IMPROMPTU CHARMS DOWN THE CAMPAL PROMENADE LAST WEEK: This picture caught most everyone’s attention and went viral as Ponjekars wondered whether it was a mini-dhobi ghat or the Serendipity Arts Festival taking a quirky extension turn for the Christmas/New Year season. But it was just a domestic tourism crisis for low-budget (or no-budget) tourists who cook by the wayside and dry their clothes wherever they find water and sunshine! Unfortunately we don’t know who the photographer is!
ON Dec 27 I joined two friends in attending the Timeout EDM music event at Vagator Hill Top (where notorious Sunburn used to happen) at about 7 pm. While we enjoyed the concert  — bekar concert in hindsight — by about 10 pm we decided to leave and went to the parking lot to get our bikes. I got a shock when I saw that my bike was not where I’d parked it.

We looked for my two-wheeler Deo (No GA03AA9897) for over two hours but it couldn’t be found. Then we complained to the guards here and they said, “You are high at the moment and can’t find your bike, you’ll find I later on!” And “You cannot remember where you have parked your bike!” Shaken up we searched some more and found my bike some 200 metres away from the parking lot dumped in a dark corner.

We had put away stuff for safety in the dicky and quickly checked, to find a camera and mobile charger gone, plus Rs2,600 in my wallet…the empty wallet was shoved in the camera bag (mercifully we had taken the camera with us)…after that we went and lodged a complaint at the Vagator Police Station, by which time it was nearly midnight! We went home pretty upset about our loss. Luckily our driving license in the dicky were not stolen…

But together with my friends Gaurish and Makarand I want to write this letter alert those going to these wild concerts to be careful about their belongings and not leave them behind in their vehicles. We realized later that the way the guards were talking to us they must be hand in glove with thefts, and a parking lot is supposed to be a safe place under their watchful eyes (we had paid a fee of Rs50 for parking)!

What is funny, there were more police than people at the EDM concert at Vagator and we wonder if organized crime is going places in our once safe Goa and who cares? By the way that was a Gujarati-organized EDM concert we went to!

– Saish Shirodkar, Goa


THE Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Goa thinks that the high levels of proliferation in the Mandovi river as reported by the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) is a result of the “casinoisation” of the river by the Congress and the BJP governments, who have been brothers-in-arm in the proliferation of casinos.

Present chief minister and MLA of Panaji of 23 years Manohar Parrikar rode to power in 2012 by agitating against casinos and falsely promising their removal. Videos of his speeches against casinos are in circulation. If his hands are tied by the casino lords, he should at least direct removal of fecal matter discharged by them into the river. This has direct links with the health of the people who have depended on the Mandovi river for thousands of years.

In seven years Manohar Parrikar has allowed the destruction of the river. The glitz of the casinos might have blinded him or might have made him forget that the Mandovi rivers is still sacred for Goans. This is our river worth fighting for and we will fight. AAP has been consistently raising its voice against casinos and the ill-effects they have on the environment and social and moral fabric of Goan society.

What action has GSPCB taken apart from taking readings of water samples? Is its job only to take river water samples or also to take action under the Environment Protection Act and other applicable laws? Is it an autonomous body or under the total control of the Chief Minister who appoints officers who report to him as chairperson and members of the board…making all caged parrots?

– Valmiki Naik, AAP


CHIEF Minister Manohar Parrikar now stands totally exposed on the Mhadei water dispute drama. After the Goa Government having squandered crores of rupees by way of legal fees paid to Atmaram Nadkarni and his bandwagon of advocates, it was very high-handed on the part of the Chief Minister to have caved in on BJP’s political pressure without even taking the people of Goa into confidence. All this after his fake vow to always stand by Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn.

And the Chief Minister breached the protocol by not communicating with his Karnataka counterpart and instead choosing to write that distasteful politically tainted letter to Karnataka BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa.

To cover his misdeeds Manohar Parrikar is now using sidekick Atmaram Nadkarni as a cobbler to stitch his devious politriks on Madhei with Atmaram Nadkarni having gone public to the extent of virtually brandishing environmentalists Dr Claude Alvares, Rajendra Kerkar, Nirmala Sawant, Dr Nandkumar Kamat and others as ‘spent forces’.

So with all those crores poured down the drain on this water dispute it has been a criminal and unjustifiable waste of public funds which has only been a windfall for Atmaram Nadkarni and his clan of advocates who are making hay while milking and drying the State coffers which are already in dire straits.

Atmaram Nadkarni is on record claiming that he is appearing in the Madhei matter because of his love for Goa. If that be so, the flamboyant former Advocate General of Goa should have volunteered his services gratis instead of over exorbitantly billing the State and merrily bleeding the exchequer.

And where are those cowboys of the Goa Forward? Can they still justify aligning with the BJP — which is harming and destroying what remains of our once glorious State.

– Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


FATHER Maveric Fernandes has requested Christian  families to avoid cutting branches of trees or buying plastic ones to make them their Christmas tree. He has instead suggested novel idea wherein he urges Christian brethren to buy a small fruit bearing tree and decorate it. He believes that the impact in Goa itself will be huge, wherein if the two lakh Christian families nurture one tree per season/year within five years, we shall have 10 lakh fruit bearing trees. He has also requested Christians to avoid lighting fire crackers, since animals get scared due to the loud noise and wants Christmas to be a joyous festival for everyone on this planet, including animals.

– Vladimir Furtado, Goa


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