Mopa (Goa) airport is a scam to eliminate Goa – Late Tourism Minister Mathany Saldanha

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Cortalim (Goa) Alina Saldanha, wife of Former Tourism Minister of Goa Late Matanhy Saldanha,  has publicly categorically stated that her late husband
Matanhy was not for or against Mopa Airport.

Former Tourism Minister of Goa Late Matanhy Saldanha wrote in 2008 :

It is now very clear why many politicians and vested interest want the Mopa
airport. Many who are demanding for Mopa airport are ignorant or pretend to
be ignorant, that Goa is going to lose its identity since the builders are
going to build only for migrants from other states. Imagine how much land
is already sold to fly by night vested interest in Pernem alone. Similar is
the case throughout Goa. Read the below report: (Gomantak Times, 30th
August, 2008)

Hill cutting after purchasing land at cheap rates by non Goan builders is
rampant in Pernem taluka. Presently, hill locks in Mandrem, Chopdem and
Korgao are flattened and if this continues there is every possibility of
permanent damage to the forest covering in the taluka.
According to information available, builders brought large tracks of
thickly vegetated land in Pernem during the period from April 2006 and June
2008.
This includes 8.16 lakh sq mts of area by Mangala Realtors Pvt Ltd, Vasco
in Alorna, 4.61 lakh sq mts by J M Township, 4.38 sq mts by M/s Christian
Farm Land (India) Pvt Ltd from Bangalore, 3.05 lakh sq mts by M/s N E
Electronics Ltd, Guwahati- Assam, 2.5 lakh sq mts by Leading Hotels Pvt
Ltd, Delhi, 2.57 lakh sq mts by M/s Wide Properties, Panaji, 2.44 lakh sq
mts by Beside Realty Pvt Lmt, Mumbai and two plots of 2.27 lakh  and 2.13
lakh sq mts by Enterprises Value Investment (India) Pvt Ltd company,
Mumbai.
Similarly Amrapali Realtor, Delhi (25,587 sq mts), Padmashil Fine West Pvt.
Ltd, Parel (15,980 sq. mts), Messers Rajan Hatiskar, Thane, Maharastra
(108, 842 sq. mts), Pushpalata Samant, Dadar Mumbai (1.1 lakh sq. mts) and
M/s Prasanna Developers (1.16 lakh sq. mts) have also brought land during
this period. Residents fear, the forest areas may completely vanish, due to
the proposed Mopa airport, tourism business and other demand for land in
Pernem taluka.
Goa is already saturated. With further profit ridden development, by
builders, real estate agents and some unscrupulous elected representatives,
Goa soon will make all Goans not only a minority, but strangers in their
own land. Do we want this?
Demand for Special Status, to stop sale and transfer of land to
individuals, companies from other states.
Goans and all others who love Goa, irrespective of religion, caste, region
or political affiliations, UNITE to stop Goa from being eliminated.

S/d
Matanhy Saldanha
(Former Tourism Minister)

India’s best library now in Goa

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI

The 180-year old central library of Goa, now named after Konkani literature of 16th century Krishnadas Shama, is just not a new five-storied building but reflects a new philosophical outlook with hi-tech facilities.

The new library complex, which was inaugurated by chief minister Manohar Parrikar on 23 April, is perhaps the best library complex in India at this stage.

Designed by nationally renowned Goan architect Gerard D’Cunha, the building also has a sixth mezzanine floor dedicated to rare Portuguese books while its ground and underground floor houses Directorate of Art & Culture.

The most fascinating among all the features of this central library are the new modern facilities, making the job easy and comfortable.

Its censor-fitted doors simply do not allow anybody to take out any book, DVD or any other material without registering in the fully computerized system. The beep at the door simply embarrasses you.

The books are not delivered at the counter but at the self check-in and check-out kiosks which accept it electronically.

The library even has one such electronic drop box in the open lounge, where any member can drop the book even at odd hours, even when the library is closed.

Carlos Fernandes, the curator, says the book drop facility would also be made available at all its 145 libraries spread in the nook and corner of Goa; no need to come to Panaji to deliver it.

In fact the future plan is to network all the libraries so that book searching would be facilitated at village level rather than making special trip to the capital city just to find out whether it’s available in Panaji or any other library.

Equally fascinating is the ‘book lift’, through which any book could travel from any floor to the member after surfing through the intranet facility made available on computers on all the five floors.

Over 1.68 lakh books, including 236 brail books as well as 2746 e-journals and 1590 DVDs, are available for lending or references. But not a single cupboard is above the human height, making it fully airy and comfortable to move around.

In fact each floor has tables with chairs and even sofas on both sides at the glass walls to read and even discuss while viewing the Rua de Ourem creek as well as the mangroves.

The children’s section on the second floor in fact is the most thrilling experience, which even Parrikar felt like spending time at. The cupboards are colourful and the books are cuddled by teddy bears of different sizes.

There are 12 computers available for browsing and five television sets for viewing movies including 3D movies.

Adjoining this section is a 96-sitter AV room-cum-story telling room, even with a green room for dressing up and make up.

World’s biggest 105-inch television set is installed in this ‘dream room’ to watch even 3D films for 100 kids at a time.

Internet browsing however is just not the privilege of children. It has 51 PCs on the same floor exclusively for browsing while each floor also has PCs for other references.

Research is one area the central library has sincerely focused upon, with a treasure of 29,044 reference books, old newspapers and magazines, 461 microfilms as well as the whole world made available through internet surfing, besides laptop-connecting facility.

“We have made nine special cubicles available, including four closed-door rooms with internet and storing facility available, for research scholars on hire-out basis”, proudly says Prasad Lolayekar, the director of art & culture.

In addition, hi-tech machines are being hired for data imaging of any reference book as well as to print any rare book.

The special state of the art printing machine would compile the whole book, print it and provide a bound copy within no time, provided you pay for it.

Also it has a lecture hall with a hi-tech white board as well as a projector, with a sitting capacity of 100, for research activities like seminars, symposiums, lectures, screening and debates.

But the central library is just not for the ‘haves’, but also for the ‘have nots’.

There is a special study room with 13 cubicles, for those who can’t afford to study at home in a peaceful manner.

It includes those living in a congested house as well as those struggling youngsters who work during day time and study at night.

“This section would be open throughout the night for all the needy students”, states Lolayekar, who has meticulously designed the library even for the underprivileged; just not the privileged.

His next target is to make it the best library in the whole of Asia… (courtesy: Frederick Noronha