BIG PROMISES! WILL THEY DELIVER?

Some are heavyweight, some less heavyweight, but make a note of the manifestos in your diary and study them carefully if you’re a conscientious Ponjekar!

By Our Special Correspondent

ALL the four manifestoes of the four major players or candidates are out well before this Sunday’s (May 19, 2019) Panaji by-elections. All are waxing lyrical with familiar repeat promises, some brand new, some unique, all old and new promises worth noting down in your black diary if you’re true blue Ponjekars – be biased first and foremost towards first love Panaji! Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of all candidates vis-a-vis past experience before stepping out to cast your vote with your fingers crossed or your heart in your mouth.
On paper naturally all manifestos sound very good as if achhe din are already here! We don’t know really if they are promising achhe din for themselves or for the people of the state or country. Most politicians don’t promise achhe din today — only tomorrow or day after tomorrow or five years later. Extraordinarily eloquent, our politicians are tall on promises and neverendingly long on delivery. Generally speaking. Promises made today may await fulfillment in time infinitum. Of course all politicians talk of our children’s future — as if today’s adults don’t matter and they may continue to vent their frustration over inadequate water, increasing power outages, sewage overflows here and there because there’s no serious sewage system in place some 40 years after Goa’s Liberation, the deteriorating quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Not to forget plastic menace on pavements, in water bodies, in wells, rivers, down beaches and in the Arabian sea, construction kachrapati dumped on highways and around trees like maha tourism attractions!
For some reason removal of the casinos from the long-suffering river Mandovi is on top of the list of the Congress-Babush Monserrate manifesto, removal of the casinos is also on the agenda of Goa Suraksha Manch’s Subhash Velingkar as also AAP’s Valmiki Naik. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of the ruling BJP takes it for granted they’re they going to win because how dare anybody defeat the BJP — don’t we know the BJP walks in the footwear of the late distinguished Manohar Parrikar — if he could live with the casinos’ keeping political pockets warm, what’s wrong? The more money the more the reasons to hang on to power, never mind how!

Cut to the manifestos.

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY

SIDHARTH KUNCALIENKER of the Bharatiya Janata Party released their manifesto on May 19, 2019. Needless to say he walks in the benign shadow of his mentor Manohar Parrikar (a larger than life picture of the late chief minister of Goa is on the brochure cover). For the BJP it’s all about completing the incomplete works of the late chief minister and then carrying on with his legacy whatever it may be…

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY

The way forward….
• Infrastructure: Phase II of Integrated Education Complex at Cujira, Tiswadi. Four-lane road connecting St Inez Circle to Caranzalem and central Spine Road connecting Rua de Ourem, Mala, Bhatlem to Taleigao and Dona Paula
• Dredging of Rua de Ourem Creek
• Development of Ribandar Fishmen’s Jetty
• Redevelopment of Panaji Church Square with parking
• Conservation of saltpans, bio-diversity and mangroves along the Ribandar causeway
• CCTV surveillance and Wifi at strategic locations
• Pedestrian bridges from Chimbel Creek to Manaswada, Ribandar
• Additional flood control measures to prevent flooding in Mala area

Parking & Decongestion
• Relocation of government offices to ease congestion
• State-of-the-art multi-level car park at Civil Supplies godown, Dr A B Road and PWD garage
• Regular and people-friendly bus serve for Panaji city as proposed by Charles Correia Foundation
• Towing away of old, unclaimed, abandoned vehicles to make parking space available
• Refurbishment and maintenance of traffic islands

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY

ELECTION SYMBOL
Lotus

Disaster management
• Centralized Command & Control Centre for effective disaster management and emergency response
• Integrated drainage plan to control flooding with cross drains and gutters where required

Environment
• Pursue the rejuvenation of St Inez Creek, inspection, aeration, desilting and cleaning works as already undertaken and underway
• Total ban on non-recyclable plastic bags

Amenities & Utilities
• Underground cabling and new power infrastructure distribution boards for Ribandar and other areas of Panaji
• Replacement of damaged/corroded electrical poles in city
• Damaged footpaths and pavements to undergo repairs
• Community space space for co-curricular activities including a ground, amphitheatre, etc, at Mala lake area
• Mala residents to get priority as vendors at the new Mala market complex

Employment, Youth & Women Empowerment
• Employment generation through incubation centers and government initiatives
• Centers for Recreation and study facilities for youth at Alto-St Inez, Altinho, Ribandar and Mala
• Organize job fairs at regular intervals through the year to provide employment opportunities
• Promote entrepreneurship and talent among women through Women Welfare Centres

Garbage Management & Sanitation
• CCTV monitoring to prevent creation of black spots which are used for dumping of garbage
• Regular collection of bulk dry waste such as discarded mattresses, sanitary fittings, glass and e-waste
• Easily accessible and hygienic public toilets across Panaji
• Solid waste management plant at Bainguinim on the lines of Saligao Plant

Water Supply & Sewarage
• Continuous and adequate supply of drinking water
• Soak pit-free Panaji through upgradation of sewarage infrastructure including Sewate Treatment Plant at EDC Patto Plaza and Ribandar
Panaji Market Complex
• Phase III of Panaji Market Complex to be constructed on modern lines
• Provide space for self-help groups and mahila mandal to sell their products
• Space for fish and meat vendors in a separate section along with sanitized fish/meat cutting and cleaning area
• Adequate measures to protect business interests of local vendors
• Adequate hygienic toilet faculties for vendors and customers
• Proper facilities for segregation and disposal of garbage generated from market
• Additional parking facility for cars and two-wheelers

Tourism & Sports
• Cultural zones with creek side cafes at EDC Patto Plaza
• Football stadium at Parade Grounds, Campal
• Development of Miramar beach with food court, changing rooms and proper parking facilities
• Football ground at Alto-Ribandar (land already acquired)

VISION DOCUMENT FOR SMART CITY

NOW we come to the politically seasoned, tempered and much mellowed contender for the Panaji by-election, Congress candidate ATANASIO (BABUSH) MONSERATTE. His reputation as a strongman precedes him. Except that many also see him as the most charitable politician of them all, never mind that there are those who say he has no heart. Love him, hate him. Monseratte is in a class all his own. Many Ponjekars will root and bank on him because they have seen he has developed his home constituency Taleigao — and the Congress manifesto for Panaji promises more or less the same mode of fast track development, hopefully with a touch of much needed sensibility and sensitivity. We highlight some of the key issues in the almost 22-page manifesto or Vision Document….

VISION DOCUMENT FOR SMART CITY

St Inez Creek
• Introduction of amphibious vehicle for periodical maintenance
• Beautification
• Introduction of aquatic animals (cultured fish), boating/kayaking
• Regular de-silting and de-weeding of the creek
• Heavy penalties to those polluting it, etc.

Casinos
• Removal of the off shore casinos from river Mandovi within 100 days
• Restoring picturesque view of Verem and Betim
• Reducing fecal contamination and protecting marine life
• Decongestion of the river for smooth river traffic

VISION DOCUMENT FOR SMART CITY

Smart City Project
• Inclusive development of Panaji
• Total transparency of the developmental projects
• Projects to be implemented in consultation with the CCP
• Systematic management and optimum usage of smart city funds assigned by the Centre

Other Highlights
• All heritage zones to be restored to their past glory through proper refurbishment of the existing dilapidated structures
• Well-designed drainage system to prevent flooding
• Renovation and restoration of Mermaid Garden, Patto Plaza, Bandodkar Grounds and Miramar Circle
• Modernisation of Panaji market
• Installation of CCTV surveillance cameras and enhanced security guards at Panaji market
• Small parking facility
• Priority to hygiene and regular maintenance in the market
• Recovery of dues and signing of lease agreements
• Sunday market for local farmers, etc
• To restore Miramar beach to its past glory with complete maintenance to make it sustainable, Wi-Fi spots at important locations, CCTV cameras, 24×7 security at the beach, heavy fine on open air cooking, etc.
• To bridge the gap between Ribandar and Panaji by making Ribandar a self-contained and self-sustainable part of the constituency.
• Other promises in the manifesto: Smart City without squandering money on consultants; inclusive development with people’s participation; financial assistance of `1 lakh to every new born girl in Panaji constituency (in addition to the already in force Laadli Laxmi scheme); financial assistance provided under various government schemes will also be upgraded; there’s a unique proposal assuring jobs for senior citizens and specially-abled people, new crematorium/kabrastan facilities, easy accessibility to government services and much more.

ELECTION SYMBOL Open Hand

RIBANDAR
There is a big disconnect between Ribandar and the main Panaji City. Wishes to bridge the gap by making Ribandar a self-contained and self-sustainable part of the constituency.
• Panaji-Ribander Road (Patto)
• Preservation of Salt-pans
• A new market place on the land allotted by the PDA
Starting Health Care Centre with Ambulance and full-fledged Casualty Unit with a 24×7 doctor facility
• Ribandar Football Ground
Construction of Jetty for the benefit of local fishermen
• New Hindu Crematorium with proper facilities at Ribandar

(The hefty Congress-Monseratte manifesto was released on Sunday and is available in soft copy to residents who may download it or make their own hard copies.)

OFFERING HOPE & HONESTY

AND so last but not least of all we come to the Aam Aadmi Party candidate VALMIKI NAIK. His vision for Panaji is filled with hope and honesty, they have a health and people-oriented manifesto focused area-wise in brief…other than what is listed here AAP promises to have a ward sabha every six months to listen to people’s problems and in the short and long run hope to offer Ponjekars a beautiful, prosperous, efficient, smart, progressive, modern, green, walkable Panaji! AAP promises a Goa free from corruption, communalism and crime…. a dream to hold on to and realize together with the co-operation of Ponjekars and Goans. Interestingly, none of AAP’s candidates have a criminal record and its manifesto is brief in comparison to the other parties…

OFFERING HOPE & HONESTY

Central Panaji
• 1 Vaddo Clinic with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Resolve monsoon issues such as flooding & septic tank over-flow
• 2-multilevel car parks within the city core
• Traffic management plan
• Resolve Municipal market issues and initiate Phase-3

Campal & Miramar
• 1 Vaddo Clinic with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Maintenance Scheme for heritage homes
• Resolve water supply, security and flooding issues on priority basis
• Football ground and upgrade Indoor Stadium
• Blue flag certification or Miramar beach

Ribandar
• Foodball ground with walking track
• Community Complex with vegetable & fish market
• Satellite facilitation centre for most government services, with library, bank and ATM
• 1 Vaddo Clinic with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Stabilization of river banks and hill slopes
• Crematorium

Mala, Fontainhas & Patto
• 2 Vaddo Clinics with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Resolve flooding issue in Mala, Rehabilitate Mala lake
• Maintenance scheme for heritage homes
• Retaining walls and slop stabilization along hillsides
• Indoor sport complex for Mala youth

ELECTION SYMBOL: broom (jhadoo)

Altinho
• Multipurpose complex with mini-market, bank & ATM
• 2 Vaddo Clinics with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Slope stabilization
• Introduce social housing projects to upgrade informal settlements above Dada Vaidya Road

St Inez
• Resolve traffic congestion & ensure pedestrians safety
• 1 Vaddo Clinic with free treatment, testing and medicines
• Safety and security in residential neighborhoods
• Play area and park

TOWARDS CLEAN POLITICS

SUBHASH VELINGKAR of the Goa Suraksha Manch is a veteran educationist and RSS stalwart, he was guru to the late Manohar Parrikar and instrumental to bringing the BJP to power in Goa. A man of formidable managerial skills, he has imbibed the spirit of Goa’s first chief minister, Dayanand Bandodkar. The GSM manifesto lines up many goodies of the public good kind…he is as different from Atanasio `Babush’ Monseratte as chalk from cheesecake!

TOWARDS CLEAN POLITICS

Overall
• Formation of Slum Clearance Board focusing on slum rehabilitation through an intrinsic perspective keeping in mind the needs of those concerned.
• Proper and judicious utilisation of the funds allocated for the Smart City Project.
• Formation of a nodal agency for better co-operation among the various government departments, which will avoid frequent events like road digging.
• Intra-city transport form various points for the constituency.
• Prompt filling up of vacancies in courts.
• Relocation of government offices and go-downs to the outskirts of the Panaji City with the aim of decongesting roads.
• Renovation of government quarters which have remained in total neglect.
• Priority to timely procurement and sale of Goan agricultural produce through the Goa Horticulture Corporation.
• Preservation of heritage houses in Panaji.
• Uninterrupted power supply.
• Regular water supply.
• Construction of the second phase of Panaji market and maintenance of existing market in a hygienic manner.
• Finding a permanent solution to over flooding of streets during monsoon.
• Periodic visits to all the wards of the constituency and interaction with the residents.
• Proper visits to all the wards of the constituency and interaction with the residents.
• Proper maintenance and utilization of open spaces like Parade Grounds and D B Bandodkar Stadium.
• Proper maintenance of Dayanand Bandodkar Samadhi and will be made open for the citizens to visit.
• Cleaning and beautification of Rua de Ourem creek and Mala lake.
• Conservation and protection of the 400 years old Ribandar causeway, the vast salt pans and mangroves existing alongside.
• Establishment of Goan Heritage & Culture Centre to provide information relating to the state of Goa and its culture.

ELECTION SYMBOL: Blackboard

On Environment
• Removal of casinos from the Mandovi river.
• Execution of rainwater harvesting projects with the help of experts.
• Maintenance of springs and wells existing in the city.
• Implementation of the plastic ban with the help of non-governmental organizations.

Enhancing the quality of living of residents:
• Ensuring availability of advanced information and booking system at the Panaji Bus Stand to reduce hassles faced by citizens regarding the same. Upgradation of sanitation facilities there.
• Formation of committee of each ward to redressal of grievances of residents.
• Construction of modern multi-level parking structures wherever possible.
• Upgradation of footpaths.
• Cleaning of St Inez creek and construction of barricades along the same.
• Setting up of a primary healthcare centre, jogging park and recreation centres at Ribandar.
• Regular lifting of garbage.

For students/youth
• Organisation of an efficient bus system along the route from Panaji to Cujira School Complex.
• Establishment of Centre for Development of Skill Education in collaboration with IIT, NIT, GEC, Polytechnic, ITI, etc.
• Opening study rooms for students.

On Employment
• Implementation of Skill Development Sector Scheme along with the setting up of a Youth Information Centre within the constituency.
• Advising government with respect to creation of job opportunities by setting up non-polluting industries and prompt filling of vacancies in government posts.

All the above schemes will be planned / implemented by the concerned Government Agencies, local Self-Govt bodies under active monitoring of the Panaji MLA.

ELECTION SYMBOL:
Blackboard

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