LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED JULY 02 2022

Jago Grahak Jago!

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Goa State Consumer Rights Day celebrations were organized by the Directorate of Food & Drugs Administration at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on June 27, 2022. Attendees of the event included Chief Officer (Margao Municipal Council) Rohit Kadam, Roland Martins, Jyoti Sardessai and Richard Noronha. Representatives of Consumers Clubs of educational institutions from Mormugao and Salcete Taluka and volunteers from consumer forum also attended the program. “Jago Grahak Jago” is a consumer awareness program launched in 2005 by the Department of Food (government of India), the slogan translates to “Wake Up Customer!” and urges everyone to check labels on consumer goods for expiry dates and ingredients amongst other things.

STRANGE GOVERNMENT!

NEW power minister has hiked the power tariff to take care of street light maintenance. Does he know the meaning of budget? There are 90 lakh tourists visiting Goa annually and just 15 lakh citizens. City infrastructure is more for tourists than locals! It’s find if locals suffer in traffic congestion, give up visiting beaches, pay for parking, tolerate filthy garbage-strewn beaches and public places, and forgo water so that swimming pools may be filled for the benefit of tourists and casino-goers.
Where does the money earned from tourism going? Whose pockets does it go into? Tap that and not torture locals like the feudal lords of yore! This is the type of orientation any assembly workshop course must drill into MLAs. Our MLAs forget that citizens must come first and not tourists! Especially our local BJP MLAs and central BJP leaders.
And the chief minister of Goa wants to find out why Goa was not liberated earlier when his ministers can’t even handle a simple Panchayat election on time! NGOs are replying to the CM’s allegations: they must make a white paper of how many times they saved Goan land, mining, etc, and file a PIL to show this government is not capable of administration. They can’t even hold a Panchayat election.
— R Fernandes, Margao

GUTTER POLITICS!
THE BJP has taken the political turf to a very new low. Armed with abundant financial power and backed by the law enforcement authorities in targeting its detractors, the BJP has now mastered the art of cobbling a government and overthrowing other political parties. Even in states where the BJP has been in power, they have gone all out to destabilize the Opposition.After having now successfully managed its horse trading in Maharashtra, the BJP’s next political target will be Rajasthan.
What we have been witnessing has been very distressing with political morality submerged under the weight of money and muscle power. The BJP should realize that if a person like Atal Bihari Vajpayee was at their helm he would never have allowed such sickening political chicanery to proliferate.
In the recent events in Maharashtra we need to commend Uddhav Thackeray’s very dignified manner in which he faced the political crisis generated and orchestrated by the BJP. On the very day that his Shiv Sena party MLAs rebelled, Uddhav moved out of his official chief minister’s bungalow, sending a very clear message that he would not deviously cling to the chair.
As chief minister Uddhav acted as a statesman and he governed with a sense of courage, commitment, sincerity and compassion. In 2004, I had the privilege to have a very pleasant interaction with him while he was visiting Goa. It was arranged by the then Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP, the late Ekanath Thakur, who hailed from our neighboring Sindhudurg.
—Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

PANJIM SMART CITY?
WE Dona Paula residents and others who venture into Panjim have two routes. One is via Caranzalem-Tonca road and other via the outer Dona Paula-Miramar road. Two-wheeler riders prefer to take the Tonca route as it is convenient because of less sunlight, less traffic and now during rainy season you can find a temporary shelter if the rain makes it too difficult to move ahead.
Most Dona Paula prefer to take this Caranzalen route. Now we find the inner road is blocked for traffic, including pedestrians near the St Inez bridge. It’s taking a long time whatever they are doing during the monsoon season!
I have enquired when this stretch over the St Inez bridge will be opened up for smooth traffic flow but even the residents in the area don’t know and they say maybe by the end of this year at least. CCP authorities and especially Mayor Rohit Monserrate promised he is monitoring progress but it appears the work load plan is so much increased that the stretch is totally blocked with barricades.
If Manohar Parrikar were here he surely would have found a solution so that work is done in phases and especially in the pre-monsoon season and during monsoon time! Our present engineers at CCP take no interest in the public and its predicaments. There is no other way but to join the outer road via Dhempe college road or if I forget I go further and have to come back via Salgaokar college.
It is my habit that I don’t like to use the main outer road as often times I have to waste time near the Sharda Mandir School and there is always heavy traffic down here mornings and evenings especially and also now that schools have recommenced. Perhaps the school could e shifted out to the Taleigao or Bambolim plateau where there is more safety and peace!
The outer road is a hazard with both four-wheelers and two-wheelers and these days you should see how much water collects here, so that one may get thoroughly splashed by cars and buses speeding by and because of the flooding on the sides everyone wanting to take the centre of the road.
Can we call Panjim or Panaji by any stretch of imagination a smart city? Goa’s capital city has been deteriorating so much and nothing has been done by GSIDC or government to help this city although much money has gone down the drain or into various contractors’ pockets. CCP and PWD engineers don’t seem to have any knowledge of road common-sense and drainage systems. It is only in fancy imagination that Panjim gets upgraded into smart city!
True, some beautification has taken for rest and recreation for visitors and tourists who come to Miramar beach but locals are not impressed by the tourists here with their perennial littering ways and I don’t even see any clear signages!
Our authorities think their only job is to approve buildings and how high they should go! We can even see 12-storey buildings in low-lying areas which are built up in concrete but the flooding still continues. God forbid that these high-rise buildings are on poor foundation and likely to start sinking in a few years.
—Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

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