THE world successfully crossed the 2020-year end with some what more maturity! While WHO provided guidelines on how to handle pandemic Covid-19 the Pope in Rome was saddened that people were out holidaying without any respect for they were putting at risk from the coronavirus contagion.
The two vaccines approved in the US have a 95% efficacy rate. Their storage temperature being -70C and -20C-means they will not be deployed to India as we have unreliable storage facilities and transportation woes. The vaccines approved for use in India do not clearly specify efficacy rates. Reports list the same in the range of 70%! So is it worth the amount of money and logistics to push a 70% efficacy rate vaccine when 95% efficacy ones are available?
Post vaccination still requires social distancing and masks. Human beings have a penchant for flouting norms, even when a mutant, fast spreading virus, has arrived on our shores and is lurking — witnessed here in Goa itself during the NYE celebrations. A review is definitely called for. Is it worth rolling out a vaccination program in populous India where SOPs are flouted all the time, is it worth it vis-a-vis effort, logistics, cost? Which electrical protection device do you use at home which is 70% or 95% reliable?
It all boils down to the budget. Since viruses are national threats and pandemic infections predicted to be more prevalent (Ebola, swine and bird flu, Covid 19) we need to budget to take precautions. Ditch the space programs and concentrate on -70C storage and transportation capabilities. Increase hospital beds, doctors and improve transportation – so there is no crowding indoor or outdoors.
In Goa tourists are five times more than the local people and they have little discipline while on holiday! So we need 100% efficacy rate vaccines! This would call for some astute statesmanship — conspicuously absent in current Goa and India. Or maybe we have more jellyfish!
— R Fernandes, Margao

THE government of India has been talking about protecting the rights of Tribals in India. If this is the case then the government of Goa should include the names of all the residents of Melauli village in every Survey number and sub-division number in the Form I & XIV so as to empower them as far as ownership rights to land on which they reside and work is concerned. This mutation proceedings should be done free of charge immediately.
If to date the locals of Melauli have been denied their basic legal entitlement because of their ignorance, this wrong should be righted now. Democracy is government of the people, for the people and by the people. In many of Goa’s villages farmers and residents of large lands have been marginalized and cheated of their entitlement which they possess by virtue of tilling the land and earning their livelihood.
If the law is to be amended it should be done to confer rightful ownership rights to farmers, cultivators and residents of villages in Goa. The exploitation should cease and people’s right to land ownership protected. No double standards, please. Shift the IIT project to an acceptable place. Recently, a politician offered alternative land for the IIT project.
— Elvidio Miranda, Panaji
THE public statement made by Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate that it is time to make way for younger persons to run the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) is so very commendable. His assertion that 80% of the sitting corporators would be nixed at the ensuing CCP elections is further admirable. Let’s hope former earlier corporators don’t find their way through under the guise that they are not sitting corporators. New faces have to be truly new, young and energetic.
The other advice given by Monserrate to sitting corporators is they step down and allow their children to contest, this is very outrageous to say the least! Is politics now openly to be reduced to a family business and trader’s paradise? This advice encouraging others to step down and replace it with family Raj politics is akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is only a new broom that sweeps clean and not a second hand replica!
Governance has to be a selfless dedicated mission and not a means to rise quickly from rags to riches. While appreciating Babush Monserrate’s opinion that the CCP should be managed by capable young persons, doesn’t our honourable MLA feel that in 1922 Panaji deserves a more educated and energetic young MLA with a broad vision to rescue Goa’s capital city which has been languishing in the dumps for decades now?
It is said that money is the root of all evil. Unfortunately, today it is the only route that power and money intoxicated politicians at every level, use to win elections. Politics and power in office is an investment rather than an aspiration to do public good. This ground reality has to change if Goa is to move out of the current political and economic quagmire. If we cannot practice what we preach the people have a lot to be worried about. Bhivpachi Goroz Asa!
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

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