Making Our Lawmakers Accountable
Our lawmakers are behaving like Maharajas and enforce laws that no civilised democratic nation should have under the guise of security or controlling corruption. However, they will not ensure that no tickets are given to criminals and tainted candidates. The vaguely-worded National Securities Act (NSA) and deadly sedition laws are often misused by the government. Give them half a chance and they will misuse power like for example Aadhar imposition and expansion, diluting people’s right to security/privacy without proper infrastructure for safe implementation, resulting in starvation deaths and untold miseries for the people. It is high time we all agreed to tell government the following, briefly: 1) Rule must be made both, for the Centre and the states according to which absenteeism of any minister for more than three months automatically results in his or her removal from the post. Long medical illness should be reimbursed only if the lawmaker is treated in government hospitals in India and the details of medical expenditure should be made available on government sites. Scrap lawmakers’ current healthcare system so that they participate in the same healthcare system as the common citizens. 2) Lawmakers must generally abide by all laws imposed on the Indian citizens. 3) Serving in Parliament is an honour, not a lucrative career; retirement age should be fixed. The lawmakers are public servants getting pension and must come under the RTI Act. 4) Their pay should be revised by the Central Pay Commission. 5) Transparency and accountability is required.
JOHN ERIC GOMES, Porvorim
Provide Speed Breakers On CHOGM Road
Traffic along the CHOGM road has more than doubled over the past few years due to the increase in the number of tourists in the coastal belt of Calangute and Candolim where most of the tourist resorts and hotels have mushroomed. The road assumes importance since it provides an easy access and link to these tourist destinations. While the road has been widened at several places, little thought has been given for the provision of speed breakers and pedestrian crossings. Day by day, it is now becoming almost impossible for residents and pedestrians to cross the road due to the mad rush of tourist vehicles and rent-a bike users. It is, therefore, hoped that the PWD and RTO work together to solve this long-standing problem, keeping in mind that the CHOGM road today is no longer a village road it used to be, but almost on par with any National highway.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Letter to Centre On Mining A Skilful Move By Parrikar
Should the induction of two new ministers and the ‘reshuffling’ of the cabinet effected by the Chief Minister be seen as a timely step to mitigate the concerns of the locals long troubled by thoughts of the state government being ‘run from hospital beds’! Having already set a precedent where the absence of the Chief Minister and ministers holding key portfolios due to health problems badly affected the governance in the state, any further delay in taking corrective measures would have only worsened the situation for the ruling combine. However, the contention of an alliance leader that the cabinet expansion should allay any thoughts of the dissolution of the Goa state assembly and announcement of early polls next year needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Shrouded in as much ambiguity as the ‘resurrection’ plans of the Congress opposition in making a bid to grab power in the state, the ruling dispensation is more intent on conveying the message across that everything is copacetic, the medical ‘shortcomings’ of their ministerial colleagues notwithstanding. Moreover, the news that the Chief Minister has dashed a letter to the Centre prescribing ‘legislative’ cure for the mining imbroglio reads like a diversionary tactic adopted to distract the locals from the inadequacies that plague his government. Admitting that the state will not be able to cope up with a permanent shutdown in mining operations, as the suspension of the activities has already caused loss of jobs and adverse impact on tertiary sectors of the economy, the plea to resume mining in Goa by seeking appropriate changes in the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act is definitely a very skilful and opportune move by the Chief Minister. Serving to successfully manoeuvre the public minds off the excessive obsession with the non-performance of his government over the past one year, Parrikar’s ‘re-emergence’ as the messiah of the masses is sure to give a fillip to his government that stands divided into groups and factions.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO