AFFECTED: Many of the pharma units in Goa are affected as most of their raw materials including those used in popular anti biotic are imported from China. Don’t be surprised if there is a shortage of mobiles because corona virus has invaded South Korea also which is the home of Samsung smart phones


AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when Goa has also become a victim of coronavirus. For a Saturday following the week when Pramod Sawant insisted that he would object to Central clearances for Kalsa project. For a Saturday following the week when the RBI is getting tough with co-operative societies in Goa and rest of the country. For a Saturday following the week when there were more reserved seats than general seats for the Zilla Parishad elections For a Saturday following the week when the Congress seems to have recovered some of its aggression. For a Saturday following the week when new fancy schools were multiplying in Goa without a corresponding increase in employment.

cOrona virus effect

And a few stray thoughts on the coronavirus epidemic which has gripped the entire world. While the epicenter of the epidemic is in China, it has spread throughout the world and has affected countries as far as Iran, United States, South Korea, Japan. It is not the number of people infected and those who have died alone which is important. China is the world’s biggest exporter and manufacturer of high tech goods. The Apple phone which is marketed as a American project is made and assembled in China. Most of the raw materials for pharmaceutical formulations made in India come from China. Many worldwide events including the Japanese Olympics face the risk of being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
At least two high end schools in Delhi set up by a leading industrialist have declared a holiday for the quarantine period of three weeks. Among them are the Sri Ram Millennium schools in Noida where two children of Delhi residence have tested positive. The Shiv Nara School started by HCL, the largest hardware computer company in the country and perhaps the world, has also shut down. Exams have been affected in various parts of the country. Most of the cases in India have been in the IT centers of Hyderabad and Chennai. Several cases have been reported from Kerala which because of its communist links has closed eyes with China. The ripple effect of the dreaded virus has already claimed 3,000 lives worldwide.
Tourism is badly affected in Goa as people are reluctant to travel to south-east stations countries according to Earnest Dias, chief operating officers of Sita Travels. The world’s largest tourism mart, the ITB which is held in Berlin, has been cancelled. A major conference of lawyers scheduled to be held in Goa has also been cancelled. The resumption of mining will only increase the risk of coronavirus spreading in Goa. China is the largest importer of iron ore.

travel ban to china

In an advisory issue on Thursday the Central government has questioned non-essential travel to China. It has also advised travelers to China to avoid under eating cooked meats. The simplest way of save guarding yourself from coronavirus is to wash your hands frequently so that one does not pick up germs from an infected person. Not just wash your hand but use soap and water to do so. If soap is not available alcohol based sanitizers may be used. We are also advised to scrub hands 20 seconds which is equivalent to singing the full happy birthday song twice. After you drive your hands you are adviced to use clean towel and hand dry. The recommended mask is N95 though surgical masks are good enough. You got to make sure that mask is worn properly so that it is an affective barrier for the transmission of the disease. Industry and trade are worst affected by the Coronavirus epidemic.
This is dramatizing by the fact that stock markets the world over including India have fallen on successive days upto 10% a day in the last one week. A huge drop in the stock market means a loss in income for those who have invested in the stock market. Several thousand of crores have been wiped out in a few minutes with the drastic drop in the prices of the shares of premium companies. Be preparing for a drug shortage as the Indian Government has banned 26 basic chemicals including parecetamol and anti biotic and even some vitamins due to the spread of coronavirus.

Karnataka bias

And a few stray thoughts on the SC giving Karnataka the green signal to go ahead with the construction of the Kalsa Banduri dam in Karnataka. Though the Chief Minister has claimed that he would object to any central clearances for Kalsa banduri projects he has lost credibility. It is clear that the Central government will not go back on the clearance granted to Karnataka to divert the Mhadei river. However the SC on Monday clarify that the interim order in favor of Karnataka it has made it clear that the state would have to comply with all the conditions mentioned in award dated August 14th. The former Deputy CM and MGP leader Sudhin Dhavalikar has demanded a joint inspection of the Kalsa projects held. Sudhin is claiming that the water level in the Mhadei basin has been going down day by day as Karnataka have already diverted the river water. This has resulted in decreasing water level in the Mhadei river basin in Sattari Taluka. Sudhin has demanded immediate action by the centre to stop the diversion of the Mhadei river. Already the water levels in the various reservoirs is dropping. It is feared that if Karnataka implements the Kalsa projects Goa will face severe waters shortage in the coming summer.

AND a few stray thoughts on the forthcoming Zilla Parishad election which are being fought on party levels. Over a hundred candidates have filed nominations at the time of going to press. There are 50 seats being fought in the Zilla Parishad election of which only 20 are in the general category. The other seats are reserved for women schedule tribes and backward class. Both the MGP and the AAP besides the Congress are taking the Zilla Parishad elections very seriously.
For the BJP the ZP elections are a test on whether Pramod Sawant should continue as chief minister. The saffron brigade is contesting 43 of the 50 seats and claims to be confident of victory. Surprisingly the Goa Forward is not contesting the election but only extending support to Independent candidates. For the combined Opposition the Zilla Parishad elections are also a vote on the CAA and NPR which will start a couple of weeks after the conclusion of the survey for NPR in Goa. Though elections of the Panchayat and Zilla Parishad are fought very fiercely in Goa they are of not much use. Goa is among the few states which has not delegated powers to the Zilla Parishad and the Panchayats.
Goa does not even have a district planning commission for revising the developmental plan and deciding floor area ratio. Indeed, recently it was sought to transfer some of the powers of the Panchayats to collectors and mamladars. It is only Panchayats and civic bodies which can issue construction and occupancy licenses to new buildings. Panchayats and civic bodies have further stipulated that any gated colony with more than 50 flats should have its own sewage treatment plants. Many buildings have been refused occupation certificates because of their failure to put up an STP plant.
The biggest problem in Goa is the treatment of sewage and garbage. In the good old times our villages were almost garbage free because of the pig-type toilet. These have disappeared to be replaced by sumps which are underground tanks to which the toilets are connected. Greedy builders anxious to make more money build much smaller sumps than are required. The logic is that in the case of many of the gated colonies they are occupied only for short period of time. So much so the builders presume that they can get away with reducing the size of the sumps and the water pipes. Fortunately. with the introduction of the rule that all gated colonies must have install sewage treatment plant the situation will improve.

permissions ignored

The worst part of buying flats in Goa is that builders often do not take other related permissions needed. For instance there are many high-rise buildings and gated colonies coming up in Dona Paula which violate CRZ zone regulations. Unless some illegal high-rise buildings are destroyed in Goa as it happened in Cochin recently, Goan builders will not learn a lesson. Not only individual houses or gated colonies, but most beach resorts in Goa have also allegedly violated CRZ regulations. There are many cases pending against the majority of 5-star hotels. The Panchayat and Zilla Parishad should be empowered to ensure that builders comply with all the regulations including those introduced under RERA.
Under RERA it is stipulated that the money collected in advance for building a flat in a specific building cannot be diverted to other projects of the builders like the DLF did in Delhi. It may be recalled that Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra has been implicated in some such cases. The builders under RERA are also required to have separate bank accounts for every building they construct. This is to secure the purchaser of the flat as in many cases there have been delays in handing over the flat to the applicant even after the entire amounts has been paid. Incidentally, singer Hema Sardesai has warned that she would take to the streets if the Goa government fails to protect the interests of the State on the Mhadei

congress aggression

AND a few stray thoughts on the Congress party in the state having rediscovered some of its aggression. Though Girish Chodankar was appointed the president of the GPCC he could not achieve much because he was the humble schoolteacher without much funds. Girish teaches in the Guardian Angel HSSC in Curchorem. An unfortunate tradition in the Congress is that the president has to pay all the expenses including the salaries and maintenance of the office. Individual Congress leaders may be very rich but they are reluctant to contribute to the party. This is dramatized by the fact that while the BJP built its own premises within two years of coming to power, the Congress continues to occupy the old rented premises next to Mandovi Hotel. Whenever a rich Congressman is appointed president of GPCC you see a renovation taking place in a hurry so that senior leaders like Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi will get red carpet treatment. It is fine to blame Girish for not organizing enough demonstration. But even the smallest morcha cause money. Goans have been spoiled by politicians and will not attempt any rally without being offered transport food and a bulk amount of `1000 or more. I do not know whether all the Muslims came from various parts of Goa for the anti- CAA rally at the Azad Maidan have to be bribed to attend it. There were atleast over a 50 buses from various parts of Goa at the rally. Digambar Kamat who had remained silent for a long time has become more vocal after being made president of the Congress Legislative Party. He has even led many walk outs from the Legislative assembly. More recently he has demanded the resignation of Pramod Sawant for betraying Goa on the Mhadei issue. The Zilla Parishid election is being every aggressively by the Congress. Is the Congress manages to inflict a major defeat on the BJP they can even attempt to topple the Sawant government. The major problem with the congress is that they have no leadership at the center with Rahul Gandhi not willing to accept the post of the president of the party.

priyanka for president

Priyanka who is the popular choice within the party is not willing to accept the party president job either. It is claimed that Sonia Gandhi health is still not recovered which is why she is unable to play an active part. There is also a lot of rivalry between the old guard and the younger leaders of the party. For instance in Rajasthan Mahadevrao Scindia has openly attacked the CM Kamalnath who used to be very close to Indira Gandhi. The tragedy is that Congress which was the biggest party in the country is virtually dead in most stage except those in which it is in power.
AND a last stray thoughts on the multiplication of up market schools in Goa. The latest are the Gera schools of the Kadamba plateau which claim to follow the Cambridge model. The schools which claims international facilities have many brand ambassadors like Leander Paes and even Sachin Tendulkar. They are of course extremely expensive like all the new franchise school that have come up in Goa.
The most reasonable of the lot is the veteran Sharda Mandir which is planning to start several more branches. Unfortunately, having good schools is not a guarantee that those who pass out will become IITJEE or get into the top educational institutions in the country. Our schools have to change the pattern of the variation so that they are more technology-oriented than exam oriented. We should remember that we are living in the world of artificial intelligence and big data, not to mention automation of manufacturing. The schools have to be geared to the IT era so that when the children pass out they will be ready for a completely new world order.

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