Issue Unrestricted Licences for Auto-Rickshaws
It has become a common practice in cities like Delhi that auto-rickshaws decline to move according to fare-metres and to required destinations even despite fares having been increased as per their demands. Only remedy is to issue unrestricted licences for auto-rickshaws so that these may be in so plenty on city-roads that auto-rickshaw drivers may not find it easy to decline moving according to fare-metres, or to go to desired destinations of the passengers. With public-transport including metro-rail and buses already over-crowded, auto-rickshaws if made available in plenty without any restriction on their numbers can only be a feasible solution to reduce number of cars on city-roads. Over-crowded roads and parking-sites and heavily increased parking charges will practically make car-owners to use auto-rickshaws if available in plenty. Rounding-off of auto-fares in multiples of rupees five by proper setting of fare-meters is also necessary to overcome problem of coins of small denominations. In case there are court-stays on increasing auto-rickshaws in the city, concerned governments should move to courts for vacating the stay.
MADHU AGRAWAL, New Delhi
Curb Price Rise during IFFI
The international film ‘show’ for a few Indians, IFFI began in Panaji. As most of the films are going to be shown mainly at Panaji- Kala Academy and Inox theatres which naturally leads to a threefold increase of floating public due to the delegates, besides regular tourists. This annual feature of state sponsored film festival mainly helps the luxury hotel business class and also bars and restaurants in the city. Such a massive rise in population in the small capital city causes huge traffic jams and price rise in daily food items as public consumption rapidly rises, leading to massive economic burden on the ordinary citizen of Panaji, who is not involved in the business of hotels, restaurants bars or casinos. Therefore the present government must take necessary social welfare measures to mitigate the financial inconveniences caused to economically backward citizens of Panaji, by subsidising the artificial rise in the cost of living due to a state organized festival. The immediate past government reached out to the truck owners who were unable to tide over loans, by subsidising them with a considerable amount of monthly emoluments from the state exchequer due to stoppage of business of mining, although such a business was declared illegal by the Apex Court of India. Similar demands for a subsidy due to artificial price rise of essential commodities should be met to Panaji residents and the present state authorities should provide some financial relief rather than wait for political vultures to descend on Panaji to grab the legislative seat, by taking advantage of such economic weaknesses, at the time when the ensuing elections for Panaji constituency will be due to be held sooner or later. In the alternative the government needs to adopt stringent measures to prevent hoarding in Panaji city, and such rise in essential food items by setting up more state or owned kiosks to sell subsidised vegetables and other essential commodities.
RUI FERREIRA, Panaji
High Expectations from New Defence Minister
The induction of Manohar Parrikar as the Defence Minister of India was a fitting acknowledgement for the man for being a great administrator and taking Goa towards new heights of progress and development and likewise it was an occasion for the locals to rejoice and be proud of their great leader. It is but natural that with a new person assuming office of such importance, great expectations galore from all fronts. It is worth realizing that the defence portfolio is of national importance and as a natural upshot the hopes and expectations should be focussed on evolving new or additional paradigms on strengthening the defence forces and ensuring greater security of the nation from the borders across, particularly at a time when the country is besieged with the threat of terrorism from outside and within. It is obvious that people would want the ministry to finalize proper defence deals with the world’s best suppliers, without any trace of favouritism so that we do not land in endless scams like the Bofors kickback and so on. In particular one would expect greater attention be devoted towards the long coastline that India is bestowed with so that there can be no loopholes left for the infiltrators and extremists to intrude in our land and ruin our peace. The people can rest assured only when the nation is fortified from all fronts. However it is intriguing that there are a lot of demands from the locals, arising out of petty self-centered views. People want the Defence Minister to reclaim land from the navy for providing parking at the congested Dabolim airport. The other collective voices are braying to drive the navy out of Goa and utilize the entire land for expanding the Dabolim airport. Is this not ridiculous? Why are we so much fanatical only of local interests unmindful of the fact that the Navy is needed now and forevermore to guard our maritime boundary? Importantly all this is being done with a single motive of scrapping the Mopa airport, which should never be encouraged. The outcry against the Mopa airport as we have said before is not tenable. It is an offshoot of narrow parochialism intended to divide the state on the basis of regional and religious line. Some legislators notably the first time entrants have been quite vociferous in opposing the Mopa airport, even contending that it would have no access.
May we remind such people that not everything is presented on a platter with easy access but the area can be made accessible, as most of the places today are, including the capital city which is otherwise surrounded by water. So let our ranting be restricted to meaningful demands and broad-based.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES