Friday, July 31, 2009

Margao Municipal Council scouting land for garbage

It is now the turn of the Margao Municipal council to follow in the footsteps of its bigger sibling  the corporation of the city of Panjim(CCP), to hunt for a site to treat garbage in view of its long term requirements. Daily garbage collection in the commercial capital of Goa at Margao is in excess of 50 tonnes which is bound to increase with the passage of time. As such the Sonsoddo garbage dump is likely to be overburdened with any additional load of garbage, which has therefore necessitated the need to look for alternative sites.

Sonsoddo garbage dump The Sonsoddo garbage dump which has been spread over an area of 16,000 sq metres of land is already burdened with piles of garbage which has collected over the years. Moreover the landfill site which is to be set up by one of the two bidders is expected to gobble up around 6000 sq m of land. Add another area which the council plans to separate as an area for treatment of medical waste, and the treatment plant itself which is expected to take some more portion of the land besides the composting units  to be built in the dumpyard, the Sonsoddo garbage dump seems to be in a complete overburdened territory.

However the landfill site which would take around a chunk of 6000 sq metres of land is apparently available for garbage operations after being topped after meeting certain norms. However more land would be required in view of additional waste generation. But although the council had acquired over 30 thousand sq metres of land in the adjoining areas in the nineties, for the purpose of garbage treatment, no work on the landmass was ever taken up due to protests from villagers around the area.

The council is currently engaged in finalising one of the two bidders - IL&FS and Fomento who are jointly bidding on one side and Ramky Enviro Eng Pvt Ltd who are the other bidders for the Sonsoddo garbage project and the winning bid will sign an agreement spanning the next 25 years. The winner of the bid will therefore be entrusted with the responsibility of segregating the garbage, composting it and also filling out landfill operations.

Goan coastline to be inspected for CRZ violations by Union Minister

The CRZ issue which has embroiled Goa for the past few months with the High Court issuing orders to demolish the structures which are illegal, is expected to get a fresh look from none other than the Union Minister for Environment himself. The Minister Mr Jairam Ramesh is expected to lead a delegation to Goa next week to check for himself the status of over 7000 structures standing on the Goan coastline besides over 2,272 houses existing along various rivers in Goa which face the axe of demolition.

Digambar Kamat The above information was given by the Chief Minister Mr Digambar Kamat while replying to a question posed to him by the Mapusa MLA Mr Francis D'Souza who wanted to know what steps the government was taking to protect coastal residents of Goan origin to save their structures from demolition due to the CRZ issue.

The Chief Minister also assured the house that all those who produce valid documents to prove the existence of their houses prior to 1991 would be immediately deleted from the demolition list. Toddy tappers and traditional fishermen of Goa are also sought to be protected from demolition to their structures by the government by exempting them from the list.

The Chief Minister also informed the house about the central governments assurance that the Coastal management Zone notification would be allowed to lapse as he said the same was not required by the state of Goa due to various fears expressed by the Goan fishing community.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Goa's opposition mucks up sweeping machines

The much hyped sweeping machines procured by the government of Goa at a steep cost of over 97 lakh came in for a sharp criticism from the leader of the opposition in the assembly Mr Manohar parrikar who labelled the exercise of procuring them as a 'failure". The Goa government has so far procured five sweeping machines intended to sweep and clean Municipality areas in the state of Goa.

Pointing out the futility of using these machines in the state, the opposition leader indicated that the machines could be used efsweeping in Goafectively on only two major roads of Goa at Panjim's Dayanand Bandodkar road and M G Road. The five machines have been procured at a cost of 97 lakh while an equal number of tractors have been purchased at a cost of 26 lakh to pull these sweeping machines.

In a scathing remark, the opposition leader observed that no study of Goan roads had been undertaken before deciding to procure these machines. Justifying his stance he pointed out to the bends and turns on Goan roads which would make it difficult for these machines to negotiate on such roads and therefore the utilisation of these machines is going to be very minimal which would eventually result in their being kept aside.

The five tractor towed sweeping machines have been procured for four municipal councils of Margao, Panjim, Mormugao and Mapusa.

Replying to the opposition leaders critical remarks, Mr Joaquim Alemao , tManohar Parrikarhe Minister for Urban development said that the cost comparison of tractor towed sweeping machines( costing 18.53 lakh) compared to truck mounted sweeping machines( costing Rs 40 Lakh) was favourable to the purchase of the former and therefore the GSUDA ( Goa State Urban Development Authority)was of the view that considering all factors the tractor towed machines were more suitable to Goan roads. He  also informed that the machines were procured after a number of municipal councils and the corporation of the city of Panjim passed resolutions to that effect.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Goa casinos facing rough political weather

The bad dream of the casinos in Goa does not appear to leave them very soon. On Monday 27th July 2009, the tourism Minister Mr Micky Pacheco informed the legislative assembly that he would seal all illegal activities on five of the six off shore casinos whose No Objection certificates have since expired. The Minister was responding to repeated demands and queries made by the opposition leader Manohar Parrikar who wMANOHAR PARRIKARas asking as to why the government was not putting a stop to casino operations in the state when the NOC's issued by the captain of ports had already expired.

Joining the chorus against the casino operations in Goa were congress MLAs Victoria Fernandes and Mauvin Godinho who demanded a ban on casinos and sought to know how casinos are operating in Goa despite the absence of a casino policy in the state.

Goa casinos NOC expiredIn a reply to Parrikar about the details of when the licences of the casinos had expired, the tourism minister gave an account of the NOC expiry dates as below

Name of Casino                             Date of expiry of NOC

Pride of Goa          -------------   April 3 2009
The Leela             -------------   January 30 2009
Casino Royale        -------------   February 18 2009
San Domino           -------------   May 19 2009
Caravela               -------------   April 18 2009

Mr Pacheco added that the NOC of Arabian Sea King is slated to expire on October 30 2009. In the meanwhile the casino operators expressed their shock over the decision of the tourism minister to the Goa legislative assembly  and blamed the government for delaying the issuance of licences on the ground that the matter was sub judice.

Casino operators indicated that the current stance of the government could adversely affect over 2000 employees working in the casinos and suggested a paycut eventuality on a gradual basis to offset the closure period.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goa government buckles to vernacular theory

The current medium of instruction as an issue which has been plaguing Goan parents, who have been arguing for the cause of English as a medium of choice in Goan schools has taken a hit for the moment.The Goa assembly proceedings on Friday July 24 2009 when the issue was expected to be a hot topic on the agenda was quietly subdued as the two MLAs who were vociferously supporting the cause of English as a medium of instruction aimed at empowering parents to choose for their children, withdrew their resolutioKonkani medium of instructionns aimed at giving English education as a medium in the primary aided schools in Goa

The two congress MLAs Agnelo Fernandes and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco were however apparently assured of a change in the policy and have appeared to have set the tone for the government to do a serious rethink on the issue. Meanwhile the education Minister Mr Babush Monserrate felt that the local Konkani language needs to be protected and suggested  an enforcement of Konkani as a subject  from class I to X.

Mr Monserrate also dwelled on the fees structure of private unaided schools in Goa and indicated that taking control of these fee structures was imagealso an option before the government and quoted that the Goa School Education Act and Rules prohibit exorbitant fees and expressed the need to implement these rules.

However the latest backtracking of the two congress MLAs over the issue is seen as a move by the congress party to avoid any controversies regarding the issue while silently endeavouring to bring about the necessary change in keeping with the aspirations of the Goan people .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

NHAI's Satanic ignorance of Goa most deplorable

What is the difference between Saint Anne and Satan? Nothing, seems to be the answer for the National Highways authority of India which has conveniently corrupted the name of Saint Anne with that of Satan on its signboards along the NH 17, which is condemnable to say the least. While one would think that mere sensibilities had to prevail before committing the name SATAN to a peaceful and beautiful village of Goa, it is a mystery whether NHAI decides on the various names of places along the highway on mere hearsay or relies on the advice and diction of its migrant labourers who are engaged in the laying of the roads for its highway.

NHAI signboard in Goa

The village of "Saint Anne" or "SantAnne" in Konkani, is located off the national Highway 17 just before the Pilar junction on the eastern side as one proceeds from Panjim to Margao. A quaint village with peaceful surroundings and an abode of lush greenery, SantAnne is named after "Saint Anne"  and has been in the news recently due to the ambitious renovation plans that have been undertaken of the Sant Anne Church. It is the first village encountered by those who choose to skip the highway enroute to Panjim in quest of a traffic free road which runs through the village and after negotiating some quick twists, turns and hills, takes you through the village of Merces at the other end to reach the city of Panjim. The distance to Panjim through this route is cut down by a good two kilometres.

However it seems that the National Highway authority of India or its people engaged in the listing of names along the highway have allowed their common sense or common knowledge to lie rotten amidst their 9 to 5 duty of completing their assigned tasks of putting up name plates along the highways. Any person worth his school under- matriculation would have the presence of mind to understand that "Satan" is indeed the devil. Common sense would demand of anyone to think twice before listing such an evil name along the highway in place of the actual name and would naturally seek more information through enquiries and be satisfied with a thorough  confirmation of such a devilish name if it ever existed for any place. But not the NHAI. It seems they can do what they wish. Bend turn, melt or mould Goan names of places according to their whims and pleasure.

Village of Sant Anne in Goa

What's more is that the name of Satan has been replaced for the name of Saint Anne, who in her lifetime was known to have worked for the kingdom of God. The disgust stems from the fact  that two extremities, one a Saint and another the devil,  having opposite teachings have been carelessly swapped to misguide people and wound the feelings of Goans and christians in particular.

Another neighbouring village of Batim which has been in the news for apparitions of Our lady, has also been listed as Batti on the same signboard. How does NHAI manage to concoct simple names of Goan villages into disgraceful unrecognisable places is a question the authority needs to answer.

While people in Goa would be willing to forgive NHAI for the umpteen errors in the pollution of Goa's village and city names on Goa's part of NH17, the error of SantAnne to Satan is completely unpardonable and appears to be carried out in complete disregard to the sensibilities of Goans or is the work undertaken by an irresponsible agency either deliberately or by the "chalta hai" wisdom of its ability to be immune to accountability.

By Goacom

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Goa's CRZ violators served with demolition notices

Acting on the instructions of the High court, many of the coastal village panchayats and municipal Councils in Goa have issued demolition notices after due identification and verification of  illegal structures in the Coastal regulation zone.Accordingly over 25 village panchayats are known to have  informed the court on Monday about the action taken by them to carry out the verification process.


A total of over 432 show cause notices are believed to be issued to various parties with structures in the 200 metre zone from the high tide line. After due hearing of the parties in question, over 42 structures are lined up for demolition. In addition over 6189 notices have been issued to parties having structures within 500 metres of the high tide line.

While in Canacona in the  south, the Palolem beach, a hot tourist spot in Goa, has over 42 structures identified by the Canacona Municipal Council as illegal and has issued demolition orders accordingly. In Calangute, show cause notices have been served to 91 structures within 200 metres of the high tide line (HTL) and found to be illegal after verification.

In Cavelossim, the panchayat has issued demolition notices to over 15 structures after identifying the structures  within 200 metres of the high tide line.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Portuguese nationality for Goans: How to apply for Goan minor children

This post essentially seeks to inform Goans on the requirements of parents whose birth is already registered in Portugal and who subsequently wish to register the birth of their minor children. The age of Minors,(for the sake of registration) is not very clear although the general feedback obtained from the consulate in Goa suggests that it is upto the age of twelve. Prior confirmation of this is advised from the Portuguese consulate in Goa.The telephone number of the Portuguese consulate in Goa is 2421525.

Portuguese minor child Considering that minors are children below the age of twelve, (for the Portuguese authorities), the following needs to be understood while registering the birth of minors. First up, minors do not have to pay any fees for claiming their Portuguese nationality whereas everybody above twelve years and born after 19.12.1961 need to pay Rs 14,083 as nationality fees. This in itself is a saving. More the children below 12, more is the saving. So if your children are nearing the age of twelve and you are in possession of the relevant documents with an aim to register your children, then all you need to do is rush for the registration. Unless of course the Goan compulsive habit of being "succegado" allows you to be squandering some money for nothing's sake.

Another advantage of registering minor children is that you do not need their Indian passport right away. At least not untill the birth is registered. You will however need it at the time of preparing their Bilhete de Identidade. But at the time of applying for Portuguese nationality the Indian passport is not a requirement. The identity of the child is ascertained through the birth certificate which clearly mentions the names of the parents which need to conform with the details of the parents on their  "Assento de Nascimento"( birth certificate registration in Portugal) and the 'Assento de Casamento (  marriage registration done in Portugal).

The documents required to register the birth of a child in Portugal are as follows

1. Birth certificate of both parents - to be obtained from the sub-registrar in Goa
2. Birth certificate of the child - to be obtained from the sub-registrar in Goa
3. Assento de Nascimento - of the parent whose birth is registered in Portugal.
4. Assento de Casamento - of the parents marriage registered in Portugal.
5. Indian passport of both parents for Identification
6. Bilhete de Identidade of parent registered in Portugal - for identification

Please note that

A. No photographs of anyone are required at this stage.
B. Only item No 1, and 2 need to be attested with Notary, collector and Home department
C. Clear legible copies of Item No 3, and 6 are required  to be submitted without any attestations
D. Item No 5. and 6. are required in original only, to present and are verified and returned.
E. Both parents are required to be present at the time of registration of birth of the child and single parent is not acceptable (in Goa).
F. Physical presence of the child is not required.
G. No prior appointment is required to apply for a minor childs birth and one can directly go to the Portuguese's Goa consulate in the morning and stand in the queue for the token number with all the papers ready in your possession
H. There is no requirement of residence certificate, nor election card, nor ration card of anyone

Do ensure that you carry a black pen to sign the papers which are prepared by the consulate staff to process your childs nationality. Do not sign with a blue pen. Even if the staff attending to you, fails to draw your attention, please note that you should sign only in black pen . Else your application will not be processed although it may be accepted by oversight. However upon locating the flaw, you will be recalled for the ordeal all over again. If one of the parent is not available for the repeat call, your application will simply hang in balance. If the parent goes abroad during this period, the long wait will be due to a pointless blunder. So do ensure that you sign with a black pen (the form gets read by the computer and hence the requirement)

After the first visit and signing of the papers, the Portuguese consul apparently ratifies the papers before reverting them back to the consulate staff who in turn contact you over the telephone to come again and sign the papers after the consuls attestation.

Hopefully within a period of 3-4 months, your childs birth should be registered in Portugal. Good Luck!

For all posts related to obtaining the Portuguese passport for Goans, the continuous free help dossier is at this label.Click here!

May we Goans shed our tag of being the crabs we have doggedly been this far! This free help is an attempt towards the erosion of that bitter truth.

Viva Goencar!

By Goacom Blog

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CS approves rice mill near Goa's only sugar factory

Goa's only sugar factory, the  Sanjivani Sugar factory which is reeling under losses incurred by the factory over the years is expected to get a parallel establishment in the form of a rice processing mill to cope up with the losses. The proposal was approved last week by the Chief secretary of Goa Mr Hauzel Haukhum in a special  committee meeting chGoa riceaired by him. A 50% financial assistance for the project is to be granted by the central government while the remaining balance will have to be raised by the factory.

While the factory is awaiting the final sanction of central funds  for the modern mill , the management is not averse to investing the balance 50% with a view to reap in profits by running of the mill. The factory officials have reportedly conducted various studies  and they have ascertained that most of therice mill plant farmers in Goa are willing to process their paddy at the mill, should it be set up. The factory has in the meanwhile narrowed down on a particular type of mill costing around Rs 1.5 crore.

It is believed that nearly 4000 tonnes of paddy is transported outside Goa for processing and the farmers of these quantities are willing to shift loyalties to the new rice mill when it comes up. There are an estimated 2000 farmers in Goa who have shown their willingness to process the paddy in Goa if such a plant were to come up in the state.

Sugarcane farmers are not expected to be disturbed by the modern rice mill isugar factoryn the factory. There are presently over 1200 farmers who grow sugarcane and provide nearly 50,000 tonnes every season to the factory.The factory needs over two lakh tonnes of sugarcane to be run profitably, but Goa produces only fifty thousand tonnes of sugarcane, which is insufficient. 

GTDC to float Goa's own cruise ship

The Goa Tourism Development corporation will soon float a tender for a cruise ship with the latest state of the art facilities and a 250 person seating capacity to float in Goa's rivers which is expected to benefit tourism in Goa in a big way. The tender will be open to shipyards in Goa who will also be eligible to bid for the same. The Cruise ship is expected to be incorporated with emerging features such as GSM, satellite services, latest sound systems, total air-conditioning, LCD televisions, Wi-fi systems and a full fledged restaurant with smaller food courts.Mandovi cruise ship tourism

The cruise which will be around 50 metres long and 11 metres wide, will have a capacity to seat 250 people and will be running on a powerful engine and high speeds. In its ambitious plans the department of tourism wants to offer tourists bound for Goa, a thrilling opportunity of experiencing the entire stretch of the Mandovi river region in Goa within one journey through the cruise ship.The cruise will not be limited to shallow waters and will be able to venture out into the deep sea.Mandovi river

The ship is also expected to be leased out to the Corporates for private gatherings, conferences and late night parties, deep in the sea with music at full-blast with no disturbances to the local people of Goa.

Goa to add 64 rural health centres

The growing demands of an increasing population in the state of Goa has prompted the state cabinet to approve the setting up of over 64 additional sub-health centres in the rural areas of Goa under the National rural health mission. The centres are expected to function under the directorate of health services and cater to people from all over Goa.

The sub-health centres will have one nurse and one patient-attendant to provide basic relief to the patients .Doctors  will follow a predetermined schedule to visit the sub-health centres on a periodic centre in Goa

Goa, presently has around 172 sub health centres under various primary health centres and community health centres. However as per the norms set by the government, one unit of multipurpose health worker (MPHW) comprising one male and one female worker must cater to a population of around 5000 people. Besides a host of other tasks, a MPHW must maintain the health profile of the community. However in many areas of Goa, there is a huge population in excess of 10,000 to 15,000 under one health centre. The additional 64 health centres are therefore being set up to meet this shortfall and to meet the national health norms.

The sub-health centres are expected to be spread all over the state from Pernem taluka in the north to Canacona taluka in the south of Goa

Goa Police get "INSAS" shot in the arm

Post 26/11, the government of Goa was stirred into the stark reality which had already embarrassed the Mumbai Police after their lack of mere preparedness to face terrorists was exposed with the megapolis' city police found toting with antique pistols and guns which made them look like virtual schoolboys caught at recess time when the terrorists from across the border struck the most telling blows at different locations in Mumbai's hotels, airports, restaurants and an Jewish centre on November 26 2008. Goa was feared to be the next terror target which had made the administration get up and take the much overdue decision of beefing up its armoury to meet current standards of defence preparedness.

INSAS It was therefore hearty to note that the initiative has finally borne fruit with the Goa government procuring over 100 INSAS rifles as part of the plan to gradually phase out the nearly 3000 odd .303 rifles which the force has been so far been using.

However the procurement of the guns has been part of regular haphazard  purchase practices where the guns are there but no ammunition to use them. No doubt the guns procured last month lay unused for over a month untill the state government of Goa received a consignment of ammunition from the Delhi Police on loan. The guns have now been distributed to various police stations in the state to enable the '"men in uniform" to train themselves in the use of the sophisticated rifle.

The rifles which cost over Rs 10 lakh, have been distributed to police stations in Panaji, Calangute, Anjuna, Pernem and Porvorim polices stations in the North of Goa and Vasco, Colva, Margao, Verna, Cuncolim and Canacona in South Goa and the training of the policemen on the gun, is currently in progress .

The Goa state police is presently on a state of high alert following intelligence inputs regarding terror threat on the west coastcybercafe security of India and the possible eventualities during the forthcoming Independence day celebrations. Patrolling at vital points in Goa has therefore been intensified and the Police have increased their co-ordination with fishermen, hoteliers, cyber cafe, PCO owners and taxi operators, alerting and sensitising them about the security steps.

Hotels, guest houses,cyber cafes, PCO's and other places have therefore become the frequent stops for beat officers to maintain regular checks all over Goa.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goa awaits Khell-tiatr festival

The annual Khell tiatr festival organised by Kala Academy in Goa is expected to be staged at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir Auditorium from July 14 to July 21 and will begin at 7 pm. The festival has an array of plays lined up for good entertainment for the enthusiasts of the tiatr in Goa who are probably in waiting for this festival which is due to begin today June 14 2009.

Among the various plays to be staged, is "Hanv Porot Letelim" which is written by Socorro and produced by Liby's productions from Santa Cruz. It is a tiatr which exposes the rich crooked people who exploit women and especially young widows. Although the woman fights back, she cannot bear the ungratefulness of her own son. Maria Martins plays the lead role impressively while Socorro, Carmine, Peter de Merces and Cyril Almeida are in good support.

"Faleam Udetelem is a play by Pascoal Rodrigues Goa tiatrwho is well known for his penchant for stories based on social issues. In this play, Pascoal acts, directs and his singing abilities also come to the fore.

Dominic Carvalho who has carved a niche for himself on the tiatr stage with some impressive plays comes around with "TGoa khell tiatr festivalim Odhik Bhagi" which is a narration of family conflicts and the way in which others take advantage of the situation. The tiatr also takes a critical view of the way Goans are selling their land to people from outside Goa.

Anil and Olga will present their own tiatr titled "Ek Dhago Sukhacho"  which is written and directed by Anil Pednekar and is a story of family values. The cast has Anil ,Olga, Luis Bacchan, Aplon, Netto and Anil in the lead roles.

Maxcy Pereira weaves a tragic tale with "Amchei Anvdde" which depicts the story of an individual who sacrifices everything for his brother, including the love of his life, only to be repaid with ungratefulness with innocent parents suffering in the conflict. The script is reviewed as a good one and the play holds its audience Goan tiatr spellbound.

"Love story 2009" coming from the tragedy King Mario Menezes is the story of two lovers wherein the girl is murdered in the most gruesome manner and the boy is accused of the heinous crime. After being arrested by a corrupt police officer, the boy has to fight against odds to prove his innocence.This murder mystery is woven in suspense and the cast of Rosy Alvares, Agnes, Lawry Travasso, Mario de Vasco, Edison, Mario Menezes and others perfrom brilliantly to keep the audience on their toes.

Menino De Bandar will present "Jiv" on the final day of the festival. The tiatr delivers a good message and is featuring Antonette de Calangute, Angela, Ida, Cielo and Ben Evangelisto in the main cast.

Khell tiatr lovers in Goa are therefore in for a treat this monsoon.

Goa High court extends stay on school fee hikes

The aggrieved parents who have approached the high court to intervene in their grievances relating to arbitrary school fee hikes by private unaided schools under the banner of All Goa Unaided schools Parents Association,(AGUSPA) were relieved when the high court of Bombay at Goa extended the interim stay on approval of fee hikes by government recognised private unaided schools in Goa till August 4.

The matter came up following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by AGUSPA. The advocate general Mr Subodh kantak informed the bench that the govschool fee hikes in Goaernment had already constituted a committee to look into the accounts of government recognised unaided private schools in the state of Goa.

AGUSPA maintained that the fee hikes were completely arbitrary and that all their efforts to elicit cooperation from the government and the directorate of education to curb the "commercialisation of education" had failed and therefore the only option available to them was to move the high court.

While AGUSPA was against any fee hikes, the association was of the view that a committee of experts should be formed to work on the financial matters pertaining to the unaided schools and prepare a report on whether salaries as per the Sixth pay commission recommendations could be paid to teachers within the current existing fee structure.

AGUSPA held the Directorate of education responsible for the arbitrary fee hikes and maintained that the failure of DoE to meticulously enforce the Goa School education Act 1984 through section 19, sub section (3) and (4) which deals with the fees and other charges to be collected by schools , has led to the present situation where education in Goa has become commercialised.

Seeking to correct the system through the PIL, AGUSPA stated that the ongoing battle is aimed at streamlining erring managements and trustees of unaided schools and the DoE which has denied justice for long to parents who have been unduly exploited due to inaction.

AGUSPA has also sought that the DoE should constitute an authority to inspect and audit the account statements of recognised private unaided schools in Goa which they pointed out is mandatory under Section 10, sub-section 7 and under the rules framed in the Goa education Act 1984.

Goa records drop in vector-borne diseases

The first signs of the cases of vector-borne diseases seem to be pretty encouraging for the state of Goa as the month of June 2009 has shown a drop of over 50 percent in cases of malaria as compared to June 2008 with only 493 cases recorded this year compared to over 941 cases  in the same period last year. Also the cases of the dreaded strain of plasmodium falciparum variant of malaria has also shown a drop from 252 cases last year to only 108 this year for the above period.

malaria cases in Goa Also the cases of other vector borne diseases has shown a likewise decline in this year with June 2009 recording 15 cases of dengue, 6 instances of Chikungunya and nil cases of Japanese encephalitis in the state of Goa. The Corlim health centre in North Goa has alone recorded over 6 cases of Dengue and 3 cases of Chikungunya.

The National Vector-borne diseases control programme (NVPDCP) has recorded that in the first half of the year from January 2009 to June 2009, the state registered 26 cases of dengue, 35 cases of chikungunya and no cases of Japanese encephalitis.

For June 2009 out of the total 493 positive cases of malaria, 433 cases were located to be those of construction labourers while only 60 cases were attributed to the local Goan population. The maximum cases were detected in health centres from Panjim(180), Candolim(92), Aldona (72), Corlime (48) and Margao(34).

Tourists arriving in Goa are often precarious about the prevailing situation with cases of malaria haunting them and often take anti-malarials such as MALARONE to ward off the instance of being afflicted with malaria.Malarone is a combination drug (Atovaquone and Proguanil), which was licensed in the UK back in 1997 for use as a treatment for Malaria. However for people affected with kidney and liver problems, MALARONE is not advised. In fact it is always best to take the advice of your doctor before taking MALARONE. To purchase MALARONE online CLICK HERE

Monday, July 13, 2009

Helmet rule to be uniform all over Goa

The Helmet which is a safety gear for the head while travelling on a two wheeler is likely to be made as a compulsory wear for all Goans across the state irrespective of the type of area they drive the two wheelers in. Currently the Goa government has relaxed the rule of wearing helmets which has been made compulsory for two wheeler drivers only on highways and excludes places such as village roads, city limits , towns and other such areas.

helmet compulsory  in Goa However all that could undergo a change and people in Goa may have to wear the helmet if they intend to drive the two-wheelers on the roads, in any area all over Goa. This has been necessitated due to the inability of the transport department to evince the desired results due to the partial implementation of the rule in Goa.

A proposal to implement the rule in wholesome has therefore been forwarded to the transport department and is supposedly under active consideration of the government. The transport department is currently of the view that making the helmet compulsory throughout the state would help avoid the number of people dying due to head injuries on the roads by meeting with accidents which involve two wheelers. It is believed that wearing the  helmet would have saved such lives.Helmets in Goa

As per the statistics of the transport department, the traffic police in Goa had registered over 37,446 cases in the year 2007 against two wheelers for not wearing the helmet on highways whereas in 2008 the number rose by over 45 percent to 54,392.

It is estimated that more than half the number of accidents occurring in Goa involve two wheelers and the people succumbing to such accidents are either the two wheeler riders or the pillion riders. Studies have proved that wearing a helmet by such people could have saved the lives which were lost.

Portuguese passport for Goans : Your person in Portugal

The Portuguese passport process for many Goans is in a limbo due to various factors. For some, procuring their basic birth certificate is a big problem leave alone the TEOR. For others, they are blessed with a TEOR but have no original document. For some Goans, all documents and attestations a re done and everything is available at hand but they just cannot get an appointment with the Portuguese  consulate in Goa. The next available appointment is about a year away which is excruciatingly late. For another category, they have given all the documents but there is silence on the Portuguese consulate in Goapart of  the Portuguese authorities for years together. The consulate in Goa has no answers to the delay and often respond with helplessness about the cause. To their credit, honestly they may actually have no answers contrary to many disgruntled Goans who may be barking at the wrong tree.

In this post I shall make an attempt to address the third problem where the application for claiming Portuguese nationality is lying in Portugal. There is also good hope for the other two categories which I will deliberate on at a later date.

The delay caused after presenting the application with no news for years, therefore is evidently rooted in Portugal, where a plethora of applications await disposal at various stages. The Conservatoria or its various subsidiaries in Portugal are apparently overburdened and according to reliable experiences of some Goans, to an extent function just like most of our government offices in Goa with a hard-earned laid back succegado attitude.

So your much sought after application for claiming the Portuguese nationality could be lying in Portugal under heaps of other applications in files which are however traceable unlike in Goa where thyour portuguese passport case statusere seems to be no system or mere sensibility towards preservation of documents which are at the mercy of rough handling, pests and pitiable storage conditions. Of course in Goa there is no accountability for such mishaps and no one is questioned.

So how does one solve the problem of pulling out your papers from down under and bringing them to the right table to be processed faster? That too in Portugal? The answer to that it seems is to have some saviour in Portugal itself. This person should go to the Portuguese Conservatoria or its subsidiaries on your behalf and argue your case and ensure that it is processed and sent back to Goa. Such a person has to be dedicated to do your work. It is a rare species but not hard to find honestly.

Agents of the Portuguese passport in Goa are virtually useless to be approached for this work as they have thousands and thousands of cases like yours and with their one man in Portugal, sifting through the cases, your Agents of portuguese passportcase is like a needle in a haystack. Seldom found. However our agent in Goa never fails to collect his plum sums from you for the work which he has still not done. Or may take years and years to do. Or may never even succeed doing. However his  milking of clients goes on unabated. He knows how gullible Goans are for the lure of "phoren" and are willing to gulp all his stories. And so he makes the most when the sun is shining.

So obviously you need to locate some person in Portugal yourself to do this job for you. Try with some relatives and friends in Goa who may help you with some friends in Portugal . In such cases it is surely an inconvenience for the person in Portugal and it would therefore take some effort to get such a person. So do not get disappointed and upset  if some friends/relatives decline the help. Its a genuine botheration. Another way is to research the internet and Google for such people who undertake such professional services in Portugal and approach them directly over phone or email (phoning Portugal has become dirt cheap).I have observed that there are a few of them who can be found on the internet.

Due to obvious reasons of probable issues associated with these services and since I do not have any vested interest, I will not indulge in providing names and numbers of people in Portugal undertaking such services. You will have to do some research on the internet yourself. But do ensure that whoever you narrow down to in Portugal , that there is enough of credibility in that person to undertake your case. Seek references of people he/she has successfully completed such cases and get in touch with those people over telephone or meet their relatives in Goa in person to verify.Dont send your money down the drain. Do not rely on email to get in touch with such references as the person in Portugal may be the one himself replying to your emails. Remember, its a virtual world out there.

The fees for such services depend on the tasks involved. Some people charge fees simply to present your papers in the Conservatoria in Portugal. Some others levy charges for enquiry. Still some others give you a list of fees for completing an assigned task such as registering your birth which is the 'Assento de nascimento" or facilitating your process of the Bilhete de Identidade in Portugal or presenting your papers for the marriage registration after taking the appointment and also ensuring that your marriage is registered. However all such fees are just a small fraction of the costs you would pay an useless agent in Goa who normally acts like a snob everytime you enquire about your case.

Goans therefore need to research the internet for such people to ensure that they process their cases smartly and not crouch under an agent in Goa as if they were completely illiterate. Lack of knowledge of Portuguese is a small factor in the whole process please note. Your person in Portugal should be able to follow up your caPortugal passport ask questionsse and ask questions about your case in Portugal. You need to ensure that he can do the job and not be lying down. Cases take months in Portugal to process. Not years.

Always seek a time frame from your prospective person in Portugal.Do not hesitate to ask "when" "why" and "which". Do not agree for a time frame in suspense. Keep the person on his toes. After finalising with him/her, you need to provide him with a 'power of attorney' which is known as the 'procuracao" so that he/she can take up your case on your behalf. For the format of the "power of attorney- procuracao" click here. To prepare the procuracao you need some important details of the person in Portugal. They are
1. His/Her Name
2. His/Her Address
3. His/Her Age
4. His/Her Bilhete de Identidade number
5. His/Her status - whether married or single.

You need to include these details in the procuracao as detailed. After printing the power of attorney on a 50Rs stamp paper, you should notarise it in Goa and then proceed to attest it with the various authorities such as the collector, the Home department and lastly the Consulate. Your person in Portugal needs this document to pursue your application for Portuguese nationality

Good Luck.

For more posts on the Portuguese passport for Goans, click here.

By Goacom

Portuguese passport process for Goans: Format for procuracao

The procuracao is a "power of attorney" document which is needed for your representative in Portugal who will pursue your case to process the portuguese passport on your behalf. You need the following details of the person in Portugal to be able to prepare the procuracao document.

1. His/Her Name
2. His/Her Address
3. His/Her Age (optional)
4. His/Her Bilhete de Identidade number
5. His/Her status - whether married, single or divorced.

After getting the above details, the same need to be included in the document wherever needed. For everything marked in bold, check the details enlisted below the procuracao format hereunder to get a clear understanding as to how this bold text is to be replaced. If you want attestation of procuracao the correct script of Portuguese to type with all the accents then click here. After printing the document on a Rs 50 stamp paper, get the same attested with a notary in Goa and subsequently with the Collector and the Undersecretary and attest it finally with the Portuguese consulate at Goa and then send the document to your representative in Portugal.

The following is the format of the procuracao.


                                      P R O C U R A Ç ÃO

No dia (Date of procuracao), neste Cartorio Notarial situado em, ( address of notary) , India, compareceu perante mim (name of notary) Advogada e Notario da Comarca das (taluka of notary)de Goa, como outorgante o senhor ( Your full name ), ( (your marital status), nascido aos (your birth date)  em (place of birth) , filho de (your fathers' full name) e de ( your mothers' full name), portador de Passaporte Indiano No ( your passport number) emitido aos ( (date of issue of passport) e valido ate ( validity date of passport), residente da ( your address), cuja identidade verifiquei pela apresentacao do referido documento, constitui bastante procuradoras (1) a senhora/senhor ( name of person in Portugal), (his/her marital status), cidada portuguesa, portadora de Bilhete de Identidade No. (his/her Bilhete de identidade number) emitido aos (Bilhete issued date)e valido ate (Bilhete validity date)e residente na (his residence address in Portugal) , as quais com os de substabelecer, confere poderes forenses gerais em direito permitidos e ainda para na Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais em Lisboa ou qualquer outra Conservatoria do Registo Civil competente, tratar a) registo de nascimento e do casamento do madante mediante inscrição ou transcrição e para os efeitos, requerer, praticar, promover e assinar tudo o que necessario seja, incluindo todas e quaisquer rectificações a que haja lugar e ainda o completamento do assento; e auto de atribuição ou aquisição de nacionalidade portuguesa, e certificado de nacionalidade portuguesa e manutencão ou composição originaria do nome .

Esta Procuração foi lida em voz alta e explicado o seu conteudo e efeitos ao mandante e vai ser assinada pelo dito mandante juntamente comigo o Notario no papal selado de Rps . 50/- .

                                                           O MANDANTE 

                                                         (your signature)       

     Certifico que a fotografia colado é autentica do mandante


) Date of procuracao :Here you need to type the date, the procuracao is made ready. It is to be writen in words. Eg: to get "On the 27th of the month of December in the year 2008," the translation is "No dia 27 do mes de Dezembro do ano de 2008,.,For getting any such date translated in Portuguese easily, check here

2) For address of Notary, simply type, city/area and the taluka. Eg: Panaji, Tiswadi Goa or Margao Salcete Goa.

3) Type the name of the notary as per his stamp.

4) For taluka of notary just mention the taluka. eg: tiswadi or Ilhas / Salcete, Mormugao etc.

5) For your full name, type your name as it appears on your Indian passport. Do not commit errors. If you are male type Senhor. For females it is Senhora.

6) For your marital status, type casada- for married, solteirão for bachelor, solteirona for spinster and divorciada for divorced woman, divorciado fro divorced man.

7) For your birth date has to be typed in words here. Not numbers. eg: if you are " born on december 10 1970" the translation to be inserted here is " nascido aos 10 de Dezembro de 1970". For specific birthdates, type "born on -------" and translate using google language tools. For details Click here.

8) Your place of birth is to be typed as place and taluka. Eg: Margao, Salcete Goa.

9) Type your fathers and mothers full name exactly as it appears on your passport No errors. If you are a male son, it is filho. For daughters it is filha. Make the change accordingly.

10) Just type only your passport number here. Nothing more. Dont type the word "passport number" again. Just the number itself .
Eg  : E 3456789

11) Date of issue of passport to be typed in numbers. Eg : 21/12/2005. Same way is date of validity.

12) Type your address without any errors.

13) Name of person in Portugal is to be typed correctly and should match with his/her name on the Bilhete. If it is a male it is Senhor. For females it is Senhora.

14) His/her bilhete number and its date of issue should be typed correctly along with validity date and his residence address

15) For marital status, type as per details at No (6)

16) Do not forget to remove all the bold markings and delete all the brackets after you fill in the details.

Good Luck. For all other posts on the Portuguese passport click here

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July turns out to be wet saviour for Goa

The month of July 2009 has brought plenty of cheer to many stakeholders with their fortunes dictated fully or partly by the rains in Goa. In over the last 11 days Goa has witnessed heavy to very heavy rainfall which was received with a welcome lap by most Goans although the heavy downpour did contribute to flooding in some city areas and damaged houses and establishments in certain areas of Goa. However much of that blame has to go to the irresponsible sense of development that has been heaped on Goans by various vested lobbies than the contribution of the blessed rains.

rain forecast for Goa Astonishingly, the rains in the last 11 days have helped to wipe out the deficit of around 15% experienced in last months tally while also producing a surplus of around 25%. In June this year, the seasonal rainfall had been measured at 74 cm as compared to the average of 89 cm for that month.

However the bountiful pouring in the last two weeks have helped the seasonal total to reach 156 cm or 61 inches of rainfall in Goa. So while over 30 days of June provided only 74 cm of rainfall, the last 11 days of July have helped produce over 82 cm of rainfall thereby adding to the obvious cheer.

rainfall in Goa

The total seasonal rainfall that Goa receives is at an average of 262 cm (around 104 inches) which is considered as normal for Goa. With over two months of the monsoon season still to come, there is a widespread positive feeling among meteorologists in Goa that this year would therefore be a normal year of rainfall in Goa.

The month of June 2009 was a shade drier than that in last year which witnessed 78 cm of rainfall compared to 74 cm this year and over 107 cm in 2007. However it was the year 1991 when Goa witnessed the lowest rain turnout in the month of June which was a measly 45 cm while the highest recorded rainfall for Goa in June was observed in June 1999 at a staggering 158 cm of rainfall.

Margao to see an overdue new bus stand soon

The city of Margao has a vintage bus stand which has seen the ravages of time but which is mysteriously ignored as almost being inconsequential to its citizens' welfare. The present KTC bus stand at Margao resembles a shambolic picture of the state of affairs that the commercial city is facing from the state government.However as per the latest buzz, things are expected to change with the Goa state Infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC) working on a ambitious proposal to construct a brand new bus stand with a multistoried complex at the same site by using the over 60,000 sq metres of vacant land available in the area.Margao new kTC bus stand

The bus stand at Margao is expected to cost a staggering Rs 300 crore for which a public-private partnership is being worked out by the government. while serving as a model bus stand, for intercity and inter state buses, the area is likely to be transformed into a commercial hub and therefore contribute as a revenue model for the state of Goa which will help the government earn money.

The Kadamba transport corporation has forwarded a proposal to the government of Goa which had earlier approved the concept and now has forwarded the file to the GSIDC for its approval. The new bus stand will be adjoining an entire hub of commercial activity with the new South Goa collectorate building complex being its immediate neighbour on one side and the SGPDA market as another hotspot of commercial activity on the other side.

Depending on the success of this business model, the government is likely to replicate the hubs at the Panaji bus stand and subsequently at Porvorim, where the corporation has already got land in its possession.

The entire proposal is however in its stage of infancy and the GSIDC will be now looking into its details before presenting it to the GSIDC board for approval. Simultaneously, discussions are likely to involve the finance and the transport department to check upon the overall implications that the project is likely to present.

The GSIDC will however have to enter into a memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the KTC, which is the owner of the land in Margao, and would need its approval before advertising the expression of interest for the project.The project is likely to take a few years before being a reality on the ground.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Goa to administer Konkani training to all govt servants

In their efforts to implement the state's official language act for administrative purposes, the directorate of official language has prepared a 85 page Konkani booklet for the use of government servants and IAS officers. Lessons for the officials in the knowledge of the state's official language, Konkani, are expected soon and the department has printed over 2000 copies of the Konkani manual meant for this purpose which covers the basics of the Konkani language to acclimatise all government officers with the language of Goa.

Konkani training in Goa(pictures in this post are for illustration only - contents are not part of the actual booklet)

The directorate has been set up to ensure the effective implementation of the state's official language and has prepared the handbook for government officials who are still not conversant with the language. Teachers for this purpose are yet to be selected and the number of teachers will depend on the number of employees to be trained for a period of one month. The teachers are to be paid a honorarium to impart the teaching in Konkani.

Konkani language for govt officials Essentially, the book is a compilation of basic Konkani words and phrases used in daily life in Goa and their translations. The effort is expected to come in handy for daily administrative tasks. The syllabus of the booklet has been prepared based upon the recommendations of a committee headed by Tanaji Halarnkar and is on the lines of the Central governments Hindi teaching scheme. The committee was comprised of linguists such as Suresh Borkar, Edward D'Lima, Mukesh Thali and Damodar Ghanekar.

The department has so far received names of over 500 employees to undergo the training in the first phase. These include officers and IAS officers who may have been deputed to Goa and have no knowledge of the official language of the state.

Subsequent to the training which will last for 25 days of one month, a test/examination is expected to be conducted which will be based on the time schedule issued by the directorate of Official language.

Now "Goencars" on hospitality list of Goa tourism

The "Goencar" or as some write the Indian way as  "Goenkar", or for some people who like to refer to the people of Goa as "Goanese", there seems to be a lot of attention pouring towards this typical Goan in the times of off-season for the tourism industry in Goa where the tourists have steadily dissappeared and currently the eye seems to have shifted to focus on local "Goencars" to come and indulge in some fun and playtime with a few perks here and there to urge them out from the comforts of their Goan homes into the fattened ambience of starred hotels in Goa.Goan families enjoying a swimming pool

So it is common these days to receive emails and sms over mobile tempting the Goan with a "much necessary" weekend recharge, a sumptuous buffet or a brunch( they call it breakfast and lunch put together), a swimming pool dip, some dancing and partying added with somholiday in Goa smse games for the kids if you have them and a well-dressed-down tariff to suit the imaginations and make your decision ooze out a little faster.

In a way it has been a kind of stretching out to the local Goan community by the hotel fraternity in Goa who seem to be trying to cover their costs in the off-season with some bait for the locals to bite. It is also a good public relation(read PR) exercise for the hotel industry in Goa  as a means of reaching out to Goans by offering discounted packages as above and thereby instilling a sense of goodwill in the Goencars.

The cost per person at the above detailed 'weekend rechargers" is anything between 1,300 - 1800 per person inclusive of food and sometimes unlimited drinks. A weekend recharge normally also includes a room, high tea, dinner, breakfast, Goan lunch and drinks which may be unlimited in certain hotels in Goa.

The perception that the hotel industry is toying with is the fact that Goans hardly need to venture out of Goa since Goa itself is a beautiful place which many Goans have not enjoyed to the hilt. Also monsoons are considered as the best time to venture outside with family and friends besides being a cheaper option in the off-season. A getaway such as this often leads to a recharge of the mind and body and tends to keep you freshly charged for your next routine at the end of the weekend.Raining in Goa

The short gasp of the holiday can also be a big boost for the children in Goa who have been typeset with holidays squeezed in only during the vacation period and then have to pour on their books in Goa before the next vacation troops in. Such a short weekend burst tends to soothe children as a pleasant surprise and gives them a short and much needed break from their studies and helps to keep them in a healthy state of mind to recharge their energies.

There are some hotels in Goa which come up with unique catchy captions to promote their weekend bouquets and added with a low cost, such offers become hard to resist. A hotel in north Goa offers a thrill in oriental cuisine at a bargain price of Rs 375/- per person and one has a chochildren enjoying a weekend in goaice to pick from a  variety in oriental food. The swimming pool is thrown in this package as an incentive and the response is reportedly astounding with families, friends and even the corporate clients pitching in to enjoy the short lived joy.

Another factor that urges people to go in for these short bursts of a holiday is the ease on the pocket which is an affordable deal in the off season. Also the kind of professional service, great food and lovely ambience along with some royal treatment makes these recharge packages very popular in Goa.

It is therefore evident that Goans are now changing in their attitude towards a holiday in Goa itself and many are opening their arms to some good offers from the hotel industry. Besides, Goans also realise that despite being in Goa since birth, most Goans have only ventured to the Goan beaches while most of Goa has not been seen or experienced. The hinterland of Goa is therefore a great attraction for Goans to explore and the tourism for Goans should therefore be directed in that area so that Goans know their Goa better  and enjoy it at the same time.

By Goacom

Friday, July 10, 2009

Enjoy Goa in the monsoons-Goa tourism campaigns

The bountiful rainfall in the month of July has certainly egged the business acumen of the tourism industry in the state of Goa and the state government now wants to reap the benefits of such an abundant outpouring from the skies by launching a massive campaign all over the country especially in the dry north India to woo tourists to the state of Goa to enjoy the green, clean and friendly Goa during the monsoons.

The state of Goa has been fortunate to receive a bountiful rainfall as is normal in Goa  in the monsoon. The rains have however not ventured into some areas of the country and the north and west of India is still experiencing scorching heat. Goa is estimated to have received over 1,553 mm rainfall till date with over 51.4 mm received only during the last 24 hours itself.

Goa rainfallThe Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG)has approached the state government to step up its drive to promote the state in the Indian tourism market. TTAG has proposed two suggestions which include the revival of the "Goa 365 days"  tourism campaign which was pointed out as a catchy phrase and was recollected as being a successful campaign. The other suggestion is to aggressively promote Goa through advertisements in various travel magazines and news publications in markets which are Goa friendly according to the TTAG President Mr Ralph de Sousa.

On its part the tourism department has suggested campaigns on radio stations such as FM stations across the country in the form of jingles and advertisements which is expected to do the trick. Presently the GTDC has an average of 60% occupancy at its residences on the Goan coastline in Calangute, Miramar, Panjim and Colva. It is believed that it is much cooler in Goa in the rains and as a result  a lot of tourists from northern India make Goa their most favourite destination at this time of the year.

The Goa tourism Development Corporation is also expected to take part in the travel and trade fair at Kolkata which commences from July 11, the international travel mart at Bangalore from July 18 and another trade fair at Ahmedabad in Gujarat from July 31. These moves are being strategically planned at a time when the hotels in Goa have reduced their room tariffs but have however met limited success in attracting larger number of tourists to Goa.

Meanwhile the state of Goa has been sanctioned over Rs 43 crore by the central government for integrated development of infrastructure for heritage and river cruise development on the two Goan rivers of Mandovi and Zuari. Under the plan, the infrastructure expected due to the project is a new stat of the art "finger jetty" model for Santa Monica jetty in Panaji which berths cruise boats operating in the Mandovi river. Besides in the vicinity, a multi storeyed parking facility, reception area, cafeteria and boat cruise offices will be coming up.

Tourist arrivals in India on the surge

After the double blow received unexpectedly in the form of world recession which was compounded further by the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the tourism industry in the country is finally showing signs of a steady recovery and the upturn is witnessed with tourist arrivals registering a healthy positive growth for the first time in over six months. While the increase may be a shade marginal over last year, the turnaround iIndia tourismtself is raising sounds of cheers amongst the tourism fraternity and the tourism ministry is also upbeat since the foreign exchange earnings have also gone up by over Rs 400 crore.

According to data collected by the tourism ministry, the foreign tourist arrivals increased from 3.40 lakh in June 2008 to 3.41 lakh in June 2009 while foreign exchange has gone up from Rs 3,409 crore to Rs 3,801 crore for the same period. Although the growth in the number of tourists may be marginal, it has demonstrated that the welcome to IndiaVisit India campaign and the various roadshows have made a contribution to arrest the decline within a period of over six months

The last six months were however not very good for the tourism  sector. In January-June 2009, the number of tourist arrivals in the state was recorded ar 24.678 lakh, which is down from 27.19 lakh in 2008 for the same period. India has recorded a fall of over 10% in the flow of foreign nationals traveling to the country since the November 26 terror attacks in Mumbai last year.

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