NABARD has projected disbursement of Rs 3,499 crore in Goa for 2013-14 financial year which is 24 per cent higher than the previous year, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"It has been assessed that bank credit of Rs 3,499 crore can be disbursed in Goa during 2013-14 for priority sector which is 24 per cent higher than the previous year," NABARD General Manager S D Kulkarni told a gathering of bankers in Panaji.

MARGAO: The Cuncolim Municipal Council on Monday decided to hold a public meeting on the Cuncolim Industrial Estate by inviting officials from the Goa State Pollution Control Board, Industrial Development Corporation and the Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers.

At a meeting of the Council on Monday, Cuncolim city fathers raised concern over pollution in the industrial estate and encroachments by industrial units within the jurisdiction of the civic body.

MARGAO: The South Goa District Task Force Committee has set March 31 as the time-frame to make the entire district “smoke free district”.

District Collector, N D Agrawal said the deadline set by the Task Force Committee can be achieved with the cooperation and participating of citizens from the district. “When we mean smoke free district, it implies a stop to smoking in public places”, he said. In this respect, the Task Force constituted under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), will hold series of exhibitions at the taluka level on February 22 from 9 am to 6 pm.

Yet hazardous waste remains in Plot No L-2

MARGAO: The South Goa district authorities on Thursday unsealed one of the two plots owned by The Axis in the Cuncolim Industrial Estate, but there seems no urgency on the part of the authorities to either treat or remove the tons of hazardous waste stored in the second plot. A team headed by Deputy Collector, Margao Surendra Naik descended at the industrial estate around noon and removed the seal from plot No L-3. Plot No L-2 owned by The Axis, which is playing host to tons of hazardous waste, will remain sealed.

MARGAO: A month after the Collector sealed two plots of The Axis at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate, the Goa State Pollution Control Board has asked the District Collector to unseal one of the plots as per the order of the Administrative Tribunal.

The unsealing of L-3 plot at the industrial estate is likely to be carried out on Thursday as per the eight-day time frame set by the Administrative Tribunal. It was on January 7 that the revenue authorities complied with GSPCB directions and sealed two plots, L-2 and L-3, vis-à-vis the handling of 25,000 tons of hazardous waste.

POINGUINIM: The felling of trees for road-widening work at Polem has sparked off yet another controversy, amid contrasting claims by officials of the highways and forest department.

While officials claim that the project consists of road-widening work, locals allege that work is afoot to erect a toll booth plaza for levying entry tax to vehicles from across the border.

PANJIM: The Environment Minister, Alina Saldanha, Thursday said that the government will put its infrastructure in place before moving ahead with its plan of banning use of plastic bags in Goa.

“There is already legislation, which prescribes fines and imprisonment for offenders and we will implement this in a phased manner after the infrastructure for segregation and re-cycling is put in place.”

PANJIM: In an interesting development, M/s Axis Ltd has approached the Administrative Tribunal, Goa, challenging the Goa State Pollution Control Board’s decision to seal its premises, over the issue of 25,000 tons of hazardous waste lying at their site at Plot number L-2 and L-3, at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate.

M/s Axis has also challenged the Board’s decision to revoke the Consent to Operate, issued to the firm for the establishment of a unit to manufacture cement products at Plot No-3 on March 1, 2012. The appeal has been admitted by the Tribunal, which is likely to hear the matter on Monday.

SANGUEM: The mines department has directed a basalt stone quarry operator in Sanguem to pay Rs 1.22 crore towards royalty within one month, following the controversial extraction of basalt stones from a quarry in Uguem from 2008 to 2012.

Hit by this notice, efforts are now on to involve local politicians, in a desperate bid to get the government to reduce the royalty. Director of Mines and Geology, Prasanna Acharya, issued a demand notice, asking the quarry operator to make the payment towards royalty within one month from the date of the demand notice, failing which the amount would be recovered as arrears of land revenue.

MARGAO: The plots containing the hazardous waste finally lay sealed at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate, but questions have come to the fore how the authorities overlooked the 20,000 tons of waste in the two plots while granting permissions to the present occupier the Axis to use the land for industrial purpose.

Questions are being raised whether the authorities, including the Goa State Pollution Control Board, the Industrial Development Corporation and the SBI Stressed Assets Management, Mumbai were more concerned with granting permissions for the present occupier than tackling the existing waste. The roles of these authorities have come into sharp focus as the occupier The Axis has maintained they are being made a scapegoat for the tons of waste lying at the plots before they could take possession.