THE MOST GENUINE SALUTE OF THEM ALL…. Working class mazdoor in the market place paying their own tribute on the 75th Republic Day of India. May the working classes of India do better for themselves in 2023!
(Picture courtesy Facebook.)


APARKS have started flying about the amount of pilferage in power supply and losses due to transmission — but still no answers are forthcoming. Power Minister Nilesh Cabral should make these figures public after conducting a thorough investigation in the power pilferages going on. The way of calculating this, is very simple, subtract the total billed power supply from the total power that Goa receives and the net amount goes unpaid for.
It is the Electricity department’s duty to be able to calculate the sources and other pilferage transmission losses. Overhead wires offer major opportunities to steal illegal connections and who knows when Goa is going to achieve underground cabling?
Those not paying for power consumption, please make their names and outstanding bills public knowledge. Efforts should be forthcoming to account for all losses instead of increasing the power tariff by 6% and making paying consumers suffer. Efficient management of electricity is the best way to plug the deficit amount.
The Electricity department should be able by having pilferage vigilantes identify consumers who are involved in power thefts, especially at building construction sites, and who are not paying for the electricity used. A white paper on the cost of electrical energy coming into Goa, then the difference of cost to power supply including transmission losses should be made public. Zero in on those who are involved in power thefts in Goa.
I notice at various sources and probably at Samadhi sites where meter board is seen fixed at odd places with haphazard cable loose wires, and am not sure whether billing is done every month; ditto for religious temporary structures, illegal housing constructions which are directly given connections from Electricity department sources, and many other places by tapping electricity poles in the vicinity with dummy meter or no meter!
—Stephan Dias, Dona Paula

MEDIA is the fourth pillar of our democracy. But in today’s world of click bait journalism it is seen that Facebook and Twitter posts of news portals publish news without verification. An example in case is that of the diktat by the Collector of South Goa, calling for contributions for a charity event.
It has been a tradition in South Goa Collectorate to raise contributions from amongst officers and staff on voluntary basis, and then use the funds for celebrating Christmas at old age homes and orphanages. This is a noble act of bringing happiness in the lives of those who are less fortunate. But media reports foolishly indicate the funds were being raised by the Collector for Republic Day celebrations.
A responsible media would not rush to print such news without verifying it with the right authorities. If this is not irresponsible journalism, what is it?
—Sadanand Raikar, Colva, Salcete.

THERE should be zero tolerance to even the faintest governmental interference in the functioning of our Judiciary. The Constitution of India is very clear on the distinct roles of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. It envisages a free, fair and independent Judiciary. The highest standards of judicial independence must always be ensured.
With the sanctity of the other pillars of our democracy currently severely dented, our only hope is the Judiciary, but with the government wanting to overpower the Judiciary too, there is a very disturbing disquiet over the slippery slope on which judicial values are slithering.
An effective Judiciary guarantees fairness in judicial processes and transparency. The public must be confident that the judiciary is beyond reproach. Transparency is a fundamental component of judicial independence. Any direct or indirect interference by the politicians in the selection, elevation and promotion of judges or even in their transfer is a threat to the very independence of the Judiciary.
If the Judiciary is reduced to being a mouthpiece of the government, the courts will lose all relevance. It has to be ensured that judicial accountability is maintained at all times with every judge conforming to the highest standards of uprightness and integrity in the rule of law. If judges cannot independently balance the scales of justice, our “Temples of Justice” become meaningless.
Judges should fearlessly take on the authorities for their illegal actions. The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and an independent Judiciary, which is truly independent. A Judiciary that is accountable only to the Rule of Law and never ever succumbs to those in Power.
—Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

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