around the site continued to object to the dumping of waste at the said site. Parekh disclosed that the CCP members had to appease the agitated lot, "Only after which the dumping operations began late on Monday night,' he said. Interestingly, the bio-reactor plant being set up by the CCP at Patto has successfully completed trial runs. However its commissioning is likely to be delayed on account of the Mayor's absence. The CCP Commissioner Sanjiv Gadkar told Herald that he did explore the possibility of starting he treatment plant during the strike. "But the quantum of accumulated waste was too large,' he said explaining further that no manpower was available to segregate the close to 70 tonnes of garbage that accumulated during the last five days. The four-day stir also witnessed a saga at the St Inez animal shelter where cattle remained starving and unattended. It is learnt that acting Mayor Parekh took timely action and had fodder supplied to the shelter.

  • Petrol seeps into Bogmalo wells, spring

    Mamlatdar, police, Navy directed to submit reports Mormugao Deputy Collector Levinson Martins has directed the Mamlatdar, police and naval authorities to submit their reports, following complaints from the Bogmalo panchayat that petrol had seeped into two wells and a spring in the village. Chicolna

  • Panjim garbage: NGO demands action against CCP mayor, dy

    Goyche Niz Mogi has demanded action against the mayor CCP Tony Rodrigues and deputy mayor Yatin Parekh for allowing the city to stink for four days. It was the duty of the mayor and the councilors to ensure that the city is kept clean and that garbage is disposed off regularly, president James Fernandes said pointing out that the CCP leaders cannot encourage workers to strike work for political reasons. He has questioned the Chief Secretary J P Singh as to why Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) had not been invoked against the strike of CCP workers.

  • MLA vows to settle Panjim garbage problem today

    Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar, who is also the Panjim MLA, today said that the garbage problem caused in the capital city due to the strike called by the Corporation of City of Panaji workers, would be settled by tomorrow. Parrikar claimed that he met the CCP Mayor Tony Rodrigues on the issue in the hospital and discussed the effects of the workers stir. "The mayor was also of the opinion that the common man should not be put to hardship for the fault of someone else,' Parrikar said while addressing a press conference in the city. He said that the mayor is still recuperating from the injuries he received during the police assault and is still not able to sit or talk properly. However, he said, the common man cannot be taken to task by the workers for the police misdeeds. "If they have any grievances against the police and ministers, stop collecting garbage from their places but the common man should not suffer,' he stated. "I will speak to the concerned officials CCP commissioner, acting mayor and the councillors tomorrow and am confident the issue would be resolved by evening,' he said. When pointed out that the union leader of the CCP workers Keshav Prabhu is a BJP office bearer and he could have easily sorted out the issue for last two days Parrikar said that the strike has not been called by the union. "The workers were hurt by the police action after the stone pelting of police station wherein Mayor Tony Rodrigues and Monseratte family was manhandled and called the strike on its own and that nothing much the union leader can do,' he said.

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