LETTER TO EDITOR FOR NOV 18TH ISSUE

AAP WOMEN’S COMMITTEE AT CALANGUTE POLICE STATION: A group of Aam Aadmi Party women’s wing led by Iona Yvette Fernandes and Alice D’Cruz submitted a letter appealing to various authorities to rescue children (especially migrants’ children) from being exploited and trafficked along the coastal belt. Increasingly residents complain of the menace of children being exploited in the vicinity of Calangute-Baga and nearby villages

GOA’S INTERESTS FIRST!

THE statement made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in which he inferred that the people of Goa should not ask for electricity if they want to stop coal handling and transportation and the resultant coal dust pollution is serious in nature.

Parrikar is not a Central minister now but the Chief Minister of Goa and it is his duty to protect the interests of Goans first. Coal dust pollution is already there and has to be tackled so that the people of the port town of  Vasco do not have to suffer the consequence of coal pollution in the air. Coal dust pollution is a very serious thing because it impacts the environment and the health of the people.  

The CM’s attitude is like a blank check for the Adanis to go ahead with coal import from Australia (although the people there too are opposing his coal mining there), while people here in Goa are protesting against the expansion of any further coal handling facilities at MPT in lieu of the present situation vis-à-vis coal dust pollution. The CM is an IITian and should know how much of this coal goes into the generation of electricity and how much electricity is required by the people of Goa and his primary concern should be to act as a responsible CM and not as a facilitator for the Adanis, Jindals and Vedanta!

Goa being a small state consumption of electricity is lesser in amount and thus the present capacity for coal handling at MPT should not be increased to the detriment of further health problems for the people of Vasco.

– Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

BJP DOUBLE STANDARDS

SO a young man’s alleged sex tape are aired by a journalist. Hardik Patel is young and single. He is not hiding his wife and stalking a woman half his age nor is  depraved like BJP bhakts! What a blow by BJP to tarnish the image of a young man before orthodox society. A journalist was arrested in Chattisgarh for threatening to air a sex tape of a BJP neta. But a sex tape of Hardik Patel is aired by the BJP amidst cheers from their bhakts. Is there no limit to the double-standards of the BJP government?

– Vladimir Furtado, Goa

POLITICAL PUPPETEERS!

AMAZING how we dance when politicians pull the stings! And we just can’t stop. The MOI issue has seen numerous debates, struggles, etc, by people personally affected to eventually come to a point of judgement. Suddenly a retired politician decided to “tweak” the strings and lo! The puppets start to dance. Suddenly the strings are not “material” but mental: One must be mentally strong to break these strings. Otherwise there will be no logical end to any debate. Either we are mentally weak, or are conniving enough to take advantage of conveniently forgetting the more than convincing arguments of the other side.

A decade back there was a ban on the use of music systems in buses. This still exists. However, with new entrants having their own ideas, this has re-surfaced. Commuters will perforce have to bear this assault for months before the debate starts all over again and the law enforced. This is what politicians do!

– R Fernandes, Margao

TACKLE POLLUTION

THE example of Delhi, which has levied a Supreme Court mandated Environment Compensation Charge in 2015 on trucks entering Delhi, as well as a cess on every litre of diesel sold, and has in possession  `1,500 crore as a Green Fund, makes it very clear that no amount of charges levied can bring down pollution levels.

The only way to reduce pollution in Delhi, and for that matter anywhere else, is to ban or at least decrease the use of polluting fuels like coal in power generation and diesel and petrol in passenger and goods transportation. In fact, levying cesses is only harming the environment more by being lenient on causes of pollution.

There is little that can be done by levying a cess to contain pollution. Pollution can only be tackled at the roots and that is by banning use of polluting fuels. So the best way out is to close down coal-fired power plants and invest in renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy, and to replace use of diesel and petrol by phasing out vehicles running on fossil fuels and immediately introducing electric vehicles in the national capital.

Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, can only be reduced by banning the use of polluting fossil fuels.

– Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

STOP CHILD EXPLOITATION

WE would like to draw the Goa government and authorities’ attention to the rampant exploitation of children along the coastal belt. Of late it has become a trend that people from other states bring their children to beg and sell items along the beaches and in the villages. This has increased alarmingly over the last two years. Child abuse and an increase in number of sexual predators in the State is on the rise with Goa becoming one of the leading states in child trafficking.

The AAP Women’s Front has submitted a petitions to the Collector’s Office (North) and South Goa Collectorate, giving them  30 days to take action against this growing menace and stigma for society. Goa is known for beautiful beaches, good food, leisure tourism and harmonious communities. The increase in nefarious activities in the flesh trade is earning us a bad name globally.

If not checked it will destroy our good businesses and tourists will no longer come to Goa. Please hold awareness drives with tourism stakeholders (shacks, hotels, restaurants, et al) to conduct vigilance raids, enable vigilant citizens watch also, through panchayat bodies. These drives should be done in the next 15 days before the full onslaught of the tourist season. This is a compulsory measure to stop such activities.

It is also within the law according to the Goa Children’s Act of 2003, & Protection for Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, under abetment and attempt to commit offence offense, to jail the unscrupulous parents/guardians for abuse of their wards under their care.

– Iona Yvette Fernandes and Alice D’cruz, AAP representatives in Calangute & Saligao

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