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Goa will not bend to the pressures over fish issue: Sardesai

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GOA: Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai today said that state will not bow down to the pressures from politicians from neighbouring Maharashtra over Fish testing issue, as the matter is pertaining to “providing highest standard of food to the population.”

“We cannot be deterred by threats or pressure tactics from anybody whether within the State or outside,” Sardesai said.

Sardesai was reacting to the statement by Maharashtra MLA Nitesh Rane who had threatened not to allow Goa registration vehicles in Sindhudurg District, if Goa Food and Drugs Administration continue stopping the fish carrying vehicles from areas like Devgad and Ratnagiri to Margao.

Goa FDA has made it mandatory for all the fish traders to have licence failing which they are not allowed to import the product (fish) in the State. The step is taken following fear of formalin presence in fish being expressed by locals.

“ People of Goa aspire to a higher standard of quality. The aspiration of the people of Goa is to be respected by the State government,” Sardesai said.

“We, in Goa are suppose to have the best quality of life  according to the national commission for population. So, when the socio politically conscious citizenry of Goa demands highest standard of probity for food.. Higher safety standard for food, We have to oblige  them with the regulatory mechanism,” the minister said pointing out to the checks by FDA at the state borders.

“The regulatory mechanism is now in the place.  We cannot be deterred by threats or pressure tactics from anybody whether within the state or outside the state,” he said.

Giving an example, Sardesai said when world famous Alfonso Mango is exported from Sindhudurg to the Europe, will the people from Konkan protest, against European Union’s  demand for these mangoes to go through quality test?

“Will the people from these areas of Konkan say that they will beat up Britishers or people in the European Union?,” he questioned.

Sardesai said that  Goa is developing as a premium tourism destination and our people demand we have to have higher standard of quality control.

The minister said that as far as matter of FDA checks is concerned, it is the step taken by Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane,  who seems to have taken a very proactive decision.

“We have to regain the faith and confidence of the people of Goa. Fish is a staple diet and we cannot have a panic or fear,” he said.

Sardesai said that the state government is aware that due to the stringent rules by FDA some people are getting troubled and  certain business interest are also  getting harmed.

“But one cannot do anything about it. One has to comply with the regulatory mechanism. They will have to comply with regulations in place and continue your trade,” he said.

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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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