LETTER TO EDITOR FOR MARCH 31ST ISSUE 2018

AWESOME! It was an eventful day filled with cheer and laughter as 200 students of Auxilium School, Caranzalem who penned and illustrated a book on water pollution ‘Histórias Daqui e Dali’ which translates into ‘Stories from Here and Beyond’ received a copy of the book at a ceremony held at the institute. Present were (l to r) Aira Mirchandani, Communicare Trust; Nalini Elvino de Souza, Manager, Communicare Trust; Raquel Salgueiro, a book publisher from Portugal; Balachandran Amonkar, Deputy Director of Education; Franscisco Duarte Azavedo, Consul General of Portugal in India; Sister Celine Pinto, Principal, Auxilium School and Rui Andrade, a book publisher from Portugal

MINING CLOSURE PLANS

Everyone is trying to fool Goans taking undue advantage of their natural ‘giving’ attitude. Mining is not a hand to mouth industry — including for the mining dependents — as it is being made out to be by the mining trader barons. Cheap tactics are used like the photo and article wherein a mine issued notice to its staff and workers to not report for duty. Farming is a hand to mouth industry wherein a failed crop has led to suicides. Mining on the other hand has its dependents investing in real estate and luxury cars etc and having assets way beyond others eking out a livelihood in other fields.
The Court ruling has given a reprieve to all the stakeholders to sit up and take stock: to do a better job. Greed and irresponsible characters have however taken the opposite route.
Risk management in mining is non-existent. Banks have in fact wilfully caste aside the risks while extending loans. Surely, such banks need to be penalised.
A proper risk management system would acknowledge that mines can close due to varied reasons and mitigation actions are prepared. Mines operation can close due to exhaustion of minerals, lack of demand, uneconomic operations, natural calamity, directives from statutory organisation or court etc.
The Central government had issued a notification in 2003 that all mining lessees must issue a ‘Progressive Mines Closure Plan’ for any of the above reasons. A Final Closure Plan must then be submitted before closure.
What does the Closure plan take care of? Besides matters like air and water quality management, waste management, disposal of machinery and reclamation of mined out land, the plan must also show:
Economic repercussions of closure of mine and manpower retrenchments
Manpower retrenchment, compensation to be given, socio-economic repercussions and remedial measures consequent to the closure of mines should be described, specifically stating the following
Number of local residents employed in the mine, status of the continuation of family occupation and scope of joining the occupation back
Compensation given or to be given to the employees connecting with sustenance of himself and their family members
Satellite occupations connected to the mining industry — number of persons engaged therein — continuance of such business after mine closes.
Continued engagement of employees in the rehabilitated status of mining lease area and any other remnant activities
Envisaged repercussions on the expectation of the society around due to closure of mine.
If all the rules are followed there was no reason for the massive demonstrations held — the Govt. is solely responsible and is merely fooling the people in connivance with the mining lessees.
The Collector and Mines Dept. need to book those who forced the agitation — risking life, property and school exams, despite there being no valid reason for the same except greed of the lessees.
– R Fernandes, Margao

MINING GREED!
Initally, after being told that it was food poisoning, we were then told that it was mild pancreatics and later that it was dehydration with it now being pancreatitis with no details furnished.
Goa was first told that Manohar Parrikar would be away for two weeks, which was later raised to four weeks with it further hiked to six and now we are told that it will be two months.
This whole sheer uncalled veil of secrecy over Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health is a matter of concern. People of Goa are entitled to know the health condition of the Chief Minister moreso as his medical expenses are being coughed up by the taxpayers.
While the Goa Government claims that Manohar Parrikar is responding well to the treatment in New York and will be back soon, sources in that New York hospital point out to the contrary that our chief minister’s health is in a very precarious state.
So to clear this very hazy air, will Manohar Parrikar be kind enough to address the people of Goa through video so that we know the truth. Mr Chief Minister, please speak to the people of Goa through a now much needed “Mann Ki Baat”. We need and are entitled to know nothing but the TRUTH.
– Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

TOXICITY OF SYNTHETIC SUBSTANCES
The development of science, especially chemistry, was meant to synthesize new varieties of chemicals not found in nature, which are labeled as synthetic.
Over the years chemists have developed a wide array of synthetic chemicals which are now used in a host of products, many of which although bio-degradable, leave significant traces of substances that affect the environment.
All naturally occurring substances are bio-degradable and get recycled and incorporated in a natural cycle. However, toxicity and pollution due to synthetic substances being used for a long time now, have led to irreversible damage to the eco-system, leading to poisoning of all natural species. In particular, synthetic compounds have now become an intrinsic part of the life-cycle of marine life which is harnessed for human consumption.
It would thus be advisable that men should return to the use of naturally occurring substances instead of relying on synthetic compounds.
A time will come when the concentration of toxic synthetic chemicals will begin to affect the metabolic processes of living organisms causing debilitating diseases — signs of which are already clearly discernible, but still preventable.
In this context, everyone would be advised to limit as well as eliminate the use of synthetic substances so as to turn towards nature and drift away from artificially produced substances. Go organic, go natural.
– Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

SURESH WALVE ACK DEMPO HELP OFFER
With respect to your article, “Wealth Needed for Health” in the Goan Observer (Mar 17-23, 2018) you have wrongly mentioned that my ex-employer, the Dempos, and the State govt did not offer any help to me. In a casual chat with you about two months ago I had clearly told you that Mr Shrinivas Dempo has offered me all help if need be.
On World Cancer Day, Feb 4, 2018, I had given an interview to a report of Lokmat, in which I had said, “My ex-employer offered me any help at any time,” My statement was corectly reported in Lokmat, but distorted in your paper.
However as I could manage the costs of treatment on my own I did not need to go to seek my employer’s or anybody else’s help. Why should an employer who retired ten years back expect his employer to help?
Even the attributions about the CM Mr Parrikar and my good friend and neighbour Dr Shekhar Salkar published in the article are wrong.
Kindly publish my clarification in full in your Uncesored columns in the next issue of your weekly.
– Suresh Walve, Bicholim

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