Goa: Adv. Aires Rodrigues today in a eight page reply filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa has strongly opposed the petition filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan challenging the 15th October order passed by the State Information Commission upholding that the Raj Bhavan is a Public Authority and comes within the purview of the RTI Act. The Goa Raj Bhavan’s petition will come up for final hearing before Justice C.V.Bhadang on Monday 10th December.
Adv. Rodrigues in his affidavit in reply has stated that it was most reprehensible and a red letter day to see that the Secretary to the Governor has approached the Court with an intent to stifle due enforcement of the RTI Act which is a legislation passed by Parliament with a view to bring transparency in the working of the Government both at the Centre and the State.
Pointing out that all Raj Bhavans across the country have opened their gates for freedom of Information. Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the Goa Raj Bhavan has apparently forgotten that the Governor is a constitutional functionary required to act as per the constitutional mandate with total transparency and not as any colonial hangover.
Adv. Rodrigues has also stated that only those who have skeletons to hide would attempt to insulate themselves by claiming privileges with their inability to free themselves from the shackles of glory which they seek to enjoy with gubernatorial positions.
Stating that all acts of Ministers are subject to scrutiny and available to the public under RTI, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that there was no justification why the Governor should be shying away from furnishing information as the Governor is maintained and paid by the State Exchequer.
Alleging that the Raj Bhavan’s petition was not only an attempt to subvert the legislative intent of the RTI Act but also a brazen arrogance in not complying with the law of the country which cannot be permitted nor accepted from Constitutional functionaries, Adv. Rodrigues in his reply has sought that the petition filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan be dismissed with exemplary costs.
People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai
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.
Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah
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.
Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem
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.