WEEKEND UPDATES

MODI TURNS SECULAR?

NARENDRA Modi is so nervous that he has changed his stand on Muslims. On the day of filing his nomination from Varanasi, Modi claimed his reference to people with more kids was to India’s poor. Modi’s advisors must have told him that Hindus are multiplying faster then Muslims in India. Modi went on to add that if he promoted Hindu-Muslim enmity he would not be fit for public life. However, it is too late and after the mangalsutra absurd remark both Hindus and Muslims have turned against Modi.

NO RETIREMENT AGE

MODI is on record that all BJP workers including leaders should retire at the age of 75 years. Modi used this an excuse to retire senior BJP leader LK Advani. It was LK Advani’s Ayodhya chariot march which resulted in the demolition of Babri Masjid. The demolition paved the way for the building of the Ram Mandir but the credit is being taken by Narendra Modi. Poor Advani, he was not even invited for the Prana Prathistha consecration of the still incomplete Ram Mandir. Earlier on other senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj were marginalised by Modi. Maybe, the rule of retiring at the age of 75 does not apply to prime ministers like Narendra Modi.  

GMC HELP FOR PwD

THE disability board has set up a single window facilitation centre for PwDs. This is not a reference to the Public Works department. The expressed PwD refers to Persons with Disability (PwD). Since I consider myself a PwD I presume that I can also get a disability certificate and a UDID card. I hope there is some monetary benefit. People with disability have to spend a fortune on medicines, caretakers, walkers, wheelchairs, diapers and eating good protein and immune boosting diets, other facilities.  The centre has been setup opposite the department of ortho-surgery and the dean is the chairperson of the Disability Board.  

WEST BENGAL GOVERNOR

 THE West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose has been accused of molesting an employee of the Kolkata Raj Bhavan. The Kolkata police have registered a case against the West Bengal governor. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given the governor a video of the alleged molestation. The chief minister and the governor have been at loggerheads over various issues in West Bengal. Mamata is totally opposed to the Citizens Amendment Act which grants citizenship to Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Muslim refugees are not granted this facility.

THREAT FROM HOARDINGS

IN the light of a giant hoarding crashing on a car and killing 14 people on May 14 in Mumbai, the director of an advertising agency, Bhavesh Bhinde,  has been arrested. In Goa also the High Court has directed that dangerous hoardings should be taken down. All along the Mandovi river front there are dozens of huge hoardings which could come crashing down with heavy rain. The MET department has forecast heavy rain over the weekend in Goa.  Though in Goa maximum damage is caused collapsing trees on cars parked below and on buildings. During the monsoon you have to be very careful while walking the beach or nearby. It is entirely possible that a coconut may come flying to hit your head.

SMART CITY HEADACHE

CONTRARY to CEO Sanjit Rodrigues’ promise that all public roadways work will be completed by end-May, it seems he may have to eat his promise. It doesn’t look like Panaji roadways are going to be finished by end-May although orders have been given to stop or wind up whatever work is pending.  The Smart City works chief has ordered the closure of the St Inez stretch of road leading from Caculo Mall to Tonca, past the tonca Sewage bridge and plant. This road route will be closed till  June 10, 2024. Manholes and water pipelines have still not be laid down this stretch. More patience is required on the part of Ponjekars.

CYLINDER BLAST

SEVERAL huts at Bambolim were damaged due to a cylinder blast. Fire broke out after two LPG cylinders exploded in some huts occupied by construction workers. There was also a fire at the Osia shopping complex in Margao which led to the explosion of more MPG cylinders. An alert has been sounded over the unauthorised storage of LPG cylinders wherever public work is going on and workers are holed up in unhealthy and unsafe conditions by way of temporary living quarters.

NO EXCEPTION FOR KEJRI

THE Supreme Court insisted that no exception was made for Arvind Kejriwal in granting bail in the money laundering case filed by the enforcement directorate. The SC clarified that the bail order did not prevent Kejriwal from speaking about the case. The court added that critical analysis or even criticism of judgements was welcomed. In another major judgement, the SC limited the power of the ED to arrest accused in Public Money Laundering Act cases. The SC has held that the ED could not violate the right to liberty guaranteed under article 21 of the Constitution. If the accused appears before the court he shall not be treated as though he is in custody.

MODI DEFENDS PRESS BOYCOTT

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi justifies his  decision not to hold press conferences. Unlike other prime ministers in the past the present prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, holds the record for not holding a single formal press conference in the last five years. Modi claims that the media was hostile to the BJP and to him personally. Today the media is identified with the Opposition parties. Modi justified his boycott of the media claiming that they were biased. However, he has been granting interviews to friendly newspapers which ask no hostile questions.

LIGHTING KILLS TOURIST

 A TOURIST from Kerala was killed by lighting on Miramar beach on May 15, 2024. The wife and friend of Akhil Vijayan (35) escaped the tragedy. All of them were on Miramar beach when it started raining and storming with thunder and lightning flashes. Akhil Vijayan  fell down unconscious and died before he could be taken to hospital for treatment.  


WILL MISS YOU MATHAI

Palakunnathu George Mathai, former editor of the “Mirror” magazine and resident editor of “Business Standard” in Mumbai passed on after a prolonged illness in his hometown of Kottayam in Kerala on May 15, 2024.  The last rites were performed at his ancestral property, he is survived by his wife Dr Leela Mathai, who  retired from the Central Government Health Services. His son Ajit Mathai is working for “The Economic & Political Weekly.”

Mathai was our very warm and generous friend. When he learned that I was suffering from TB from reports posted over social media, he got in touch with me anew. He said he was aware of how deadly spinal TB can be for his son too had suffered the affliction and it took two years of recovery, he cautioned me not to be in a hurry to stop my medication. The Goan Observer family conveys its sincere condolences to Dr Leela Mathai. I will miss my good friend from my Bombay days.

(Contributed by Rajan Narayan)

BAN ON COW SLAUGHTER

HOME Minister Amit Shah has declared that if Narendra Modi comes back to power, the BJP will ban cow slaughter and not content with a Ram Mandir it will also build a Sita Mandir. Shah declared in his speech that he would not allow the smuggling of cows or cow slaughter in the land of mother Sita. He also claimed that the Congress is busy protecting Muslims.

POWERFUL SOLAR STORMS

A POWERFUL  solar storm is brewing in outer space. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this can have a major impact on earth’s critical infrastructure, especially communication networks. This is happing after more than 20 years and NOAA has issued a severe geomagnetic storm warning on Thursday and classified it as a severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch.  “NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) — a division of the National Weather Service — is monitoring the sun following a series of  solar flares and mass ejections (CMEs) that began on May 8. Space weather forecasters have issued a Severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch for the evening of Friday, May 10. Additional solar eruptions could cause geomagnetic storm conditions to persist through the weekend,” the SWPC said in a press statement. The agency said a large sunspot cluster has produced several moderate to strong solar flares since Wednesday at 5:00 am ET. At least five flares were associated with CMEs that appear to be Earth-directed, and SWPC forecasters will monitor NOAA and NASA’s space assets for the onset of a geomagnetic storm, it added. 

“CMEs are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona. They cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth. Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth’s surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio, and satellite operations,” the US agency said.

SIEMENS INVESTS IN GOA

SIEMENS Ltd has announced the  expansion of two of its 32 factories in India. This is in addition to the capacity expansions of the power transformer  factory in Kalwa and vacuum interrupter  factory in Goa announced in November 2023. With this, total Capex investment is expected to exceed Rs1,000 crore.

Siemens smart infrastructure business is expanding its factory footprint in Goa in order to meet the rapidly increasing need for critical components of the industry, infrastructure and power distribution sectors. The total investment will be Rs 333 crore and this will be the largest investment by Siemens in Goa. The factory will bring to the market state-of-the-art gas insulated switchgear and clean air  GIS (Blue GIS) technologies.

The products will help customers in sectors such as data centers, metro rail, oil and gas, steel, transmission and distribution to meet their sustainability goals. Sustainable transportation is the key enabler for sustainable cities. To address demand of growing metro rail  networks globally, mobility business is  investing Rs186 crore to build a state-of-the-art metro train manufacturing facility at Aurangabad.

Both factories will rank among leading globally benchmarked sustainable factories, while also contributing to the government of India’s “Make in India” and “Aatmanirbhar” programs through localization. The factories are designed as per the LEED Gold standards, are carbon neutral and water positive using various sustainable technologies, which include PV solar, microgrid, EV charging, battery energy storage systems (BESS) and rainwater harvesting, and will be built with recycled materials and circular construction techniques.

Managing Director and CEO Sunil Mathur of Siemens Ltd says, “Over the past few years, India has made rapid strides as a preferred destination for manufacturing and business. We believe that with the latest investments, our largest in recent years, we will be able to better address customer requirements with a stronger portfolio and go-to-market. It is further evidence of the strong commitment of Siemens towards India and will help leverage the full potential of the fast-growing Indian market.”

TO SPIRIT OF GOA FEST!

GOA TOURISM has announced its much anticipated “Spirit of Goa Festival” from May 17 to 19, to take place from May 17 to 19 at the SAG Ground, Colva, down south Goa. The 3-day extravaganza will celebrate Goa’s rich culture, vibrant music scene and enduring heritage. The festival also showcases a variety of products, beverages, cuisines and handicrafts courtesy the coconut and cashew nut trees, along with home grown spirits like urrak and feni.

Day 1 will kick off performances showcasing musical talents of Goa and festival goers may take pleasure in musical bands like Forefront, Pure Magic and The Imperial. Renowned artistes from Goa, the Kanta Gaude Troupe, will perform traditional Goan dancing. Day 2 will feature an electrifying performance by  Hema Sardesai and her team, along with  Altitude and Jukebox Trio, all promising an unforgettable night of entertainment.

The grand finale of the festival on Day 3 will feature stellar performances by 24K India, Crimson Tide and Band Ambassadors. Altogether the Spirit of Goa festival promises to be more than just an ordinary musical event, it will present Goa in totality from traditional dances to contemporary music, encapsulating the spirit of Goa and its people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 68 = 75