- MPT likely to retain the existing POL jetty.
- Proposed POL berth jetty could be used for clean cargo and cruise berth
- Financial constraints force MPT not to go for new POL jetty
NAVIN JHA/ Team Spotlight
GOA (VASCO): Even as the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) got all formal approvals for its proposed Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) berth at Vasco bay, the Trust is likely to retain its existing jetty while using the proposed one for clean cargo and cruises, MPT Chairman I Jeyakumar told The Goa Spotlight.
“First of all I want to clarify that in the past some newspapers had reported that MPT is yet to apply before competent authority to seek permission for POL berth,” Jeykumar said in an exclusive interview to The Goa Spotlight.
The MPT Chairman said that “newspaper report was incorrect as, the Port Trust had duly applied for permissions before Chief Controller of explosives, in-charge of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) at Nagpur for the proposed development of liquid cargo berth at Vasco Bay for handling POL product.” He added MPT has got all due approvals from PESO.
“That means that our proposed POL berth is well within the ‘Safety Standards’ as prescribed by the national authority (Chief Controller of explosives Nagpur). This also means that whatever we were telling was not any a lie, as reported in some local daily in past. We are public authority and are responsible to the government and public,” Jeyakumar stated.
MPT gets approval for POL berth but financial constraint holds it back
In an interesting twist, though MPT has received PESO’s approval for the new berth, the port is currently facing financial difficulties due to which they might retain existing POL facility which is adjacent to berth number 8. This will be used as multi cargo and cruise berth facility.
Jeykumar said that the final decision on this will be taken during the Board meeting of MPT scheduled to be held on August 29, 2018.
“Even though we got approval for our future POL berth but we are keeping it as a record. Whether to go for the new POL berth or not will be decided in our next board meeting,” he said.
The Chairman said that for the jetty, the MPT needs to spend whopping sum of around Rs 136 crores. “So, instead why not we retain the existing POL jetty and whatever jetty which are proposing next to the fishing harbour, we will go for clean cargo and cruise berth, that is our idea only as it is yet to be approved by the board,” Jeyakumar commented.
In the past, the locals had raised their about the proposed POL berth saying that having such a facility close to Vasco will be like planting nuclear bomb in the city, which is already sitting on a time bomb.
The people from port town were in fact waiting for the public hearing for this proposed POL berth so as to voice their opposition against the project.
Commenting on this, Jeyakumar said that from public point of view there is nothing to worry because we got approval from Chief Controller of explosives Nagpur and this unit of central agency is central organisation that gives its clearance only after going through all the aspects of such new facility.
“There is merit in our argument. Some people without any basis, may be sensationally raising the issue. We are also responsible to the environment and we will take all precaution,” he said.
MPT will have to do lot of changes in proposed redevelopment plan
If the Board meeting of MPT tomorrow confirms its decision on retaining POL berth then it is very likely that the Port Trust would have to execute many changes in its proposed plan of redevelopment of berths 8, 9 and barge berths for which Public hearing already held last year.
Also the question arises whether MPT would withdraw the request made for the public hearing for its ambitious development of Vasco bay which includes POL berth and a Fishing Harbour.
To find out the answer, www.thegoaspotlight.com team spoke to some senior Port Trust officials. This is what they told us. “If MPT decided to retain its existing POL berth then, we would either tell the bidder of redevelopment of berths 8, 9 and barge berths that Port would like to retain berth number 8 and we will file a supplementary agreement.”
“If the party is agreeable to that then without any change in conditions MPT will hand over the area except for existing POL berth,” the official said.
According to him, the second option would be that since no works has started on these berth number 8,9 and barge berth and thus we can terminate the agreement and would go for fresh bidding.
Public Hearing for fresh bidding? Some questions confusions answered by MPT
What could be the technical requirement if MPT opts for fresh public bidding of berth number 8 and 9.
This is what we asked one of the MPT official.
- Whether MPT would have to go for fresh Public Hearing if they go for fresh bidding.
- “There is no need for public hearing as the project is same and public hearing for this project is already over”
- If MPT changes its future POL berth plan and decides to use the new berth for multi cargo and cruise berth facility then in that case whether MPT will withdraw its application for public hearing for POL berth?
- “Public hearing for our Vasco bay development plan is actually for constructing berths and we were saying that we would use it for POL, but now if we construct a berth and don’t handle POL also then there is no problem, isn’t it. Hence Public hearing will continue and we will say to MOEF that this new berth for POL is an option which we may not use for POL and for other vessel.
Everyone in the Goa BJP will go home except Rajya Sabha member Vinay Tendulkar- Parsekar
Not a single BJP karyakarta will support Sopte in Mandrem; the BJP is losing support of the bhandaris and Marathas too, says former CM Lakshmikant Parsekar
Mandrem: In a tone tinged with emotion and hurt former Goa Chief Minister, and a senior member of the BJP’s core committee said that if the party continues in this manner, then “everyone (all MLAs) will have to go home”. He sarcastically said that the only one who will be present in a legislative space would be BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar, who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha for 6 years.
Commenting on the larger issues plaguing the party, the former Chief Minister remarked that important sections of the population like the OBCs including the bhandaris and marathas are moving away from the BJP. The support base is shrinking. There is no doubt. If things go on in this manner, then everyone will go home, except Vinay Tendulkar” ( elected to the Rajya Sabha)
It is clear that it’s a no holds barred battle between a section of the veteran leadership in the BJP and party president Vinay Tendulkar. Speaking toThe Goa Spotlight, Mr Parsekar said “Earlier Vinay used to say that he would consult ‘bhai’ before taking any decision. Now ‘bhai’ is not accessible and hence Vinay thinks he can take any decision that he wants”
Meanwhile the by-elections to the Mandrem constituency is due, after Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte resigned to join the BJP and will be the BJP candidate in Mandrem and Parsekar is clear that the local BJP unit will not be supporting him “Sopte said 80% of the BJP’s karyakartas are with him. He is lying. Zero percent are with him. There is not a single BJP worker who is with Sopte”. Elaborating further, he said that the party may have taken a decision to reduce the strength of the Congress and hence get Sopte to resign but they should have consulted local workers and leaders ( like him) before deciding to field him from Mandrem. “Sopte may have been lured to join the BJP but the party should have understood the ground reality of fielding him from Mandrem”, Parsekar quipped
Parsekar’s remarks assume political significance for three reasons a) It confirms that Sopte will not be able to hit the political ground in Mandrem, running and will face opposition not just from the Congress but the local BJP organization. b) Lakshmikant Parsekar is holding his own political cards to his chest and the possibility of him contesting as an independent after resigning from the party, with the support of local BJP workers, cannot be ruled out and c) Parsekar’s vociferous reaction may spark off a chain reaction among senior BJP leaders who will take on the Parrikar and Tendulkar led party leadership, with Francis D Souza already stating that he may be raided for speaking against the party.
Clearly in an attempt to shore up the party’s numbers in the Assembly, both Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar, either by design or bad politics, may have caused far reaching damage to the party, the results of which will be clear, in the next round of elections.
‘Toilet’ is not a ‘prem katha’ in Goa
Goa is one of India’s worst states in achieving the Open Defecation Free promise
GOA: As the deadline of December 19, 2018 is fast approaching, Goa has to achieve a milestone to rank on the national chart of being free from Open Defecation (ODF). The coastal State, having the lowest population of only 15 lakhs, tops the embarrassing chart of having the lowest ODF coverage in India. With total coverage of only 5.87 percent, the State is the only one in the country where the success rate is less than 10 percent.
What is humiliating is that States like Bihar, Odisha and Tripura are above Goa, where not a single village has been declared as total verified ODF. After being on top of the national chart on various fronts like tourism, Smart City Mission, literacy, etc, the State is far from achieving ODF.
As per 2011 census, the State has nearly 20 percent households without toilet facility. There are also many community toilet facilities that are lacking in the State, which is known as international tourism destination on world map.
As a rough estimate, the government is of the view that it requires at least 65,000 bio-digester toilets, for which Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has already invited tender.
Kind of toilets to be provided
The toilets, costing Rs 40,000-Rs 45,000 per set, are fitted with bio-digester. Bio-digester toilet technology, perfected by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), is an eco-friendly and maintenance-free system to manage human waste, which is being put to use under the Swachh Bharat Mission movement.
Scheme drafted by State Government
Department of Urban Development has drafted a scheme for supply and installation of Bio-Digester Toilet in the State. “If Goa is to achieve the goal of ODF by the year 2018, then it is essential that the construction of toilets is taken up on a mission mode by providing necessary financial assistance to the poor who are without an Individual Household Latrine (IHHL),” Secretary Urban Development R Menaka said.
Under the scheme, any household not having an individual sanitary toilet will be eligible on submission of documents like Aadhar card and an undertaking that he or she will pay the beneficiary share for the supply and installation of the Bio-Digester toilet in his household.
“No occupant of the household shall resort to open defecation and shall use toilet only for the purpose it is designed for. The occupant will have to pay the entire cost of supply and installation of Bio-digester toilet to government in case of the toilet being not utilized or any occupants of the household resorting to open defecation,” Menaka said.
Urban development has made it mandatory for Certificate from Municipal Council/ /Corporation/Panchayat stating that the household does not have individual household latrine.
The department of urban development and panchayat will finalize the list of eligible applicants under the scheme and communicate the same to the Implementing Agency- GWMC.
Parrikar returns home, on a stretcher & in an ambulance
- Parrikar travelled in an ambulance to his home at Dona Paula.
- GMC has set up medical facility at his personal residence
- Party men and coalition partners were clueless over his early arrival.
GOA: The usual bonhomie that surrounds arrival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar when arrives back in the State was missing on Sunday, when the BJP leader was moved from AIIMS to Goa on a stretcher and travelled through ambulances.
Parrikar was flown to Goa in a special flight on Sunday afternoon. Two Ambulances equipped with the doctors was part of his carcade that went to receive him at INS Hansa base. The former union defence minister travelled on a stretcher to his home.
India’s news agency Press Trust of India in its report from New Delhi had said that Parrikar’s health had deteriorated at AIIMS last night after which he was shifted to Intensive Care Unit.
He was discharged from the hospital and then flown to Goa.
State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that Goa Medical College and Hospital has set up facility at Parrikar’s residence at Dona Paula, where his medical needs would be looked after.
The arrival of Parrikar was sudden and unexpected. Rane was seen supervising the arrangements by calling special meeting of the GMC officials last night.
But what is shocking for his party members and coalition partners is unexpected arrival from AIIMS where he had met BJP Core Committee and coalition partners on Friday.
“Parrikar has been always commanding, whatever he decides for himself, he has been deciding. He never listens to his family or his close ones,” BJP Legislator and State Power Minister Cabral told reporters at the airport where he had come to receive Parrikar.
Unlike last two times when he had arrived from the USA wherein he had walked out of the Airport, this time, the ambulance was taken near the special flight to pick him up.
“We hope that he recovers fast and miracle happens. I think it must be his personal decision that he wants to come back to Goa. When I met him last time, he spoke well. It must be his decision to come to Goa,” Cabral said.
Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik who had met Parrikar along with Cabral at AIIMS on Friday said that he could not believe the news reports that Parrikar was coming back.
“I had met him day before yesterday. I got the news that he is coming back but I can’t believe that he is returning. His health is improving and he was expected stay at AIIMS for few more days,” Naik said talking to reporters in Panaji on Sunday morning at the sidelines of a function.
“It is okay if he takes treatment in Goa but he needs to take rest,” Naik said.
State Civil Supplies Minister and Independent MLA Govind Gawade said that Parrikar should have stayed back at AIIMS for some time and fully recovered before coming back to Goa.
“But we welcome him back. Goa was missing its leader,” he said.