Women Taxi Service, A Good Initiative
In a smart move, the tourism department has introduced trained lady taxi drivers, meters at approved rates and modern communication devices. The taxi union must see the writing on the wall. Consumers do not owe them a living. For too long, they have been able to strong-arm the government and tourism business. In today’s world, consumer is the king and the service, the name of the game. To survive, the male taxi drivers now need to compete with competitive rates and improved services, and try to salvage their reputation if they care for Goa’s positive development. On the other hand, the lady taxi service will have to build its reputation about rendering an honest, safe and reliable service worthy of correcting the reputation and image of Goa taxi services.
JOHN ERIC GOMES, Porvorim
Don’t Park Vehicles at Bus Shelters
At a bus shelter situated adjacent to HDFC Bank at Tisk in Ponda, vehicles are often seen parked haphazardly at the entrance area. It is not only the two-wheelers, but even cars are seen parked in the bus shelter area, thus causing inconvenience to commuters waiting for buses at the bus shelter. The parking of vehicles restricts their movement at the bus shelter to a great extent. Further, at some other bus shelters, two-wheelers are seen parked inside the sheltered area. Many office-goers park their vehicles at the bus shelters in the morning and return back to remove them only in the evening after their office hours, thus using the bus shelters as a parking area. A bus shelter situated at Konnem-Priol is a perfect example of how people use it to park their vehicles. I hope the concerned authorities take a serious note of this and initiate prompt appropriate action against those who use the bus shelters to park their vehicles.
PRAVIN U SARDESSAI, Adpai
Let’s Boycott Inhuman Fire Cracker Industry
During the Diwali season, lots of articles, editorials and letters appear on different newspapers protesting against crackers, which not only give rise to air and sound pollution, but also inflict terrible pain upon the eardrums and hearts of vulnerable babies, senior citizens and patients. These protests are extremely praiseworthy, but rarely do we view the menace from another angle. Apart from the much-talked about ill-effects of the crackers, the industry which produces it also brutally promotes child labour – the innocent vulnerable ones being made to slave day in and day out in the most unfriendly conditions. If we learn to visualise the tears and utter helplessness of those hapless kids before bursting a fire cracker, we will certainly succeed in desisting ourselves from reaching out to the match box. If all people are inspired to not sponsor the industries which exploit children, the units are bound to suffer an immense financial loss. They would be left with no other option but to spare the children and employ adults. And instead of being merely rhetoric, different welfare schemes need to be urgently launched for the rescued children. Space/Moon/Mars mission can wait; at first human dignity and child welfare needs to be ensured. To eradicate the dreaded policy of apartheid, the world did not wage a war with arms against South Africa. Instead, the international community merely boycotted the country from every affair. Along with the struggle of Nelson Mandela, the tactics of boycott also played a great role in putting an end to the apartheid regime. Similarly, the inhuman fire cracker industry can also be taught a lesson if we refuse to get lured by the “joy” of bursting crackers and instead learn to boycott it.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, Kolkata
Minimise Glitches in Govt Dept Computer Networks
The news that the electricity department in Goa has launched facilities for online payment of its bills is indeed glad tidings for consumers who now don’t have to wait in long queues to dispense off with this obligation. With the government intending to optimally leverage information technology to restructure government-citizen interface with the objective of providing good governance, none can doubt the commitment of the government to provide all its services through e-governance applications in the near future. One can already apply for a host of services through the eServices portal of Goa government to get the details desired. Procedures to obtain a licence, certificate, registration and cancellation, etc of various departments are now just ‘a press of a key’ away. Accordingly, as more and more functions in various departments are computerised, one would have thought it was adieu to the cumbersome paperwork that would end the “bureaucratic practice of hair splitting or foot dragging, blamed by its practitioners on the system that forces them to follow prescribed procedures to the letter,” or so one presumed. On a recent visit to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Labour and Employment, at Margao, along with my businessman friend for the purpose of renewing his contract labour licences, I was aghast to see a huge crowd of applicants who were waiting for their challans to be prepared by the concerned clerk so that the stipulated amount could be remitted in the State Bank of India as the fees for renewal. Apparently the labour department had gone in for computerisation, and a glitch in the network system had led to the inordinate delay in issuing the challans. I even overheard the staff complaining that they were better off with the manual system that allowed for a quicker effecting of the work. Of course, computerised workings will henceforth be the order of the day in all government departments, but it needs to be done in a phased manner. An abrupt change to the new system will entail undue hardships, testing the patience of the staff and also the applicants. Moreover, the authorities need to ensure that the problems of speed and connectivity, the bane of networking systems the world over, aren’t allowed to crop up frequently to disrupt normal workings.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO