Tuesday , 23 October 2018
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Poor Service of Public Works Department
The photos of a trailer-truck with its front tyre resting firmly in a massive pothole of the freshly ‘spruced’ stretch of the Arlem-bypass highway near Margao last week, causing a traffic hold-up for quite some time, should serve to jolt the public works authorities out of a reverie, if the embarrassment caused is not enough. In the normal course when stray cattle have a field day on these roads with their squatting antics disrupting traffic; come rains, heavy-vehicles seem to be acquiring unintended parking places for themselves courtesy the large ‘ditches’ on the road surface. Rather than believe that potholes are formed by the extremes of weather, one would be more comfortable with the notion that sub-standard works carried out leads to such problems. One also tends to get highly skeptical about the methods employed by the public works department to check the quality of works being carried out by various contractual agencies. One is however of the opinion that the routine formality of patching up roads undertaken at the onset of monsoon is a total waste of public money and serves no purpose; for, normally a good shower is enough to wash away the ‘repairs’ and leave the thoroughfares in a far worse condition than they were in before. For that matter, public utility works suffer the most during the rains with the concerned departments performing at their nadir during the season. If the power woes have been a testing experience for the populace during the monsoons, the horrible condition of our roads and highways have prompted many amongst the public to muse over the wisdom of paying such substantial amounts by way of road tax to the government. Let us remember that these are services which benefit all of society. Moreover, as the government levies a charge for these services which is by no means nominal, the public is well within its rights to demand a fairly good public utility system, roads included.
Pachu Menon, Margao
Clarify Stand On Baina Demolitions
Since the last couple of days we are getting diverse reports on the demolition of over 70 shanties affecting some 370 people in Baina in Marmugao taluka. We are uncertain as to why the hutments were razed much to the anguish of the ill-fated and helpless dwellers. Is it because the shelters that were built violated the provisions of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ)? If that is so then how is it that a new structure to house a bar and restaurant is allowed to come up in the same area. It is also alleged that the temporary structures were illegal constructions. If it is so then how were they allowed to proliferate over time, without taking prompt action there and then, to put an end to the menace? The opposition has been targeting the move as politically motivated, possibly in view of the change in government, apparently because the said area was not the vote bank of the ruling BJP. The Chief Minister has been saying that the hutments were demolished in the interest of the villagers as the rising waves during high tide could be dangerous to the inhabitants. Irrespective of what the reality is we want to know why was such drastic action taken to render the people homeless in the middle of the rainy season? We read reports that there are families with infants, including new-born babies who are driven to face the fury of nature. This is inhuman whether we accept it or not and against the law of nature. Even in the earlier Parrikar-led government similar drive of devastation was carried out in the same village in the midst of the monsoons, in the name of cleansing the state from the menace of red light area.
MICHAEL VAZ, Merces

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