Panaji: The Congress on Thursday questioned Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s resolve to rein in offshore casinos from dumping sewage into the Mandovi river off Panaji, in which the vessels are parked. Addressing a press conference in Panaji, state Congress President Girish Chodankar also said, that casino industry was under-reporting the number of patrons who visit the gambling facilities, which annually causes a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the state exchequer. Also Read – Over 62.71 lakh pilgrims have visited Vaishno Devi this year “The Chief Minister can warn a biker to not pollute a river with ‘nirmalya’ (flowers offered to God), but has no stern words for the offshore casinos who are dumping sewage into the Mandovi river,” Chodankar said. “He can tell the poor not to pollute, but does not have the guts to tell the powerful casino lobby. He probably knew that randomly cautioning an ordinary person from dumping flowers could give him publicity.” The state Congress president was referring to Sawant’s Twitter post on Wednesday, in which he had uploaded a video of him stopping his convoy to caution a person dumping ‘nirmalya’ into a river. The post had gone viral on social media. Also Read – Man gets life term for raping minor daughter-in-law Chodankar also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state for taking a U-turn on the casino issue. “The BJP was opposing casinos initially, late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar even threatened to finish off the industry. But now they are defending it, calling it integral to tourism,” Chodankar said. “Casinos have complete control over Goa. Every MLA has been given an ATM. Chief Minister is managed by casinos.” The state Congress President also alleged that the casino industry was depriving the state exchequer of Rs 5,000 crore annually by under-reporting its footfalls. “They are only showing 10 per cent entry of patrons. 90 per cent activity on casino is illegal. Most of the transactions including buying of gambling chips is in cash and not accounted for. There is a revenue loss of Rs. 5,000 revenue loss every year,” Chodankar said. There are six operational offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos in Goa. The state government earns a percentage of the entry fee charged by the casinos to each individual patron, but Chodankar said, that there was not a single official to oversee and count how many gamblers visit a particular casino on any given day.
Then-junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (2) and then-redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby (1) make a tackle during the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 7, 2013, in Indianapolis. OSU lost to Michigan State, 34-24. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAn emotional return of a former player awaits Ohio State fans attending the 2018 Spring Game on April 14.Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has been recovering from a drastic spinal surgery after having a major injury in a game Dec. 4, will return to Columbus with Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins to serve as honor coaches for the scrimmage.“I’m thrilled and I can’t wait to see these two heroes back in Ohio Stadium,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “The respect and admiration I have for each of these young men is off the charts, and I am so proud for our program and for the Ohio State fans that these players want to come back and be a part of our spring game.”Shazier was injured in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the injury left him unsure if he could continue his professional career. It also had been reported that he was unable to walk on his own and that he lost feeling in his legs for a time. The No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Shazier said he is expecting to return to the NFL.Before his injury, Shazier started 42 NFL games and totalled 299 tackles, including seven sacks and seven forced fumbles in four seasons. He also has picked off seven passes and recovered three fumbles. At Ohio State, he was a first-team All-American in his junior season — his final collegiate campaign — and finished with 315 total tackles, 15th-most in program history.Joining Shazier will be Jenkins, a two-time Super Bowl champion who won his second Super Bowl as a Philadelphia Eagle in February. Jenkins has played in the NFL for nine seasons after he was drafted 14th overall out of Ohio State in 2009 by New Orleans. He has made the Pro Bowl twice, and has become known for his social activism. Between his five seasons with the Saints and four with the Eagles, he has appeared in 135 games — started in 127 — with 695 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 16 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles and eight recovered.Jenkins was well recognized during his time at Ohio State, winning the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation’s top defensive back as a senior in 2008. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2008 and was first-team All-Big Ten every year from 2006 to 2008.