Activist Adv Diya Shetkar, Residents of Bethoda Gherao PWD Assistant Engg over drinking water problems

Mahila residents of Bethoda Panchayat and led by NGO Nari Adhikar Founder-President Adv Diya Shetkar today gheroed the Assistant Engineer SD IV, III, (PHE) of the Public Works Department (PWD) at Ponda  for over 30 minutes over the failure of the PWD department to supply adequate and regular drinking water to the people of Bondbag in the  Bethoda Panchayat in Shiroda constituency.
 
Adv Diya Shetkar submitted a written complaint to the AE Mrs Rashmi and copies of the same complaint were submitted to the PWD Minister Sudin Dhavilkar as well as the Chief Minister’s  office. 
 
Speaking to media persons after meeting with the AE, Adv Diya Shetkar said the residents of Bethoda have been suffering for the last 4-5 years.
 
“We held a candle light vigil last month on the 25th of November (Read Here) which was attended by over 120 residents, including the women from Bethoda. The Sarpanch who is aware of this problem is not doing anything to solve it. The people have approached the Sarpanch of Bethoda Panchayat as well as the local panch of the area, on various occasions with their water woes, but the sarpanch and the panch member expressed their helplessness over the matter. All their pleas have been in vain for the last 4-5 years. The people are deprived of adequate drinking water for the last several years, which is a grave human rights violation. The PWD department send them huge bills as well as rentals for water meters but the citizens do not get enough water for drinking,” Shetkar explained.
 
According to Adv Diya Shetkar, the Government of Goa is not interested in helping the citizens of Bethoda. If this problem is not solved within two weeks, we will take to the streets. We will stop the movement of traffic on the Bethoda by-pass road and will not allow a single vehicle to ply on the Bethoda-Belgaum by-pass road, if the government does not solve the water problem.
 
We had warned the government on 25th November when we held the candle light vigil, but no action was taken at all. This is our final reminder to the government, Shetkar said adding:
 
“The residents had personally met the former CM Laxmikant Parsekar who had promised to look into their problems. However, in spite of several written complaints, to both Parsekar and Parrikar, no action was taken and the residents continue to suffer. Both Parsekar and Parrikar promised to help the residents of Bethoda on several occasions, but have failed miserably and done nothing to solve the problems of the people,” Adv Diya Shetkar complained…… Read more here

Goan Adv Diya Shetkar demands CBI inquiry into fraudulent transactions of Shiroda Urban Co-op Society owned by BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar

According to a complaint filed with the Goa Lokayukta the Goa government had acquired 1.8 lakh square meters of orchard land in Shiroda from Subhash Shirodkar and his brothers or family members and related companies for a whopping Rs 70 crore “apparently with the blessings of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar” who approved the deal.

The land was purchased years ago by Subhash Shirodkar for only Rs 45 per square metre.

It has already been reported in the local media in Goa that the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) refused to purchase the land as they did not need it and hence CM Manohar Parrikar got the Industries department which is under him to make the purchase.

It is also already known how another land owner who had land in the vicinity had offered the government 1.4 lakh sqm of land for Rs 350 per sq meter, while the Goa government purchased land from Shirodkar for Rs 3500 per sq mtr.

Adv Diya Shetkar has demanded a CBI inquiry into the functioning of the Shiroda Urban Co-op Society

Now it has come to light that almost the entire property which was purchased by the Goa Government from Subhash Shirodkar and his family members and relatives or the dummy and shell companies floated by him has or was already been mortgaged by people connected to Subhash Shirodkar and loans totally amounting to a principal amount of Rs 3 crore were obtained from the concerned co-operative society said social worker and Adv Diya Shetkar while speaking to media persons in Panaji today.

“The name of the entity is Shiroda Urban Co-operative Society which is owned by Subhash Shirodkar and others who are basically dummy or benami members on the board of the co-operative society.

The Co-op Society is completely controlled and managed by the Shirodkar family,” explained Shetkar.

It has already been reported in the media that part of the land was mortgaged by the credit society by employees of Shirodkar in return of a loan of Rs 10 lakh each.

Now according to research conducted by Adv Diya Shetkar and her team, information concerning the last 4-6 years obtained from Registrar of Societies, Balance Sheets which were somehow obtained, RBI records, ROC records etc., the rest of the property was also mortgaged to the Co-op Society and a total principal amount of Rs 3 crore was availed as a loan. The exact interest amount accrued on this loan is still not known, but we know that a huge amount is still outstanding to the society.

While the loan given to the 9 employees of Subhash Shirodkar was shown in the records, the rest of the loans given to his family members by the same entity is not officially shown as loan amounts.

According to a case filed by Social Activist Aires Rodrigues, in the Lokayukta, nine employees of Shirodkar have apparently shown the land in their own name, and availed of loans after mortgaging the property to Shiroda Urban Cooperative Society to get a loan of Rs 10 lakh each.

The disbursement of the loans totaling Rs 3 crore took place in the year 2013, which was headed by Shirodkar himself, Shetkar alleged.

BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar was the Chairman and his brother was the vice chairman when the loans were taken. All the other members are either dummies or benami members who are all related or connected to Subhash Shirodkar, Diya said.

Other loans were taken by his relatives and family members falsely claiming to own parts and parcels of the entire property during the year 2013 and 2014.

The Goa government has failed to do due diligence before purchasing the land for a huge sum of Rs 70 crore, about 9 times its actual value.

The land actually belongs to the Shiroda Urban Cooperative Society as Shirodkar or his family or relatives or his fake companies have no right to sell it to the government.

This entire deal with the government of Goa is fake and fraudulent as the land is still mortgaged to the society.

It is very likely that the deposits and money of the unsuspecting public who have saved their hard earned money in this entity are at risk now, as this information comes out into the public domain.

Shetkar has demanded a CBI inquiry into the functioning of the Shiroda Urban Co-op Society, failing which she said she will move the High Court of Bombay at Goa.

Adv Diya Shetkar: Goa Police Did Not Register My Complaint of Outraging Modesty of a Woman, Criminal Conspiracy, Etc., Made Me Run From Pillar To Post

A social worker and woman advocate Diya Shetkar has approached the Goa police with a criminal complaint against one Swapnil Parab, resident of Pernem accusing him of outraging the modesty of a woman, criminal conspiracy, stalking, criminal intimidation, common intention, and using the internet and social media to defame her and outrage her modesty.

Speaking to media persons at a Press Conference in Panaji, Adv Diya Shetkar said: I am an advocate by profession and a social worker. I run an NGO by the name of Nari Adhikar which is active in the Shiroda area. For the last few days one person by the name of Swapnil Parab has been chasing and stalking and hounding me – he first met me saying that he has some legal/social matter and needed my help. Yesterday, I found out that the said Swapnil Parab has circulated the print screens and images of some very defamatory and personal fake what’s app messages and chats which he falsely claims have been sent by me to him. Since I have not sent such messages, I approached first the Cyber Crime police station and then the Ponda police station with written complaints. Both the PI’s at the above mentioned police stations had a very laid back attitude and only told me that they will look into my complaint and decide after reading it and studying it.

swapnil-parab-pernem

As per the law and as per several Supreme Court rulings, when a woman approaches a police station with a cognizable complaint, an FIR has to be registered immediately. In my case, the accusations are very serious in nature. I have told the police in my written complaint that some rival politicians are behind this character assassination and this act of Swapnil Parab has been mastermind and directed by some rival politicians. There is a big criminal conspiracy behind all this and two or three big politicians from Goa are involved, yet the police say they are “studying my case” instead of registering an FIR immediately. The police can add additional “sections” later on if required, but registration of FIR is required immediately in case of a cognizable complaint,” Shetkar told media persons in Panjim.

Rafale deal not govt-to-govt pact, says Kapil Sibal

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that the deal is not a “government-to-government” pact between India and France as is being suggested by the government.

It said the Centre should not have signed the contract with Dassault alleging that it was a “non-complaint” vendor as it had not given assurances on aircraft quality and on man-hours required for manufacture of the jets.

The Congress, however, did not ask the government to scrap the contract.

Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal claimed France has never done a government-to-government contract on defence. “This is not a government to government contract. Dassault should make a public statement if they ever had a Government to Government contract prior to this. In fact, there is no such procedure in France,” he said.

“In this case… the people who negotiated the deal were Dassault representatives along with Eric Trappier himself…. That is on the side of Dassault and on the Indian side Ministry of Defence and Air Force officials negotiated the deal. The only thing that happened was that the Government of France gave a confirmation letter. The negotiations were done by Dassault. How could it be a Government to Government contract?” he asked.

Sibal claimed Dassault was a non-compliant vendor.

“In the bid that Dassault gave, it provided the number of hours to be taken for manufacture of 108 aircraft…. The HAL had opposed that figure and said the man hours that you are claiming is wrong…. It had said it will take almost three times the number of man-hours. Actually the exact is 2.74. Dassault was asked to back its claim by providing an affidavit or an undertaking. Dassault refused to give either the affidavit or the undertaking and under Government of India procedures Dassault became non-complaint.

“Had they given the total number of hours, it would have been L-2. Therefore, they did not give that affidavit. Once it became non-compliant, Government of India cannot have any contract with Dassault,” he said.

He said the government had also asked Dassault to take “full responsibility for the production, quality and performance of the 108 aircraft” but it flatly refused.

Source: Indian Express

Modi Compromised National Security, Hiked Prices of Rafale Jet Deal to Favor Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence: Congress

The Congress on Thursday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enhanced and hiked the benchmark price for for the Rafale fighter jet deal from 5.2 billion Euros to 8.2 billion Euros and discarded objections by one of his own ministries on the sovereign guarantee issue.

It said the “entire spectrum of deception” on the deal “lies at the doorstep of the Prime Minister”, The Indian Express claimed in a report.

The CPI(M), too, hit out at the government demanding a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe into the deal.

The Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala claimed that the negotiating team had “a serious dispute” on the benchmark price, which was referred to the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Manohar Parrikar refused to hike prices of Rafale

“Parrikar as also the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister and the chiefs of the three armed forces also didn’t agree and could not decide on the higher benchmark price of € 8.2 Billion. So DAC referred it to Cabinet Committee on Security (CSS) headed by the Prime Minister. PM Modi as the head of the CCS accepted the higher benchmark price without any negotiations or inquiry. Why did the Prime Minister set a higher benchmark price,” Sujrewala asked.

The Law Ministry had on December 9, 2015 “flagged the issue of “No Bank Guarantee/ Sovereign Guarantee” by the French Government and noted the concern that the contract involves huge payouts from the public exchequer without actual delivery in the form of advance payments.

The then Defence Minister Parikkar, Surjewala claimed, had in March 2016 refused to “opine of accepting the Letter of Comfort in lieu of bank-French government guarantee. The Air Acquisition Wing of the Defence Ministry, on the other hand, had put up a note in August of that year stating that “Bank Guarantees may be insisted from French side as required under our procedure and Indian side may bear the Bank Guarantee charges.”

Modi Waved Off Bank Guarantee

He said the Law Ministry reiterated its view and conveyed it again to the Defence Ministry on August 24, but the “very next day, PM Modi as head of the CCS accepted the ‘Letter of Comfort’ and waived off the condition of ‘Bank Guarantee/French Government Sovereign Guarantee’.”

“Why did PM Modi compromise national interests by waiving the Bank Guarantee/French Government’s Sovereign Guarantee’ in violation of Defence Procurement Procedure?” he asked. The Congress has alleged that all this was done only to favour one company Reliance Defence which is headed by Anil Ambani and levelled charges of crony capitalism on the BJP Central Govt.

On Wednesday, Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the Supreme Court no “sovereign guarantee” was given by the French government but it had issued a “letter of comfort” that was good enough to be “governmental guarantee”, according to a report in The Hindu.

Defence Minister Parrikar refused to accept Letter of Comfort

Sujrewala also claimed that Mr. Parrikar had refused to accept the “letter of comfort” in place of a sovereign/bank guarantee and cited an August 18, 2016 note in which the Air Acquisition wing of the Defence Ministry stated, “Bank Guarantees may be insisted from French side as required under our procedure and Indian side may bear the Bank Guarantee charges”.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the government’s own admission in the Supreme Court that there is no sovereign guarantee from the French government but only a letter of comfort which is not legally enforceable to ensure the delivery of this high-value contract was sensational.

with inputs from The Hindu & Indian Express

Goa PCC observes 129th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Old Goa

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee observed the 129th birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Old Goa, organised by the Cumbharjua Pradesh Congress Committee.

gpcc-observes-nehru-birth-anniversary (3)

Those present at the function included former MP and former Goa CM Francisco Sardinha, Senior Congress leader M K Shaikh, PCC member Joseph Vaz, Subodh Amonkar, Mahila Congress State Secretary Diya Shetkar, Old Goa former panch Vishal Volvoikar, PCC member Hemant Naik, North Goa District President Vijay Bhike and other leaders.

About 150 Congress workers attended the function which was held at the Old Goa Panchayat Hall premises.

While paying rich tributes to the late PM Jawaharlal Nehru, senior Congress leader Shri M K Shaikh said, “BJP in trying to belittle the greatness of Jawaharlal Nehru and neglect or erase his contribution as a freedom fighter, as a thinker, writer and as PM of the country.”

“The BJP government even removed a chapter on Nehru from the syllabus in Rajasthan. But they should remember that the people of India will not forget the sacrifices made by Jawaharlal Nehru and his contribution to the creation of modern India.”

Ex MP Francisco Sardinha called upon the people to follow in the footsteps of Jawaharlal Nehru and work together irrespective of religion, caste or community. Others who spoke at the function included Joseph Vaz, Mahila State Secretary Diya Shetkar, District President Vijay Bhike and Vijay Shetye.

Sudeep Naik welcomed the gathering, while Vishal Volvoikar proposed the vote of thanks.

Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar announces plunge into electoral politics

Panaji, Nov 12 (IANS): In what could be a worrying sign for the Goa BJP, former state RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, an arch rival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Sunday announced his plunge into electoral politics.

The announcement comes at a time when the the state BJP as well as the BJP-led coalition government in Goa are facing immense flak over the continuance of ailing Parrikar as Chief Minister despite being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer for the last nine months.

“I will be actively working for the Goa Suraksha Manch,” Velingkar told reporters in Panaji.

Asked if he would be contesting the upcoming by-polls in Goa’s Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies which have been necessitated due to resignations of Congress MLAs from both seats, Velingkar said the decision would be taken at “the appropriate time”.

He also said that considering the political chaos in the state, following Parrikar’s illness and comfortable numbers in the Assembly still eluding the BJP, the Goa Assembly would be dissolved and fresh polls would be announced in Goa along with Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Velingkar, 66, has served as the state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief for more than two decades and is considered responsible for the political grooming of the state BJP’s top leaders including Parrikar, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik and former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

He was sacked from the RSS in 2016 after he took on Parrikar, who Velingkar accused of backstabbing the principles of both the Sangh as well as BJP.

Velingkar later founded and mentored the Goa Suraksha Manch, a right-wing conservative political party which considers the BJP its key rival.

Source: IANS

Goa Tourism Industry In Turmoil: Huge Shortage of Fish Looms Over The State As 6-Month Import Ban Takes Effect

PANAJI: Even as the six-month ban on import of fish into the state of Goa came into effect from today, the Tourism Industry in Goa is staring at huge losses as exotic sea food is the backbone of the restaurants and hotels in coastal state.

The tourism industry stands to face a cumulative loss of Rs 70-95 crore, which can even go up to Rs 150 crore over a period of six months if the ban is strictly enforced, according to research conducted by IndiaScoops.com in consultation with various tourism, shacks and hotel and restaurant associations in Goa.

“Most foreigners who visit Goa during the tourism months from December to February patronize the sea-food restaurants. Various types of fish, prawns, tiger prawns, lobsters, etc., are the items of choice and the most patronized dishes on the menus of most restaurants. Goa is not able to meet the demand for this high-end, exotic sea food, including salmon, etc., which is in great demand with the foreign tourists,” said Adv Diya Shetkar, President of the Goa Citizen’s Action Forum.

According to a report in the Navhind Times, the Congress party on Sunday called upon the government and the Health Minister Vishwajit Rane to do a re-think “as it would put the state and the fish eaters in crisis.”

Addressing media persons, Congress spokesperson Sankalp Amonkar along with some youth Congress leaders on Sunday, warned that if the government imposes a ban on fish import without banning export of Goan fish, it will lead to chaos and confusion in state due to extreme fish shortage.

Amonkar expressed fear that the ban on import of fish will create fish scarcity in the state markets since fish is a staple diet of most Goans.

Elaborating further, he said that when subsidy of Rs 100 crore is given to fishermen, the catch should be enjoyed by Goans first as the money comes from the taxpayers’ pockets.

He questioned the government whether measures are in place to crack down on illegal import of fish particularly by buses, trains adding soon people will start bringing fish in their private vehicles and goods carriers.

Amonkar said that Goans should not suffer due to the ban and should get formalin-free fish and demanded that FDA officer Iva Fernandes be appointed as nodal officer.

The Congress spokesperson further said that the Health Minister Rane had made a statement that fish ban has been announced in consultation with the TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai and asked why this is happening when the state has a designated fisheries minister.

Alleging that the Fisheries Minister Vinod Palienkar is maintaining a stoic silence, Amonkar said that Palienkar should break his silence and come out clean on the issue and if he is under some pressure from anybody then he should quit the post. He said, “Let some capable person take over the post and handle the issue tactfully.”

Amonkar also alleged that the fish ban and formalin issue is a well-enacted drama by two ministers and fish mafia and alleged that only ministers and fish mafia are speaking but the fisheries minister is silent over the issue.

with inputs from The Navhind Times

Ban beef to cure CM: Manohar Parrikar suffering from cancer because he didn’t ban beef in Goa, says Swami Chakrapani

While the Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, the leader of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, has said that beef ban must immediately be put in place in Goa.

Also Read: Beef issue: Goans must understand they live in Hindustan and not Portugal

According to him, this will have a positive impact on the health of the ailing Chief Minister.

He even went one step ahead to say that the CM is suffering from cancer because he didn’t totally ban beef in Goa. “If Parrikar had to ban beef earlier, he would not be in the situation he is in today,” the leader of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, Swami Chakrapani Maharaj

Also Read: Beef to be completely banned in Goa, rest of India by 2019

This bizarre demand by Chakrapani comes close after the news of CM Manohar Parrikar being at an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this week, Union Minister Shripad Naik said that a “change in leadership is required” considering the health of the incumbent minister.

Also Read: Stop Eating Beef or Get Killed, Lynchings To continue if Muslims, Christians Don’t Stop Eating Beef

The state is currently reeling under the absence of the Chief Minister. Parrikar recently chaired a cabinet meeting at his house after a gap of almost three months. He is currently recuperating at his residence in Goa following his discharge from AIIMS in New Delhi on October 14.

Also Read: Those who eat beef should be hung in public, says Sadhvi Saraswati

“Beef ban in Goa will cure Parrikar. It will have a positive impact on his health,” Chakrapani said.

This is contradictory to Goa CM Parrikar’s remarks who defended and backed the bee traders earlier this year.

Also Read: VHP and Bajrang Dal set to impose complete beef ban in India

The CM also warned that anyone who tries to stop the legal import of beef into the state would be punished. This was a response to cow vigilantes in the state, who were creating hurdles in the import of cattle into the State.

Swami Chakrapani has been in the news earlier as well for his controversial remarks.

Also Read: Stop eating Pork & Beef, embrace Hindutva or else leave India

During the time of Kerala floods, Chakrapani also made a statement regarding the consumption of beef in relation to the reason for floods.

He further said that the people who eat beef must not get any help in the state and must be left to perish.

Also Read: Jesus was born in a Cow Shed, so Christians must Stop Eating Beef says RSS leader Indresh Kumar

The flood-hit victims must submit an affidavit that they will never eat beef again, only then should they be provided with any help.

Change of leadership required in Goa due to Manohar Parrikar’s failing health: Union Minister Shripad Naik

Panaji: A change in leadership in Goa is a “requirement” “today or tomorrow” considering the health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Union Minister Shripad Naik. Parrikar has been undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment for several months now and arrived in the state on October 14 post hospitalization at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, PTI reported.

Speaking at the sidelines of a press conference to announce International Yoga Day Naik said that change in the leadership is a requirement, today or tomorrow as the CM’s health is not well.

There has been a constant chatter about a change in leadership in the state but the BJP has consistently ruled it out.

Naik is perhaps the first BJP leaders from Goa to demand a change of leadership. Parrikar, who is in an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer, is currently on bed rest at his residence in Dona Paula, Goa. According to media inputs, the CM hasn’t attended his office at Porvorim since June.

BJP allies in the state, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), have already clarified that they will support the coalition till Manohar Parrikar remains the chief minister.

The BJP has 14 legislators in the 40-member Goa Assembly and has received the support of three MLAs each of MGP and GFP, apart from three Independent legislators. It’s critical for the saffron party to have the support of MGP and GFP to survive as it needs at least 21 MLAs to remain in power in the coastal state.