Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Brian reads at NIFT Delhi

My one-time classmate (at Goa University, English dept) Brian Mark Mendonca <brianmendonca at> has informed me that he has been invited to read his poems on January 18, 2006 at the N.I.F.T Campus from 5.30 to 7.30 pm. Brian is a Vascokar, and is planning to come out shortly with his new book of verse, titled after what must be his favourite poem, "The Last Bus To Vasco".

Fine print...

Sometimes, the fine-print that shows up in the advertisements makes for interesting reading. For instance, some Vasco-related adverts in the Navhind Times of Dec 28, 2005:

* Goa Naval Area is advertising for some tens of thousands of uniforms and it specifies that those bidding need to be "competent contractors owning atleast 15 sewing machines and having expertise in fabrication of uniforms of naval personel serving at Vasco da Gama"...

These two conditions itself would probably exclude most from bidding from this contract! Does it matter if someone has 15 sewing machines, or is using some other model of completing the work, as long as the work gets done as required? And wouldn't the clause about having experience in sewing uniforms in the past restrict the bids only to those who have already won contracts in the past? Correct me if I'm wrong...

* Goa Urban Co-op Bank at Panjim has sent out notices to borrowers and guarantors who have not repaid loans. These include two parties at Vasco, a builder at Airport Road and someone else at Patrong, Baina.

* Meanwhile, the MPT has calledl for tenders for industrial acetylene and oxygen gases, and old reusable unformed super giant tyres.

I guess the tendering sector in Vasco, particularly from the Central government organisations, must be quite big business, even if little understood by the average citizen. FN

Thieves' new modus operandi... freak mishap (Herald)

Looks like a serious concern for Vasco! FN


Herald Correspondent [Herald, Dec 28, 2005]

MORMUGAO, Dec 27 -- The next time someone informs you that your money has fallen down, be aware.

Cash and gold ornaments worth over Rs 1 lakh were stolen in three separate incidents in the port town within a span of an hour.

According to Vasco police, one NEtaji Rao along with his boss Mahendra Kumar Patwarai had gone to the Vasco post office, when a person approached Netaji and told him that some cash had fallen down.

When Netaji bent to pick the cash, the person ran away with a bag containing Rs 60,000 in cash.

In the second incident, one Vasant M Chauhan of Chicalim stated that he along with his brother went to a bank at about 10 am, when a person with a similar modus operandi took away a bag from the van containing Rs 40,000 in cash.

The bag was later found at Kharewada, with all the cash and some documents of the vehicle missing.

In the third case, Verma Dabholkar of SIolim stated that a gold bracelet and cash, all worth Rs 5000 were stolen from her car in the market in a similar fashion.

One person has been arrested in this connection and further investigations are in progress.

* * *


Herald Correspondent. Herald, Dec 28, 2005

MORMUGAO, DEC 27: A 34-year-old man from Odxel-Taleigao made a fatal mistake by choosing an unusual spot for his afternoon siesta -- behind a bus.

According to Vasco police, Hirappa Kotbagi had gone to the Dabolim airport, when he decided to sleep behind a bus (GA01 Z9399) at about 1.30 pm.

The bus driver failed to notice Hirappa and reversed the bus, crushing Hirappa to death. Further investigations are on.

WISL is ten

Herald (Page 4, Dec 28, 2005) has this report reporting that the Western India Shipyard Ltd has completed ten years of successful operation on December 23.

Unfortunately, reporting on industry in Goa is largely restricted to reproducing official statements, specially on advertisement-friendly firms. But, if one recalls right, there was an issue of safety raised in a section of the press recently.

OTHER REPORTS relating to Vasco include:

* Poor lighting at Vasco KTC bus-stand: "The passenger shed at this stand has just three tube lights, which are lighting, and two halogen to illuminate the sorroundings at this stand. The stand, unlike the city stand, wears a deserted look and it is only during peak hours that one witnesses some crowd". (Gomtantak Times)

* Legal literacy camp held at Vasco: "... at Shri Mahadev Saunsthan, Alto Dabolim... Advocate SN Karmali spoke on Entitlement of Legal Aid... Adv S N Kerkar spoke on the Rent Control Act and highlighted as to what benefit is provided to the lesser and lessee under the law. Advocate Raju Dhavlikar spoke on the Consumer Protection Act...."

Ad from Vasco

Are you a English writer and ready to work in residence at Mangor Hill, Vasco. Call 9422 438320 or 9822 162644 or 2514381. [Navhind Times, Dec 28, 2005]

NAVHIND TIMES: Steep rise in suicidal cases reported in Vasco

NAVHIND TIMES: Steep rise in suicidal cases reported in Vasco

NT, December 29, 2005


Dec 28: Under the Vasco sub-divisional police jurisdiction, there has been a steep rise in suicide cases reported in 2005.

The Vasco sub-divisional police jurisdiction, which comprises of Vasco police station, Mormugao police station, Verna police station and Vasco railway police station, registered 41 suicidal cases.

The highest suicidal cases were reported in Vasco itself, wherein 21 persons have committed suicide whereas Verna and Vasco railway police stations recorded 15 and 4 cases respectively, and Mormugao police station had only one suicidal case.

Focussing on the rise of suicidal cases, the sub-divisional magistrate and deputy collector of Mormugao Levinson Martins stated that Vasco, being a cosmopolitan town, the mobility of the people was of the labour class.

"Majority of the labourers reside in thickly populated areas and the disparity in the sex ratio is alarming. Under such circumstances, due to frustration, man and women are forced to take drastic step," he said.

Mr Martins further informed that a majority of those who committed suicides were migrants. He further stated that there was an urgent need to create awareness among the general public as to why the suicide cases were increasing at an alarming rate.

Mr Martins opined that as suicide was a social and sensitive issue, the volunteers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social workers with the help of general public should try to come out with a solution.

Besides suicide cases, the Vasco sub-divisional police jurisdiction has also registered 59 natural deaths and 63 fatal accidents. The highest number of fatal deaths registered till date include Verna (20), Vasco (18), Mormugao (13) and Vasco railway (12).

There were eight murder and homicide cases registered under the Vasco sub-divisional police jurisdiction. The Vasco police registered four cases of murder and all were detected.

Two cases of attempt to murder, one culpable homicide, one dacoity, four rape and 43 theft cases were registered in the Vasco sub-divisional police jurisdiction. All the above cases were detected, expect the theft cases wherein the police succeeded in deteching only 21 out of 43 cases.

NAVHIND TIMES: One held for molesting minor girl in Vasco

One held for molesting minor girl in Vasco

NT, December 30, 2005


Dec 29: The Vasco police arrested on 33-year-old man, a resident of Ashok Nagar, Belgaum, under Section 8 of the Goa Children's Act, for allegedly sexually abusing his four-year-old daughter at the KTC bus stand, Vasco, this evening.

In a complaint registered with the police, the wife of the accused stated that her husband came to her house at Mangor Hill today and took away their four-year-old daughter on the pretext of showing her the circus, at Margao.

The accused then took the girl to the KTC bus stand, Vasco, and sexually abused her.

He was, however, caught by the people in the act, who saved the girl from further assault and beat the man. He was later handed over to the Vasco police by the public.

According to the police, the incident took place between 3 and 5.30 pm. The victim and the accused have been referred to the Goa Medical College GMC Hospital, Bambolim, for medical examination, and the report is awaited.

According to deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Vasco Dinraj Govekar, the accused was separated from his wife and was staying in Belgaum.

ANOTHER Vasco story on Page 7, NT:

One dies of heart attack aboard vessel. Suhas Rama Phadte (58), a resident of vasco, died after a massive heart attack. He was working as a crane operator for M/s Agencia Ultra Pvt Ltd Vasco and had joined duty on the Orissa Transshipper, anchored off the shore in the Arabian Sea. He is a native of Marcaim.

GSL launch

Goa Shipyard Limited has announced the launch of the fast patrol vessel Yard 1190, built for the Indian Coast Guard. Launch on Friday, Dec 30, at 9 am.

New links on VU including alumni of Goa

Hi Jen, Nice job. But if you want to make your links it really shareable, then it's worth trying out Please see the URL below my signature. FN

Jen Lewis wrote on the VascokarsUnited list:

> Hiya all, Been busy scouring through all the yahoogroups to look for > Goan groups of interest. I found some alumni groups of schools and > colleges that I have added to the links. There are also other links > that you may find of > interest.

NAVHIND TIMES: Programme to screen children for anemia to be launched

Programme to screen children for anemia to be launched

NT News Service [NT, Dec 31, 2005]

VASCO, Dec 30: The Panaji Obstetrics and Gynecology Society has decided to launch a programme to screen school children of the state of Goa for anemia.

This is to be done by checking the hemoglobin (Hb) and blood group of school children. The society has asked help from the Goa government to implement this programme.

Anemia prevention movement call has come from the safe motherhood committee of theFederation of Gynecologists of India.

President of the Panaji Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, Dr Nimish Pillai and secretary Dr Eugene De Silva have submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Mr S C Jamir and a copy to the chief minister, the health minister and the education minister asking help of government resources to implement this programme in all schools of Goa.

GOMANTAK TIMES: Govt, city fathers neglect port town

Do you feel this article tackles the issue aptly? Eitherway, send your feedback to --FN

GOMANTAK TIMES: Govt, city fathers neglect port town

Dec 31, 2005

Goa's towns were planned by the Portuguese regime for smaller populations and their needs. And since then, they have grown haphazardly. From today, GT will focus on the ills plaguing Margao, Mapusa, POnda, Vasco and Panjim in a series 'Let's make our cities better'.


VASCO: As one enters Vasco through Vaddem or New Vaddem, negligence seems to be written all over the face of this port city. Tragically, successive governments and city fathers have done little to plan for the future.

Vaddem and New Vaddem have a cosmopolitan population of over 13,000 and form four wards of the Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC).

The major problem in these wards is lack of planning and infrastructure. Dr Pedro Bravo da Costa, a prominent physician and citizen from the locality, lamented that there was no planning with majority of constructuctions violating the FAR (floor-area ratio).

"It is sad that laws are made but are not implemented by the authorities. The authorities turn a Nelson's eye to the misdoings which affect those who follow the rules and the law," stated Dr Da Costa.

Former MMC chairperson and present councillor Carlos Almeida also emphasized that there was need to re-plan as the condition at present was chaotic.

"I also believe that poor planning has been the cause of the chaotic situation, but if there is a will then there is a way. The government can always help by re-planning," Almeida opined.

Flooding of low-lying areas still haunts villagers in the monsoons.

Dr Da Costa who stays close to the famous Vaddem Lak had the experience of his house being flooded. "I built my house with a plinth heighth of one and half feet above the road 30 years ago. But doay, the height of theroad has also grown like human beings," he said sarcastically.

He cited the failure on part of the authorities to clean up the three major nullas as the cause of major floods.

Eric Fernandes, yet another resident from the area, also expressed that there has been total neglect by both government and municipality. "The council is corrupt and what can one expect from them," he expressed, and added that it was only during Dr Mesquita's tenure that development had taken place.

The nullas in questions are the Goa Shipyard nulla, Vaddem lake nulla and the nulla by the side of the Pai Hospital.

The Goa Shipyard nulla serves as a water way not only to rain storm waters from Vaddem and New Vaddem but also Mangor, Baina and Butaybhat. Today, there is sewage gushing through it and residents of the MES Quarter also pour out their contents here.

Vaddem Lake, which was once famous for fish breeding is heavily contaminated as people dump garbage in it. Further, a builder has covered the mouth of this lake by putting an RCC slab over the drain, making it difficult to clean the silt. Teh nulla near the Pai Hospital too is flooded with silt.

Traffic jams near the road entering the city opposite Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) that has been greatly affecting the general public and the condition is acute during the afternoon.

The residents from New Vaddem face great hardships as widening of the junction opposite the GSL of New Vaddem road failed to materialise and the lethargic attitude of the PWD is the cause for the delay.

Dr Da Costa blamed the citizens for the garbage problem. There is no civic sense even among th eeducated. He also felt that there was a need to have more garbage bins.


Photographs: Dr Pedro da Costa Eric Fernandes Carlos Almeida Pics by Ramchandra Kamat

Traffic jam opposite the Goa Shipyard Limited

GOMANTAK TIMES: Mormugao Port receives first import of raw cashew nuts...

Should Goa be *importing* cashew nuts? It's happening... What about the official claims that agriculture and horticulture is doing well in the state? FN

GOMANTAK TIMES: Mormugao Port receives first import of raw cashew nuts...

GTNEWSROOM [Dec 31, 2005 GT]

The Mormugao Port has received the first ever import cargo of raw cashew nuts from Indonesia for Ajanta Industries, Ponda and Sunrise Cashew Industries, Valpoi.

Import of raw cashew nuts into Mormugao was hitherto not possible. The GCMA has taken the initiatives for the direct import of raw cashews into Goa, for the benefit of the processors, so that we don't have to shut down for want of raw material.

There is a lot of support given by the Development Commissioner of Goa, J K Dadoo, Goa Chambers of Commerce and Industries, and the Chief Commissioner of Customs Sunil Kumar Sawhney.

The cashew crop in Goa has not increased much in the last 15-20 years. The yield per tree has not improved. No serious attempts are made by the government to increase the production in the state.

Unlike any other agricultural produce, the cashew producers in India, and more particularly, in Goa, always got premium prices.

The Goa Cashew Manufacturers Association has taken the initiatives for the direct import of raw cashew into Mormugao for the benefit of the processors, so that we don't have to shut down for want of raw material.

The Government of Goa has recently come up with the Horticulture Plan 2005-06, wherein various supportive measures and incentives are offered to raw cashew farming community, to increase the production per acre and to go in for organic farming.

The producers are offered Rs 10,000 per hectare, for conversion of their farm into organic and get certified by the international certifying agencies. (ENDS)