PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Driving has always been an ordeal on Goan roads and with the onset of monsoon it has been all the more cumbersome. For that matter, commuting during the rainy season has come with its own tales of horrors and miseries with the person along for the ride cursing everything from the pot-hole ‘studded’ roads to the recklessness of fellow-drivers whose antics on the roads defy all perceptions of sensible and safe driving. To begin with, the PWD has no qualms about pushing ahead with its agenda of temporary-asphalting of patches on various stretches of roads unmindful of the impending period of wet-spells. It is as if the department has always had the comforts of the travelling public uppermost in its mind and would not want them to experience the perils of roads that have all along cried for immediate attention. However, the sudden flurry of activities on the thoroughfares of the state no sooner the Cumulonimbus clouds darken the overhead sky fascinate the members of the public no more considering that the perennial repair works have not brought much relief to them earlier either. Very much as farcical and meaningless as the pre-monsoon maintenance works carried out by the electricity department every year, tending to pot-holed roads has been the favourite pastime of the Public Works Department. In fact the road-tax levied by the Transport Department on vehicles during registration ceases to have any relevance when the roads that are to be traversed upon do not confirm to the standards expected. The abysmal condition of the roads needs to be taken cognizance of by the RTO who, as the designated authority on safe travelling, should be coordinating with other departments involved ensuring that motorists are not put inconvenience for no fault of theirs. But the Transport Department is conspicuous by its insensitiveness to the driver’s plight, concerning itself largely with their penalization for traffic infringements instead. That is the level of readiness exhibited by various departments of the government when dealing with a climate that has all the potential to evolve into one that has cataclysmic consequences. But that is not to say that these ‘departmental’ shortcomings absolve members of the public who create unnecessary issues on the roads with their irresponsible driving during the wet-season of adding to the monsoon woes.