Blame Game On Bad Roads
THIS is with reference to the news report ‘Contractors to face penalties over potholed roads’ (NT, September 4, 2018). The PWD cannot escape responsibility for the potholed roads in Goa by blaming contractors for failing to maintain the roads in the state under the mandatory three-year maintenance period clause. If the PWD’s hands are tied during the three-year period then the least they can do is to impose heavy penalties and forfeit the deposit of the defaulting contractors, as is the regular practice in all government contracts. It is a pity that this is still not being done in Goa. Secondly, let us not blame the heavy rain for the potholed-ridden Goa roads. Bitumen roads are widely used all over the country and have withstood the combined onslaught of rain and heavy traffic for years without deterioration, when constructed in accordance with the specifications laid down by the Indian Road Congress. Poor supervision and patchwork repairs are the cause of the present state of our Goa roads.
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM
Save Education From Profiteers
THE Teacher’s Day reminded us that we must think how to translate education for all into action. B R Ambedkar exhorted us to educate, agitate and organise for the survival of our democracy. Indeed, the education of citizens is the first prerequisite for the growth of democracy. Unfortunately, education, especially the higher education, has been made accessible only for the high income groups in our country by letting profiteers hijack it and by allowing astronomical increase in the fee structure that keeps many deserving students out of college campus especially the technical ones. Since educational scholarship is not enough to meet the demands, the lower and middle class have practically been thrown out of the higher educational institutions. Now parents are to cough up a new form of dowry if they want to give their children higher education that can do justice to their school board marksheets and aspirations. This new version of educational dowry has gone up to such a level that only those who belong to the creamy layer of the society can afford to pay. Thus the capacity of parents’ credit cards has become a more important factor in our higher education system than a student’s marks in his or her merit card. Many students commit suicide when their parents fail to finance their education.
SUJIT DE, KOLKATA
Dangers Of Electronic Waste
THE widespread use of computers has made it very important to handle e-waste in a proper and scientific manner. Just like plastic waste, electronic waste can also have a huge negative impact on human lives and the environment. Electronic waste affects nearly every system in the human body. Studies have shown that the health effects of these toxins on humans include birth defects, brain, heart, liver, kidney and skeletal system damage. They also significantly affect the nervous and reproductive systems of the body. When computers and other electronic waste are incinerated they release cancer-producing dioxins which are released into the air we breathe. If electronic waste is thrown in landfills, these toxins may leach into groundwater and contaminate it. It is pertinent to note that recently an e-waste collection drive was conducted at Lotoulim which was a huge success. Such a drive need to be held in other cities and villages as well. Alternatively the civic bodies and panchayats in the state could have a permanent e-waste collection centre where citizens can dispose of their non-working computers and other electronic goods.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO