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Goa minister slams CM for ‘reversal in stand’ on special status for Goa

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Panaji: A minister from Goa has slammed the state’s Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for ruling out the possibility of granting special status to Goa. The Chief Minister and BJP president Amit Shah had made remarks, eliminating the possibility of ascribing a special status to Goa, in order to preserve the state’s unique identity.

Amit Shah, during his two-day visit to Goa last week, had indicated that he was not in favor of taking an immediate decision on Goa’s special status issue and that the demand would be bunched along with similar demands from other states.

Parsekar on Sunday had virtually ruled out the demand saying demanding special status was equivalent to chasing a “mirage”.

While the opposition has criticised the BJP-led governments in the state and the centre for making a u-turn on the special status promise, a Goa minister has now joined the chorus against her own chief minister.

Speaking to IANS, Forest and Environment Minister Alina Saldanha said that Parsekar’s comments describing the possibility of special status for Goa as a “mirage” were personal.

“Honourable chief minister is not as well versed with the issue as then chief minister Manohar Parrikar. He (Parrikar) knew the issue inside out,” Saldanha said.

“The chief minister should remember that he was a signatory to resolution. He was the state health minister at the time. Did he think it was a mirage then too?” asks Prajal Sakhardande, president of NGO Goa Movement for Special Status, of which Saldanha is a part.

For the last few years, the demand for special status for Goa has been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in the state, which has been facing challenges stemming from rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.

In 2014, Sakhardande had headed a delegation which met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when the latter was campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and submitted a memorandum citing reasons for granting Goa special status.

Saldanha has insisted that Goa’s demography could change forever if special status, which bars non-Goans from buying land in Goa, is not bestowed on the state.

“When are we going to wake up? Goa’s unique identity is in the process of being wiped out,” she said, adding that real estate lobbies in India metros who were keen on selling land and apartments on premium in Goa were stalling the process.

The opposition has already slammed the BJP volte face, with former union minister of state for law Ramakant Khalap claiming that as far as the BJP goes, “this is the end of the road as far as special status is concerned”.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Oscar Rebello said that regarding special status, “the BJP leaders only choose to make vague statements about safeguarding cultural identity while ignoring the real issue that is about land”.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Goa Can Be Transformed Into The City Of Venice

The development of its intricate network of inland waterways has the potential to transform Goa. in to Venice of East

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Calvim Ferry in Goa. Goa can be
Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting. Wikimedia Commons

Panaji, November 21,2017:

Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting, suggests Rajiv Somani, chairman and managing director of Drishti Marine, promoter of the state’s first private ferry service.

Somani, whose agency also operates a private lifeguard service along Goa’s coastline, said that the ferry service also adds to the range of offerings, in terms of “things to do” in Goa.

“The only model really close to this is the one in Venice where one can travel through waterways all the time,” Somani told IANS in an interview.

“The ferry service is more of a leisure experience. The picturesque ferry service adds to the range of offerings in terms of things to do in Goa for the hundreds and thousands of tourists who visit the state. Additionally, it also acts as a premium transit service for tourists and local residents.

“We are only targeting less than five percent of the population arriving at the airport. We understand that there are people willing to pay the fee for the trip,” he said, adding that the service would begin later this month when the tourism season begins to peak in the coastal state.

The daily ferry service will function with the help of two 40-seater, high-speed catamarans, which will ferry commuters between designated pick-up points like the state capital Panaji, heritage centres like Old Goa, beaches like Baga, Aguada and Sinquerim and the Dabolim airport.

The Airport Ferry Terminal is located at Baina beach, Vasco da Gama, and is approximately five kilometres from the Goa airport in Dabolim. A free shuttle service will be available between the ferry terminal and the airport for the convenience of passengers arriving at the airport.

Fares for the ferry service range from Rs 100 for a ride between Old Goa and Panaji to Rs 800 for a trip between the Airport Ferry Terminal (AFT) at Baina and Panaji.

The ferry will operate from 22 temporary jetties spread across the state, including tourism vantage points.”

In Phase 1 and 2 we are looking at a mix of about 22 jetties. Of these, 11 are existing jetties and 11 will be floating jetties which will be constructed by us. The present government jetties exist at Panaji, Old Goa, Chapora and Sinquerim, among other places,” he said.

Asked if the service would be competing with the state’s aggressive taxi lobby, which has been combative vis-a-vis introduction of alternative modes of mass transport, Somani said: “We are not competing with the taxi operators. One thing we were always clear about: We will not do anything which is competition to the local community”.

Somani also said that ferry services had immense potential in Goa, which is crisscrossed with waterways.

“Goa has an excellent network of waterways; what’s needed is the right kind of infrastructure. One doesn’t need to erect concrete jetties everywhere; a floating jetty like the one we are currently building in Baina works just as effectively,” he said, adding that the ferry would help better water-related experiences for visitors. (IANS)

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‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ Witnesses escalating BJP-Left Confrontation

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Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Wikimedia

Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.

The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.

Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.

Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.

Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.

The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.

The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”

Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.

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If You are Planning to Visit India, Here is a List of Things You can Do!

Here is a glimpse of things to do in India - The nation of vibrancy

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Tourists at Taj Mahal in Delhi, Pixabay

July 23, 2017:

India is a country of vibrant race, religion, colors, and heritage. The secularist nature of the country distinguishes different it from other nations. It is also denoted as a nation of ‘unity in diversity’. Visitors traveling across the globe want to travel India for its austerity and simplicity. It is aesthetic country and there is a lot to do when you visit this beautiful country.

Undermentioned is a glimpse of the vast country and a very minimal part of it.

Here is a checklist of the things you can explore while traveling to India. It’s uniqueness always compels sojourners to visit the beautiful country.

Diwali: Festivals of Light

Diwali
Diwali Festival, Wikimedia

Festivals in India are worth a watch. The traditions are so bizarre and unique that you tend to enjoy being a part of such an affair. It becomes a memorable experience for the voyagers. The entire region flickers with lights and lamps which seem as if the stars have descended to the earth. Festivals in India have its own charm and grace.

Relic importance of Delhi

India
Red Fort in Delhi. Pixabay

Delhi is a perfect spot for people wanting to see Indian history of colonial government or British era. Although India is very developed, it is the glimpse of slum areas where you get to see the hard hitting reality. The famous ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ is the heart of old Delhi in the middle of Chandni Chowk. They serve a variety of stuffed parantha made with wheat dough and lightly fried on both sides. One of the fascinating things is that some of the places there have been around for 100 years or more.

Akshardham Temple

India
Swaminarayan Akshardham. Wikimedia

At its first sight, you will be spellbound by the impressive structure located on the outskirts of Yamuna River. The dome like structure and unworldly architecture of the temple blow away the onlooker. When the sun descends, temple lit up in its magical sense. Amidst of this exquisite creation, you will find yourself a minuscule.

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Grandeur Himalaya Peaks

India
Himalayan range. Pixabay

Plan a trip to mountain valley and land up to Spiti Valley, the truest quintessence of the great Himalaya. If you want to get the mesmerizing sight of Himalayas, you must travel to Spiti Valley. It begins from Shimla and ends in Manali. Here you will be encountered with snow covered mountains surrounding you all the time. During the journey, you will also visit the old tribal group and to witness their cultures and traditions is a treat.

Goa: The Blue Land

India
Vacation in Goa. Pixabay

Enroute to Goa to have the Indian beach experience. To name a few you can visit Palolem beach of Goa, this area has everything starting with whitish clean sand, dark blue water, palm trees and the sun constantly shining. You get to see everything on the canvas like the independent traveler, couples, vacationers, sea food, beverages and the laid back atmosphere that all together makes it a perfect destination for the travelers.

Kashmir: Paradise on Earth

India
Dal Lake in Kashmir. Pixabay

Kashmir is also known as paradise on earth. You can’t miss the chance to glare the beauty of Kashmir when you are in India. The state is blessed with invincible beauty and people who visit here are amazed to see the beautiful creation of God. There is a lot to see in Kashmir, to name a few important places in Kashmir, start with Srinagar, and one of the famous attraction here is Dal Lake. Gulmarg is a place to visit during winters as the entire countryside is covered in a fresh sheet of snow.

India
Ladakh. Pixabay

Leh and Ladakh are another major attraction of Kashmir which is as magnificent as ever. One thing appealing about this place is the climate which is extremely pleasant which gives relief to the mind and nature gives relief to the eye.

Your journey should always teach you, it should always be of high relevance to you because that’s where you are spending your precious time and India is a country which has a lot of disguised beauty and bizarre traditional values. You can only become empathetic to other culture if you will try to fit into their shoes, and there is much more to this beautiful country which meets the eye of the traveler.

– by a Staff writer of Newsgram


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