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.

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.

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.

Sooner or later, Parrikar has to go: Shripad Naik

Ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s leadership will have to be changed “today or tomorrow”, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik said on Friday, according to an IANS report.

Naik also said that in view of Parrikar’s ill-health, dropping him as the Chief Minister was a “requirement” and a “compulsion” for the BJP leadership. Sooner or later, Parrikar has to go, he said.

“Change will have to be done today or tomorrow. It is a requirement. You know the Chief Minister’s health is not good. But he is still working in this condition,” Naik told mediapersons in Panaji.

Naik is one of the first Goa BJP leaders to demand a change of leadership in Goa even as the state BJP as well as members of the BJP-led coalition have come under immense flak over the Chief Minister’s prolonged absence due to his illness.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

He returned from New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14 and has not moved out of his private residence, for any official event since.

The opposition has been demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister, claiming that the administration has come to a standstill due to Parrikar’s absence.

To a question, as to whether it was fair to let an unwell Parrikar to handle administrative matters despite his illness, Naik said: “There are many reasons, which cannot be fully talked about. Thing will happen in time.”

Naik also said that he would take the lead to patch up differences among top BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Goa Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, who have openly rebelled against the decision taken by state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar to induct two Congress MLAs into the BJP.

with inputs from IANS

Experts see red over Goa’s proposed tourism policy

The Goa government’s draft tourism policy and tourism master plan came in for severe criticism from different stakeholders and civil society activists at an interactive session convened here by the Centre for Responsible Tourism, a Church-affiliated body, on Wednesday.

The State tourism department has sought suggestions on its report on the tourism policy and master plan. The policy has been uploaded on the tourism department’s website and is open for suggestions from stakeholders and public.

Experts and activists have pointed out several flaws in the draft tourism policy and called it a “top-down master plan” prepared by foreign consultants without any discussion with the people.

More time sought
The last date to submit suggestions for the draft master plan, according to the State government, is November 11, but the CRT has demanded at least three months to study it and come up with suggestions.

The CRT has also demanded that the draft be translated into vernacular and be circulated to village panchayats for greater awareness on it through gram sabhas. It has also questioned the Goa government as to why the draft is not being published in the State gazette.

Goa University scientist and social activist Nandkumar Kamat evaluated the proposed plan and lambasted the proposal for hiding crucial information about major aspects like income generated through tourism in the State which gets close to 6.5 million tourists, including 0.06 million foreign tourists, per year.

He lamented that the master plan prepared by a professional consultant, KPMG, hides more things than it reveals. “Is it tourism for Goa or Goa for tourism? Is tourism for the benefit of people of Goa or Goa’s people are for tourism?” asked an indignant Mr. Kamat.

Besides the economic dimension, the earnings from domestic and foreign tourists have been kept hidden from the public, he claimed.

“The draft plan says nothing about income from tourism to the State, which, according to information obtained through a Right to Information plea, is around ₹29,400 crore or around 40% of the Goa’s GDP. The government fears questions from the people if the figures are revealed,” said Mr. Kamat, adding that the proposed master plan is a “copy-paste job which had no place for Goa’s environment, ecology, culture, heritage”.

‘Amateurish draft’
“Rather this document seems to be a Trojan horse for the Goa Tourism Board which hides the fact that such instrument is absent in all other States which are ahead of Goa in tourism. A public policy needs to have a clear mission statement and principles, present current situation and analyses, clearly and concisely state the goals, objectives, strategies and action plans, spell out steps for responsible tourism and provide details of implementation and review. This draft is very amateurish and purely academic in nature,” said Mr. Kamat.

He also objected to a proposed autonomous Tourism Board in the policy and master plan saying if it is headed by the State Minister of Tourism as proposed therein then it is a mockery of autonomy.

Retired scientist from Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography, Antonio Mascarenhas, raised concern that the proposed master plan makes no mention of sand dunes, mangroves or ecologically sensitive areas of the coastal tourist State.

Mr. Valmiki Naik of Aam Aadmi Party said that the proposed master plan has very little of statistics and gives too much of importance to casinos.

Serafino Cota, former president of Small and Medium Restaurants Association in South Goa, suspected it was a scam and said that the draft master plan laid too much emphasis on PPP and profits for private players while there is nothing for the common people.

Source: The Hindu

Congress leader Diya Shetkar alleges gangrape, murder threat by BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar’s supporters

In a serious allegation, a female Congress leader on Sunday accused BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar’s supporters of threatening her of gang-rape and killing if she campaigned in his constituency.

Shirodkar is a former Congress MLA and represented Shiroda in Goa Legislative Assembly. He had recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress party worker and lawyer in a complaint to the police at Panaji in Goa saying that she got a telephone call early on Sunday morning asking her to “not to do anything against him (Shirodkar) in Siroda constituency”.

Speaking to news agency ANI, the Congress leader said, “BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar’s goons are threatening me of gang-rape and killing. The BJP govt is tarnishing my image. In the morning, I got a call threatening me to not do anything against him in Shiroda constituency.”

In her complaint submitted at the Panaji Police Station, she said that she received a call on Sunday morning from an unknown person, who claimed to be Shirodkar`s supporter, who used “abusive and vulgar” language while delivering the threat to her.

“I was threatened with gang-rape by the caller if I entered constituency of Shirodkar, a former Congress MLA who joined the BJP last month, and campaigned against him,” she told the media.

The police said a non-cognizance complaint had been registered against an unknown person following the complaint.

While Shirodkar could not be contacted, state BJP General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavde said, “I do not know about the complaint, but I will find out.”

Shirodkar, along with another now-former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte quit the Congress and joined the BJP.

My life is in danger, I may be raided by CBI, ED, IT or booked under NSA: Francis D’souza

BJP MLA from Goa, and former Deputy CM Francis D’Souza, said that if he were to criticize his party he might be raided by enforcement agencies including the CBI and his life may be in danger.

Until recently, D’Souza was the law minister in Manohar Parrikar’s cabinet, before he was shunted out due to his ill-health.

D’Souza told NDTV, “I might get raided by Income Tax, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED), or I may be even booked under the National Security Act for speaking against the party.” He also said there could be a threat to his life, if he criticized the party high command.

D’Souza alleged that in 2017, Ramesh Tawadkar, a fellow BJP member and former sports minister in the cabinet of then BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, had been raided by the IT department when he had complained about not receiving a ticket for the 2017 Goa assembly elections. He said that Parsekar had also been raided similarly.

However, D’Souza has said that he was not contemplating resigning as an MLA.

The BJP government has been accused of misusing law enforcement agencies to intimidate political rivals.

Previously, Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India party and a BJP critic had said that the his sister’s hospital was raided to silence him.

Similarly, several AAP lawmakers, including minister Kailash Gehlot, have been at the receiving end of raids by the income tax department.

with inputs from NDTV