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Ban import of fish till high-tech lab is not set up: Sardesai

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GOA:  Goa Forward Party Chief and Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai stated that  retail fish markets are deserted by customers after fear of formalin being used to preserve the commodity has gripped them.

Sardesai was addressing 31st National Conference by Maharashtra Society of Agriculture Economic on “Agro-Tourism, Doubling of Farmers Income, Economics of Production and marketing of Cashew and Coconuts” near Panaji.

“How safe is the food that we eat? Today, we are discussing this issue in Goa. It has become a big issue,” the minister told delegates after inaugurating the three day long conference.

“Our staple diet is fish and we used to get it from the East Coast when there is ban on fishing on the Western Coast (during monsoons),” he said.

“That fish which was imported from East Coast was supposedly laced with formaldehyde (chemical) which is used as a preservative. It (preservative)   is also carcinogenic,” Sardesai said.

“Today, in Goa the retail fish markets, specially in the area where I stay (Margao town in South Goa) are deserted,” the minister said.

Sardesai said that the State government had built state-of-the-art fish market in Margao, a model which was copied from Dubai. “That fish market has given best facility to retail fish vendors. But nobody is coming in that market now because there is a fear,” he said.

Sardesai said that the State government had approached Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and  urged that Quality Council of India, which actually overlooks the exports which leaves from India and goes to the countries like European Union, where there are strict regulations, that should be brought here in Goa.

“Prabhu  has promised us. As and when the laboratory comes, till then, I am of the opinion that we have to ban imports because safety of food is an issue whether the food that we are consuming is food or poison has now become a question,” he commented.

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Spotlight Today

People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai

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GOA: BJP ally  Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Monday said that the people will “react during Lok Sabha elections”, if BJP fails to resolve the impending crisis on the mining industry.

GFP President and State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai also equated the current mining issue to the “regional aspirations”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi says  ek bharat, shreshta bharat. His statement is with regional aspirations in mind. If any party is not able to meet regional aspirations then we will not be able to get support of the people,” the minister said talking to reporters in Margao town of South Goa on Monday.

“Even the PM says so (about regional aspirations). So what is regional aspirations? Mining is the backbone of economy. It should start,” he added.

 “If mining crisis is not solved before Lok Sabha election, then people will react towards the BJP candidates,” he said.

Sardesai said that no amount of fire fighting by parties like GFP to support BJP candidate during Lok Sabha polls will work.

“Whatever statements we might make, the people will react during Lok Sabha election. How will you get the votes, if you don’t work to solve the issues of the people?,” he questioned.

Around two lakh mining dependents under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front are agitating demanding resumption of the industry which has been shut down since last year due to Supreme Court order.

Ahead of historic Opinion Poll Day celebrations, Sardesai said the identity politics has gained much importance.

Goa had witnessed historical opinion poll in which the people had voted against the merger of former Portuguese territory into neighbouring Maharashtra.

 Sardesai said that on the eve of opinion poll day celebrations,  we need that the heroes who have maintained our identity should be recognized.

“If they are not recognized, people will not be with you. We (GFP) speak about identity politics. Goa retained its Goemkarponn (Goanness) due to Opinion Poll. If we had not to win that (Opinion poll), then we would have been just one taluka of Maharashtra,” he said.

“If we don’t accept it and don’t recognize in the history, then people will not be happy with you,” he added.

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Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah

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New Delhi: The  solution for current impasse on the industry would be brought about soon by the Central government, BJP National President Amit Shah told the delegation of Mining dependents and MPs.

The delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front along with all the three Members of Parliament – Shripad Naik, Narendra Sawaikar and Vinay Tendulkar, met Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.

GMPF President Puti Gaonkar, in a statement issued has said that Shah mentioned that the data about the loss of jobs, idle trucks and barges and bank Non Performing Assets is worrying.

“Shah assured that a solution to the present mining impasse shall be brought about soon by the Central government,” Gaonkar added.

“During the meeting on Sunday, Shah stated that the issue of livelihood faced by lakhs of Goans due to stoppage of mining activities in the State is known by all and that Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and MPs of Goa have been following up with the Central government for a solution,” he added.

The mining industry in Goa has come to a standstill since March last year after Supreme Court quashed 88 Iron Ore extraction leases in the coastal state.

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Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem

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Three workers were critically injured in a last at Cement block manufacturing unit at Tuem

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GOA: Three workers were critically injured and six others had miraculous escape with minor injuries after a blast in a cement block manufacturing factory at Tuem Industrial Estate, this afternoon.

The incident happened around 12.15 noon when more than dozen of workers were present in the factory.

Pernem Police Inspector Sandesh Chodankar said that all three workers who were injured in the blast were taken to Goa Medical College and Hospital.

“Their situation is critical and being treated,” he said.

While Fire and Emergency Services rushed to the spot immediately, they cordoned off the place and extinguished the fire.

Chodankar said that the exact cause of blast would be known only after State Factories and Boilers Department submits its report.

He said that the offence of endangering human life would be filed against the owner and management of the factory.

Tuem Industrial Estate is located in Pernem taluka, which is bordering Maharashtra.

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