CORRUPT: Both the Councillors and the officials of the CCP are allegedly extremely corrupt. They harass the residents of Panaji who depend on the CCP to register births and death certificates.The arrears of house tax is huge with CCP not even collecting a house tax from commercial organisations like banks and rents from commercial establishments occupying space belonging to CCP.
DR JOE D’SOUZA, who is a keen Ponjekar and at the mercy of problems thrown up by an indifferently governed and developed capital city, has something vital to say to voters in the civic elections taking place on March 20. It is now or never! Make your vote count for something different and better….
THE overall governance of Panjim city is at its lowest currently in terms of quality of life of Ponjekars. The immature and highly irresponsible behavior of those whom we have elected to power to afford us quality lives and meaningful livelihoods have assumed all powers and authority on to themselves and suffocated the humble voters into hapless citizenry. Making the common man totally dependent on who pretend to be public servants serving citizens.
What comes as an added nail to the coffin of Ponjekars woes is the fact the bureaucracy, an important pillar of governance and here to help the electorate, is covertly hand in glove with the illiterate and irresponsible politicians in power – in suppressing the rights of the common man. They are here only to enjoy the fruit of power and office to make hay whilst the sun shines upon them.
Today, the entire bureaucracy in Goa in particular has expressed a visible anti-people attitude. We now believe an IAS makes up an I Agree, Sir administration! I will confine this essay in particular only to describe how the I Agree, Sir bureaucrats have aided the destruction of Panjim and the CCP in particular.
We know that like a headless jumping chicken the Captain of Ports has promoted the casino culture in Panjim along the Panjim jetty areas. Instead of focusing on vital aspects of fisheries and making this space available to senior citizens and youth of Goa for engaging in clean swimming, sailing and other water sports as it used to be in the past, our CCP has magnificently allocated jetty spaces to casinos to build their infrastructures and thereby creating chaos on the city roads and encouraging criminal activities which are looming large on the pavements around amidst garbage strewn all around by patronizing gamblers and staff of the offshore casinos squatting on the river Mandovi.
Then we look at the miserable plight of the residents of Panjim. The river Mandovi today along with its iconic Inez Creek has been transformed into a sewer most foul and creates a foul, polluted atmosphere along its course with haphazard flow of traffic spewing dust particles and mono oxides of nitrogen, carbon and sulphur, generating respiratory infections and general physiological distress for the residents of Panjim. The CCP Commissioner acts helpless and unconcerned as he blames the CCP and the Panjim Police for the chaos and in turn the Panjim Police blame the CPP for issuing licenses to casinos without application of mind.
Water is life and the entire central Panjim does not have the basic water supply needed for basic survival needs. We were promised 24x7x365 water as early as 2000 . However, the water supply engineering staff are partly corrupt and also manipulated to ensure that most of the water goes to offices and kitchens of the casino lobby, as well as commercial complexes. Greasing of palms is the order of the day.
Panjim MLA Babush Monserrate who was not too long ago winning election on Congress ticket and pro-residents and anti-casinos, is now boss of the saffron BJP brigade and anti-residents! He is no longer a no nonsense MLA. And sadly Panjim is reeling badly and festering in the pseudo garb of development. Its residents have depended on residents of Mapuca or Taleigao to come and be leaders to help and address their woes! Naturally, without success for the last 30 years.
Yours sincerely has brought to the notice of the water supply engineering staff about the poor quality of turbid water, low and inadequate water supply in central Panjim and the ill effects of sewage mixing in the water supply pipes. Sadly no scientific solutions to the supply of safe is forthcoming so water woes continue to grow.
There are twin Panjims in the CCP. The old residential houses do not get water properly and have to rely on paid tanker water, while the commercial units along with the casino establishments misusing and manipulating water meters made available to them two to three times a day. Of course the Bombay High Court has exposed the meek and cheeky State Election Commission and recently delivered judgment on all the Goa Municipal election scams. Our arrogant Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had to eat humble pie when the Supreme Court too upheld the judgment delivered by the Bombay High Court.
The manipulation in the CCP elections are glaring and conspicuous too but the Opposition of citizens did not take the matter to the Panjim Hight Court, so we continue to suffer.
For me personally, the CCP elections have become a farce for I am a resident of Ward No 27, with all my neighbors enlisted therein. I have been shunted off exclusively in Ward 24 a kilometer outside my residential jurisdiction at the Panjim jetty. I’ve been posted out for voting to St Inez and being a senior citizen this is both challenging and meaningless. Residing next to the jetty and where all the casino activities go on as a lone resident I live with menacing threats and challenges, for the casino industry is a huge nuisance with its nocturnal offshore activities of gambling, bouts of crime, prostitution, open free parking in no parking zones, regular consumption of alcohol, frequent defecation in corners, street brawls and loud noise of casino employees who find the entrance spaces of residences ideal for time pass. The MLA of Panjim himself has asserted that Ward No 27 is in chaos because police are not doing their job, but he forges ahead merrily! The government as well as the State Election Commission have failed the voters of Panaji miserably.
Thsio time around the delimitation ctitivityw as a total farce and a glaring example of manipulation of voters. All round family members from one household wre haphazardly distributed into two and three wards without social and scientific justification.
To add another nail on the coffin of citizens’ woes we have the newly carved out No27 ward which has been reserved for women for the last 15 years! What is silly and funny is the residents of coastal Panjim are today facing nocturnal challenges and have to depend on women corporators to redress the night challenges when policing is a non-starter. Our Municipal corporators and administrators find it convenient to blame the government and vice versa for the quality of life after CCP elections! Panjim and its old peaceful ambience is deteriorating and this continues unabated with murder of senior citizens, crime festers more and more and this is a growing menace for citizens especially where maintenance of infrastructure and quality of life is abysmally low with pathetic pavements, stinking rivers and traffic chaos and criminals lurking around for an opportunity to harass a resident. Is a good quality of life for Ponjekars now a distant dream?
It is time for the people of Goa to take up the issue of dereliction of duty by officers serving in the Municipal administration, water supply divisions, Captain of Ports, traffic and crime cells of police which are corrupt, pliable, malleable and dutifully acting in league with corrupt, uneducated and self-promoting political individuals…and punish them for allowing our public finances to be misused.
In the CCP we have the market scams, the parking fiascos, the water supply scandals and the ghost workers bonanza for the elected corporators must be done away with. Residents of Panjim should not suffer the festering, degrading and disastrous environmental after effects due to faulty and manipulated electoral exercises. Wake up voters — before it is too late to save ourselves and our once iconic heritage city of Panjim.
Capsule of voting population of Goa…
— Voter population increased from 10 lakh to 11.50 lakh in last few years
— 1.50 lakh increase in mostly non-Goan voters
— 8.50lakh are Hindus, 2.10 lakh are Catholics and 90,000 are Muslims
— 35-40% of these 11.50 lakh votes are non-Goan voters settled in Goa