Posts Tagged ‘Panaji’
Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was remembered at the opening ceremony of the 43rd International Film Festival of India here Tuesday.
Inaugurating the 10−day event, actor Akshay Kumar recalled his interactions with the rightwing political leader, who died Saturday following an illness in Mumbai .
“Thackeray used to say: ‘I’m a mass leader but you are the artiste. You draw crowds’,” an emotional Akshay said.
The festival will open with the screening of Hollywood film “The Life of Pi”.
Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi feels censorship is a global problem.
“Censorship is an ugly method of improving our life,” said Zanussi, who will be honoured Tuesday with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
He said that police states tackle this problem in a harsh way, while democratic nations do it in a far more reasonable manner.
Speaking to media persons here Zanussi said, “Internet may build a completely new society or it may destroy us, so the big challenge is to find a balanced way.”
Talking about Indian cinema, he said that independent cinema and the popular films are complimentary and one must respect the latter for being the representative of common culture, though not satisfying to personal tastes at times, said a statement.
Known for his artistic and acclaimed films like “Camouflage”, “Family life”, “The Silent Touch”, “The Contract” and “Revisited”, Zanussi said of Polish cinema now that “though it is doing well on a contemporary note, but they are not well recognized as was the case during the political turmoil of early eighties.”
Describing cinema as a young discipline, the he said that his own best is yet to come.
His film “Illumination” will be shown at IFFI.
Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) Watch movies but in an eco−friendly environment seems to be the IFFI motto this year with organisers banning the use of plastic glasses, cups, bottles and carry bags at the main venues in this coastal city.
This is the first time in the eight years that the International Film Festival of India has been held here that authorities have cracked down on plastic use.
Those running catering stalls at the venue of the 43rd IFFI during Nov 20−30, have been told to desist from using plastic.
“Our aim is to reduce plastic use by over 50 percent at the festival venue. If it can be done, it will work wonders for the mission of lessening the use of plastic throughout the state,” said Sanjit Rodrigues, commissioner of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), the municipal authority of the host city.
Not just vendors but manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) have also been roped into the no−plastic drive to make it more effective.
“We are banning the use of plastic glasses, cups, bottles and carry bags at the festival venue. They make up for most of the plastic waste, but we are making alternative arrangements for everything we are banning,” Rodrigues told IANS.
To ensure there is no inconvenience to the vendors, he said, the city municipal corporation will make water available on site for washing purposes. And there are always traditional options like using a banana leaf or plates made from thatched leaves for serving meals.
“The only plastic we want to see is high−grade plastic which can be reused. Even manufacturers of packaged water and aerated drinks have been asked to sell their products in a two−litre package, which can then be doled out to customers in glasses in order to reduce wastage,” Rodrigues said.
The Kingfisher stall is amongst the most sought after landmarks at the Inox multiplex courtyard, a major venue for the festival, for its cheap draught beer by the pint. The pint is poured from the dispenser into a one−time−use plastic glass, something which might just change this year.
“Would be great if they serve it in a glass mug. Draught beer in a tall plastic mug just does not make enough sense,” said Ipshita Chatterjee, who has been a delegate at the festival for several years now.
IFFI this year will screen several score films, including 47 in the Indian premiere section and 15 in the international competition section.
The festival, which begins Tuesday, will also have a special homage section dedicated to legendary director Yash Chopra and late superstar Rajesh Khanna, both of whom died this year.
International film personalities like Claude Miller, Angelo Theopolous and Tony Scott will be accorded a homage too.
The festival begins Tuesday with the screening of “The Life of Pi”, while the closing film will be “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”.
About 12,000 delegates are expected to gather for the event in this coastal state, which last year welcomed 2.64 million tourists.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Panaji, Nov 19 (IANS) Over 160 films from over 70 different countries will be screened at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which rolls out the red carpet along the banks of the beautiful Mandovi river, Tuesday.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar will inaugurate the festival Tuesday evening, which is being held in Goa for the ninth time since 2004.
The festival will begin Tuesday with the screening of “The Life of Pi”, while the closing film will be “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”.
About 12,000 delegates are expected to be arriving in Goa for the festival.
This time round 47 will feature in the Indian premiere section notable of which is the opening Assamese movie, “Baandhon” by director Jhanu Barua. Out of the 47, 26 are feature films and 21 are non−feature films in different Indian languages, officials said.
The IFFI’s international competition section too will have 15 films, two of which are in Indian regional languages namely − “Anhey Ghode De Daan” in Punjabi and “Elar Char Adhyay” in Bengali.
The festival’s Cinema of the World section will feature 55 films, according to the festival officials, who also said that overall 70 films would be premiered during IFFI.
A separate section has been also crafted to commemorate the 100 of years of Indian cinema and its journey from grainy black and white and silent films to the films of today, in which 27 films across periods and genres will be screened.
The festival, which begins Tuesday, will also have a special homage section dedicated to legendary director Yash Chopra and late superstar Rajesh Khanna, both of whom passed away this year.
International film personalities like Claude Miller, Angelo Theopolous and Tony Scott will also be accorded homage.
Among the celebrities who are expected to attend the festival are Irrfan Khan, Mira Nair, Tabu, Suraj Sharma, Paoli Dam, etc.
Over seven film−screening halls have been commandeered by the IFFI authorities to screen the films.
Panaji, Nov 17 (IANS) In Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s death, Goa has lost a friend and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)−Shiv Sena alliance has lost its architect, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Saturday said.
In his condolence message sent to the bereaved Thackeray family, Parrikar said: “In his death, Goa has lost a true friend. Bal Thackeray will also be remembered as a great cartoonist, a pioneer, political commentator with his mighty pen. He was the main architect and strong force behind BJP and Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra for more than 20 years.”
“Bal Thackeray was a great patriot and Hindu national leader who shaped the political history of Maharashtra. Fighter throughout his life, who fought for the betterment of the many people, passed away,” Parrikar said.
The Shiv Sena founder, 86, was pronounced dead at his residence in Bandra East, Mumbai, Saturday afternoon.
Panaji, Nov 16 (IANS) Bollywood star Akshay Kumar will kick off the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at a football ground in the capital later this month, organisers said, adding that over 70 films would be premiered at the 10−day event.
“Akshay Kumar will be inaugurating the IFFI at the football stadium in Panaji. Over 7,500 delegates and 400 members from the media have already registered for the festival,” director of the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) Shankar Mohan said.
He added that two Indian regional language films were vying with 15 other films in the competition section.
Mohan said Punjabi film “Anhey Ghode da daan” and Bengali film “Elar Char Adhyay” would be competing with other global films in the competition section.
“Tabu and Irrfan Khan, among other cast of the opening film ‘Life of Pi’, would also be attending the inauguration ceremony,” Mohan said.
He added that in the centenary of the Indian film section, over 27 films and 56 documentaries from black and white to colour and silent films have been selected for screening.
The 10−day festival will start in Goa from Nov 20.
Panaji, Nov 16 (IANS) Two women tourists were robbed in two separate incidents in Goa Friday, police said.
Unidentified robbers broke into the rented accommodation of Valeria Antonevich, a Russian national holidaying near the popular Morjim beach, about 35 km from here.
“Her credit cards, mobile phones, a laptop and cameras worth Rs.1.80 lakh were stolen,” a police official at the Pernem police station said.
In another incident, Sara Whenmon of Britain was robbed of an iPad. Whenmon was staying at a guest house near Dando beach in Anjuna village, police said.
Panaji, Nov 15 (IANS) Mining pits in Goa’s hinterland are working wonders for harvesting water, said a mine owner whose firm has been virtually indicted by a judicial panel, here Thursday.
Avdhoot Timblo, whose firm along with several other mining companies was mentioned in the M.B. Shah Commission report on illegal mining, said: “Mining activity near the Selaulim reservoir has resulted in 70 lakes, which store water.”
Timblo denied that mining had caused excessive damage in Goa.
His claim comes even as green activists have pointed out that excessive mining has been bleeding Goa’s environment as well as water bodies.
Timblo told reporters in Panaji that at one point of time nearly 500 mining operations were going on in Goa and that Panaji “could also have a mine” if pollution could be controlled.
The businessman whose mining outfits, along with virtually all other mining companies, have been reportedly indicted in the judicial commission report, also said that the mining boom in Goa had given rise to “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol”.
“There is ‘bad cholesterol’ like a few trees cut, people killed (by mining trucks) in road accidents, but there is ‘good cholesterol’ too which is far greater than the bad cholesterol,” Timblo said, adding that the over Rs.7,000 crore which the mining industry generated was one of the “good cholesterol” generated by the Goa mining industry.
He said that mining firms in Goa were unfairly targeted by the law enforcing authorities for what he claimed were trivial violations of law, like over−speeding.
“I am allowed to extract 1.5 (million tonnes), if I extract 1.75 (million tonnes) I should be hanged?” asked Timblo.
Firms run by Timblo, along with the Vedanta Resources−owned Sesa Goa, are the top mining players in the state.
The Justice Shah Commission had exposed a Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam in Goa.
Panaji, Nov 14 (IANS) Cashew, which is distilled to make popular Goan drink feni, also has the power to revitalise the state’s pits left barren by excessive mining, say agriculturists and scientists.
N.P. Singh, director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) here, said in case mining, now banned by the Supreme Court, is phased out over the next few years, the pits can be replenished with cashew plantations provided the soil treatment processes are in place.
“We have identified 67 species of cashew in Goa. We have to go for soil fertility management. Within five years we can do it,” Singh told IANS in an interview, adding that poultry-based manure would be perfect for recharging mining pits in case the ban results in the abandonment of some pits.
There are over 100 legally operational mines in Goa, which function in leased forested areas. Open cast iron ore mining leaves scars on the surface of the soil in the form of deep pits, from which ore is extracted.
Mining in all these pits has currently been stopped. But the effects are now spilling over to subsidiary industries and trades related to mining.
Truckers, barge owners and others who gave up their farm and horticultural land for mining-related work are in a fix.
Cashew can be a saver, say scientists.
The fruit was brought to Goa by the Portuguese colonists from Africa and it was wholeheartedly embraced by Goans for its double distilled brew, feni.
“Reviving mining areas is possible. We have done a project on mining reject soils. Cashew and bamboo plantations are perfect for such areas,” A. Desai of ICAR told IANS.
ICAR officials also believe that the cash crop of cashew could help people make a living in case the ban makes survival difficult in the short term.
“Cashew seedlings with lateral and sinker (vertical) roots are ideal soil binders in sandy soils as well as loose soil in mining dumps. Many mining companies used cashew seedlings till the Australian acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) became a quick fix like two-minute noodles because of its small seeds (cost saving) and high survival rate in adverse conditions as it is a xerophyte (a desert plant),” horticulturist Miguel Braganza told IANS.
The flipside however was that the acacia was aggressive and makes it difficult for other plants to co-habit in the same area, he said.
Cashew, Braganza said, had a history of being used to replenish mining areas in Africa.
“Earlier, they did the same in Angola’s copper mines. Cashew originated in Brazil, another Portuguese colony of those days,” he said.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at email@example.com)
Panaji, Nov 12 (IANS) If fish is on your food menu during a Goa visit this year, you are in for competition.
Swarms of toxic jellyfish have suddenly surfaced in Goa’s inland waters, preying on small fish and fish larvae, especially in the Mandovi river off Panaji, and experts say the phenomenon can further deplete the state’s falling fish haul this year.
According to National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) scientist Baban Ingole, increasing pollution in the river water and permanent parking for vessels in the river could have given rise to the jellyfish phenomenon, which does not bode well for fish lovers of the human kind.
“What happens is that both the jellyfish and the big fish prey on the same diet — which is smaller fish and fish larvae. So if you have jellyfish consuming the prey of the larger fish, the latter will also disappear because of food shortage,” Ingole told IANS.
Ingole claims that the breed of jellyfish, which has suddenly surfaced in huge numbers in the waters off Goa, needs to be studied because it is a relatively new phenomenon and can impact marine life.
“This thing has to be studied. Suddenly, there are lots of reports of these jellyfish surfacing. We used to have another kind of jellyfish in Goa, but these seem different,” Ingole said.
Jellyfish are bulbous, soft and gelatinous creatures with highly toxic tentacles. The predatory fish uses the tentacles to inject venom into their victims before consuming them.
The jellyfish phenomenon was first noticed in Goa a few weeks ago, when huge quantities of them were getting caught in fishing nets cast by trawlers and other smaller fishing craft.
According to Ingole, one of the reasons why the jellyfish may be prospering in waters off Panaji is because of the constant parking of vessels in the river, providing the fish with an ideal environment for habitat.
“The non-moving vessels provide a good and safe environment for the jellyfish,” Ingole said.
The scientist is one of the first marine experts to claim that Goa can head for a fish famine, because of overkill in the waters surrounding the state and a shortened fishing ban during the breeding season.
The causes are natural, such as climate change and decreased dissolved oxygen (in the seas), as well as manmade, such as over-fishing and increased level of pollutants, Ingole said.
He said popular fish such as mackerel, sardines and prawn would be the first to exit the marine habitat off the state, which is flanked by the Arabian Sea to the west.
A recent Goa government report on fishing also confirmed overkill of fish.
“With the total fish production in the state crossing the maximum sustainable yield, there is a need to restrict fishing efforts in coastal waters of the state,” the report said.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Panaji, Nov 12 (IANS) With an eye to the poor sex ratio in the state, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his Diwali message Monday asked Goans to light a lamp in the “name of our daughters”.
“Our future is safe only when there are daughters,” said Parrikar, whose government only recently unveiled the Laadli Laxmi Scheme, under which all girls born in Goa would get Rs.1 lakh as marriage expense at the time of getting hitched.
The state has a literacy percentage of 87.40, and a sex ratio of 968:1000, slightly above the national average of 940:1000.
As per the 2011 census, the coastal state, however, ranks 11th among Indian states and union territories when it comes to sex ratio, with Kerala topping the list at 1084:1000 and Daman and Diu at the bottom with 618:1000.
The Laadli Laxmi Scheme has been politically criticised, but huge numbers of women have been queuing up for applications.
The Goa government has allocated Rs.150 crore for the scheme.
Talking of the low sex ratio and explaining the need for the scheme, Chief Minister Parrikar said: “If this trend continues, it would lead to various problems. We need to curb infanticide and help women’s empowerment.”
Panaji, Nov 10 (IANS) The Portuguese Commonwealth Games due in Goa a year from now seem to be going the way the preparations for the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games went – at least as far as controversy is concerned.
After years of stumbling and struggling to create adequate infrastructure for the sporting event of Portuguese-speaking nations, a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator has now raised the banner of revolt against the Games.
Vishnu Wagh, a firebrand legislator, has said that it was “ridiculous” and “out of place” for Goa to “even participate, forget hosting the Games”, because Goa was neither Portuguese-speaking nor a nation.
“The Lusofonia Games are for those nations who are Portuguese-speaking. Goa is not a nation. Neither is Goa Portuguese-speaking. So what is the basis of our state hosting the games?” Wagh asked.
The Lusofonia Games are being organised by the Goa government along with the Associacao dos Comites Olimpicos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (ACOLOP), a collective of officials from Portuguese-speaking nations, in charge of conducting the Games held every four years.
Apart from sports like football, athletics, judo, table tennis and swimming, the Games also feature events like sepak takraw, a cross-bred sport with elements of volleyball and football and futsal, an abridged, but swift-paced football variation.
Over a dozen countries, including Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Angola participate in the games.
Wagh said that the state was unnecessarily committing resources for the Games, especially at a time when the state economy was facing an economic downturn following the ban on iron ore mining.
“Let us create infrastructure where our boys can play. We do not need to spend these huge volumes of money for these games. It is a waste. I am going to raise the issue with my party. I am also willing to take the issue to the people, if need be,” Wagh said.
Goa, a Portuguese colony from 1498 to 1961, won the bid for the games in 2009, when the state was ruled by a Congress-led coalition government. The bidding process in Lisbon was aggressively backed by Congress state president Subhash Shirodkar, who was then president of the Goa Olympic Association (GOA).
However, from 2009, promises made by the Goa government to the ACOLOP as far as creating infrastructure for hosting of the games were not honoured, leading the ACOLOP to even threaten that Goa might be dropped as the venue.
Added to that were controversies and scandals which dropped out of Goa’s Lusofonia cupboard, with the opposition targeting then sports minister Manohar Azgaonkar for giving clearances to five-star hotels and other mega projects in the guise of creating sports infrastructure.
After the BJP stormed to power earlier this year, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the new president of the Goa Olympic Association (GOA), however, laid out the red carpet for ACOLOP officials, promising them delivery of the infrastructure for the Games before November 2013.
“We can have modern stadiums. We have the time. In fact, we will strive to have everything in place three or four months before the start of the games in November,” Parrikar said.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at email@example.com)