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Life in Goa affected due to Bharat Bandh, buses, ferries off the road

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GOA: The life was severely affected in Goa as majority of essential services excluding hospitals remained shut as a part of nationwide Bharat bandh by the unions.

The long queues of passengers were seen at different bus stands as private buses remained off the road. Private Bus Association has extended their support to the strike, protesting against the policies of Central government.

State run Kadamba Transport Corporation tried to compensate for the absence of private buses, but they could not fill the gap. A senior KTCL official said that 800 additional buses were pressed into action to make up for the striking private operators.

The people living on various Islands in the State were stuck as Ferry Boat services run by Goa government’s River Navigation Department remained shut down.

“The State government has invoked Essential Services Management Act but despite that the staff of Ferry Boat services have not reported for work. Even if there is a medical emergency, the people living on Island cannot get to the mainland,” said Jerry D’Souza, a social activist from Diwar Island.

He demanded that the State government should take firm action on the striking staff of River Navigation Department as they have violated ESMA.

The number of students in various schools and colleges also remained low as the buses ferrying them had joined the strike. Similar was the situation in Industrial Areas where majority of the workers did not turn up for the work.

The thin staff presence was also witnessed in government departments.

Majority of the tourist taxis also remained off the road causing grave inconvenience to the tourists, specially those who wanted to catch early flight at Dabolim.

“The strike has been successful as people have voluntarily joined us. Everyone is affected with the policies of Central government and response to strike is an indication of it,” said Suhas Naik, Convenor Goa Convention of Trade Unions and Mass Organisations.

He said that the message should go clear to the Centre that they need to correct their action.

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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

Team Spotlight

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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