Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goa's Christian sects upset with Panjim mayors comments

The pleas of various Christian sects seeking space for burial grounds in the city of Panjim which was rejected by the Corporation of the city of Panjim (CCP) last Friday, with its mayor Carolina Po telling the media that the feeling among the corporators was that the people who have converted to other sects should ask those people who led them to convert, to provide burial grounds, came in for scathing criticism from leaders of various Christian sects across Goa.

Some Christian sects such as the Syrian and Methodist Christian sects had reportedly applied  for burial grounds from the CCP which was rejected by the Panjim corporators under the fear that these sects have their numbers scattered all over Goa and granting them a burial ground would therefore result in all their dead being brought from all over Goa, to Panjim to be buried. This was in pursuance of the CCP's resolve under a resolution passed by the CCP last year banning burial of persons not living in the jurisdiction of Panjim city. The cemeteries in the city of Panjim are being run by the Municipal body.

Goa burial ground

However various leaders of different Christian sects from Goa took strong exception to the Mayors comments and termed it undemocratic and a violation of human rights. At a meeting held by the various Christian sects in Margao, the members and pastors of such sects lamented the lack of democracy in the comments and urged people in public positions not to make such strong statements which could lead to a flare-up.

The pastors belonging to New life fellowship church of Panjim, Margao and Vasco, Parakletos Church, Margao, Corner stone church Margao, Mount Zion Church, Good News Church, River of Life Church Panjim, Good Hope Church and Methodist Church were present at the meeting.

A pastor of a River of Life Church Panjim criticised the comments of the mayor saying that there is no question of anybody converting them and that they have chosen to be members of a certain sect out of their own free will and asked the government to look after the interest of all citizens irrespective of their religious backgrounds.

Another pastor pointed out that it is the constitutional right of every citizen to be buried after death and said that burial cannot be denied on any grounds leave alone the religious ground

Monday, September 14, 2009

Goa's football lover, Noel Lima Leitao passes away

Well known football commentator from Goa, Noel Lima Leitao passed away after reportedly suffering a massive heart attack in his hotel bathroom in Kolkata. He was 51 . Noel was in Kolkata to commentate on the 114th IFA shield matches and had last commentated on the final match at the salt lake stadium in Kolkata. His death has left a large void in the Goan football scenario in the state and has left his friends and Goans at large in a deep sense of anguish.

Noel Lima Leitao from Goa As per reports appearing in various newspapers, Noel was believed to have suffered a massive heart attack and was found dead in his hotel bathroom on Sunday afternoon after the hotel staff failed to elicit his response either through phone calls or knocks on his door, thereby breaking open the door to find him dead.

A director on the board of Vasco SC, Noel was known to be a jovial figure amongst the football fraternity in Goa and was a known voice on football commentary over various sports television channels.The entire football community in Goa was left numb with his death and visitors poured in at his Vasco residence to offer their condolences. People from all walks of life including politicians, friends, family members and the football community were spotted at the residence of the football loving former treasurer of the Goa football association.

Noel is survived by his wife Nayan tara , four daughters and a Son. Goa has suddenly lost one of its most lovable ambassadors of the game but can take heart form the fact that Noel passed away in the midst of his passion of commentating for the game he loved the most and is so close to the heart of Goans, which is football.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Senior Citizens of Goa to benefit from state policy soon

Come the next couple of days and the state of Goa could have its policy for the senior citizens in place, something  which was formed under the Maintenance and Welfare of parents and senior citizens act 2007, after it is duly notified and published in the official gazette. The policy is likely to come into force from October 1 2009, to coincide with the International day for Senior citizens.

Senior citizens masquerade at Goa Carnival

It may be recalled that the state government of Goa has announce this policy for senior citizens welfare last year on 1st of October and it is exactly after one year the government has decided to implement the same. the file pertaining to the policy has reportedly been cleared by the finance and the law departments and has been reverted to the social welfare department.

Under the policy, parents are eligible to claim maintenance allowance from their children and the policy also envisages the setting up of maintenance tribunals and appellate tribunals. Pressure has been mounting on the government over the delay in implementing the policy with various NGOs urging for its early enforcement. It is reported that senior citizens in the state face a lot of hardships from their children especially in matters related to property in Goa . Under the policy, the elderly shall be empowered to claim the property back from their children if the same is given on the basis of looking after their needs and amenities.

There is also a demand to set up and maintain homes for senior citizens in Goa to take care of them in their old age and provide the necessary medical care and recreation facilities. There are suggestions also made to the government of Goa to apprise and inform the police and the judiciary on protection of life and property of the elderly under the provisions of the act.

Goa will thus join states such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Tripura in enforcing such a policy aimed at the protection of the interests of the senior citizens of the state.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Goa does a first. Approves a sports policy for itself

In a bid to encourage sports activities in the state of Goa, the state cabinet gave its nod for a special policy for sports for the state which is probably the first such policy endorsed by any state in the Indian union. The policy which will give a boost to sports and other physical activities in the state, is expected to be implemented soon, after due notification.

The policy which was first prepared as a draft plan in the year 1998, took more than a decade for the current "Goa sports policy" to become a reality.sports in GoaAccording to the policy, physical education and sports is expected to be an optional academic subject beginning from the next academic year.

The policy aims to ensure that studies would not be a bottleneck for sporting successes and students would no longer be hesitant to take part in state or national duty as their absence from the class would be duly considered as "on duty" and therefore backed up by arrangements for conduct of special and supplementary examinations for those students.

A new "sports merit marks" will be awarded to sportspersons of Goa who have excelled at the state, national and the international level,which would be a maximum 3 % aggregate. Also 3 percent seats at all educational institutions in the state, excluding professional colleges are being considered for exclusive reservation for such sportspersons.

Reservations for jobs is also an integral part of the policy and 3% jobs are expected to be reserved at government, semi-government, autonomous and corporate bodies which enjoy government funding. The sports policy is expected to burden the exchequer to the tune of 110 crores every year.goa sports

The government of Goa aims to create an awareness and a sports culture from the primary and pre-primary school level and broadening the scope of physical education and sports activities through schools, village panchayats, sports clubs etc for the development of a healthy and competitive personality and achieving excellence at all levels of academic interests

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goa CRZ violations : Coastal Panchayats to file affidavits

The division bench of the Bombay high court at Goa, while hearing a suo moto petition  with regard to the illegal construction in the CRZ areas of Goa, has asked the coastal village panchayats to file affidavits by providing the details of the type of constructions, the survey numbers and what use these structures are being put to.

During the hearing of the petition, amicus curiae Norma Alvares brought it to the notice of the High Court that most of the panchayats in Goa may have issued demolition orders to illegal structures violating CRZ, but none have actually carried out any demolitions. She also pointed out that some of the panchayats are still at the stage of issuing show cause notices.

Goa CRZ demolitions

The court has sought the affidavits to be filed by October 5th 2009, stating therein the total number of structures in the 200 metres zone as per the survey maps. The court has also asked to state the number of structures found to be existing as on February 19 1991. The matter is expected to come up for hearing on October 13 2009. The bench also asked the state advocate general Adv Subodh kantak to give information about the number of appeals pending before the panchayat director regarding the illegal structures violating the CRZ.

Some of the village panchayats informed that they have filed their affidavits while others said that while the affidavits were ready, they were not yet filed. Ms Alvares submitted a chart which specified the details of the affidavits filed by the panchayats in various villages of Goa.

As per the details, Calangute and Canacona were on top of the charts aggregating 684 structures in Calangute and over 616 structures in Canacona. However, strangely, Calangute panchayat has issued notices only to around 90 such structures while Canacona has issued notices to only around 48 structures.

Comparatively, Anjuna panchayat has issued notices to over 227 structures out of a total of 427 such constructions in the No development Zone (NDZ). Mandrem Panchayat in the north and Agonda in the south of Goa have issued notices to 61 and 30 structures respectively.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Goa : Bollywood's beach-eyed baby

For Bollywood, Goa has been a favourite destination to camp for shooting since the sixties when Bollywood producers and directors seem to have woken up to a landslide beauty next door to Mumbai. The trend therefore began in the sixties with the legendary Manoj Kumar  shooting "Ghum Naam"  and since then there has been little looking back for the bollywood film industry which has found Goa to be the ideal foil to most of their plots

Goans will not forget the presence of their Goan beaches in the unforgettable romantic tragedy titfilms shot in Goaled " Ek Duuje Ke Liye" which starred Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri in the lead pair, with the beach of Dona Paula as their favourite haunt and the stories of that beach being woven around the storyline of that movie. Of course, in recent times there have been blockbusters such as "Dil Chahta Hai" and "Josh" to name a few.

Over the times, it has not only been Bollywood, but also the south Indian film industry which has caught the fascination for Goa and other vernacular film industries have taken good notice of the Goan touch and beauty to ensure that their shooting schedule has Goa as their favbollywood in Goaourite stopover. Besides, Hollywood has also shown keen interest in the state of Goa for shooting their movies. Therefore Goa now sees itself as a hotspot fro all film shootings, serials, documentaries , video clips for advertisements, calendar shoots, portfolio shoots, Photography clinics etc.

Earlier, Goa had no special body to grant licences for film shoots. However after Goa began hosting the "international film festival of India" since 2004, the ESG or the Entertainment Society of Goa took birth and it is now the body to grant the permission for any shooting to be done in Goa.

How to undertake film shooting in Goa

To carry out film shooting in Goa, Line producers who are the initiators of the shoot should contact the ESG and give details of their schedule with dates and the locations of the film shooting in Goa. Thereafter, depending in the type of location chosen, the ESG contacts the departments concerned surrounding that particular location. For instance, if the location is a beach, the tourism department is contacted. The concerned department gets back to the ESG and upon the compilation of all the necessary permissions and grants, the ESG prepares one main slip which okays the shooting. The entire procedure takes a period of about 10 days.

The ESG also states its clauses and conditions of the shooting in Goa and these are mentioned in the permission slip given to the line producers. The major conditions being that there should be no hindrance to the flow of traffic or human activity at the places of shooting, no shooting to be undertaken inside an archaeological structure, no nudity and no garbage to be left behind. Generally most beaches in the Vasco-da-Gama area of Goa are banned due to the naval presence in the area. The ESG is expected to enforce these conditions strictly and any contraventions by the shooting team are to be penalised.

Film shootings in Goa are therefore more organised now than before and the government of Goa works together with the ESG in a co-ordinated pattern ensuring that the filmmakers find the experience of obtaining permissions and shooting in Goa to be a very pleasant one. Goa naturally has an interest in film shootings as it only helps to showcase Goa to the rest of the world as a tourist destination thereby increasing its market potential and as a result adding to the revenues of the state.

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