Monsoon deficit rises to 16%: Met

PANAJI: With the peak month of monsoon season, July witnessing only light to moderate rainfall, the deficit is slowly mounting and farmers in some areas are getting worried over the impact of dry spells on their crops. The deficit has risen to 16%, as the seasonal total touched 1,605.4mm (63.2 inches) on Saturday, while the normal should be 1,909.9mm (75.1 inches) at this stage.

“The overall situation is okay, as some areas like Canacona have even got surplus rain, but there could be a slight problem in localized conditions,” director, agriculture department, Ulhas Pai Kakode said. In upland areas, paddy and sugarcane crops can suffer stress during certain stages due to scarce rainfall. “When paddy crop reaches tillering stage and if there is no water at the base of the plant, it will have biotic stress,” agronomist and former Indian council of agricultural research, (ICAR) scientist, H R Prabhudesai said.

Rainfall activity has been weak during the last few days. It was only Quepem rain gauge station that recorded heavy rainfall of 70.0mm during the last 24 hours till Saturday morning. A few other centres recorded moderate rainfall, Ponda 36.8mm, Valpoi 34.0mm, Sakhali 32.6mm, Mapusa 29.0mm and other centres on a lesser scale. Figures of rainfall recorded in Sanguem and Margao were not available.

The meteorological centre has forecast light to moderate rain or thundershowers at most places over Goa during the next five days. “A few spells of rain are likely due to weak monsoon activity,” an official said.


1.96 traffic violators booked in Goa this year

PANAJI: Traffic Police has booked 3.16 traffic violators in 2016 and 1.96 violators till June this year, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar informed the legislative assembly.

Goa Police forwarded reports for cancellation and suspension of licenses of defaulting drivers in major accidents to the concerned assistant directors of transport with all details. A total of 497 licenses were suspended by assistant director of transport Mapusa, 11 in Bicholim, 22 in Ponda, 23 in Vasco, 112 in Panaji, 132 in Margao, 54 in Quepem, 4 in Canacona, 48 in Pernem and one in Dharbandora over the past one year.


Congress begins exercise to field candidate in Panaji seat

Panaji, Jul 29 (PTI) The Congress and other parties have begun the exercise to field a common candidate against Manohar Parrikar in the upcoming Panaji by-election scheduled on August 23.

The Congress which has decided to contest the by-election in Panaji along with Valpoi held a series of meetings today in capital city chaired by Goa Pradesh Congress committee president Shantaram Naik to shortlist the candidates.

The party had almost finalised the candidature of former minister Atanasio Monserratte to contest from Panaji, but he left the party to join Goa Forward Party, said party sources.

Congress sources confirmed that after the exit of Monserratte, the party has zeroed in on ex-mayor of Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) Ashok Naik.

After the meeting, Shantaram Naik told PTI that “the party will field its own candidates in both the constituencies, and the parties which are willing to defeat BJP should join the hands with us.”

“The talks are yet to begin with any of the party but congress will welcome the support,” he said.

Naik said names of both the candidates would be announced on Monday by the Congress.

The name of Ashok Naik has been considered as he would be acceptable to majority of parties which are not with the BJP-led government, said party sources.

“Ashok Naik has been at the helm of affairs at the CCP between 2001-2006 and is known for his simplicity. There are various leaders from other parties who are willing to support him,” a senior Congress leader said, refusing to be quoted.

He said that the exercise to have a dialogue with parties like the Goa Suraksha Manch and the Aam Aadmi Party has already begun.

When contacted, Ashok Naik said “Congress had approached me with the offer to contest in Panaji by-election. I met their leaders. I have told them that I will consult my supporters and well wishers and get back on Monday.”

He claimed that there are several BJP workers too, who are supporting him.

When contacted, GSM President Anand Shirodkar said the party is yet to take a stand on whether to support consensus candidate or not.

“It will depend entirely on the situation,” he said.


BJP declares Parrikar, Rane as Panjim, Valpoi candidates

PANJIM: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Central Election Committee has declared the party candidates in Panjim and Valpoi Assembly constituencies for the August 23 by-polls.

The candidates, as expected, are Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Panjim, and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in Valpoi.

BJP is the first party to declare their candidates. Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Goa Suraksha Manch and others are yet to decide on their choices.

Congress is likely to field former Panjim Mayor Ashok Naik in Panjim, while Ravi Naik’s son Roy is likely to be the candidate in Valpoi.

Sources informed that in Panjim constituency AAP and GSM are likely to support Ashok Naik.