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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Security At All Locations

It is understood that the feast of Our Lady of Miracles at St Jerome church in Mapusa was celebrated with heavy security arrangement. This is obviously the fallout of the terror attacks that took place in the churches in Sri Lanka. It is common experience that when there is a terror attack elsewhere within or outside the country, security is beefed up for a few days after which it is back to square one. It is also noted that if a religious place is targeted by terrorists in a particular place or country, the security around only religious places is enhanced. If the bomb attack in Sri Lanka were to take place on a beach, probably the security on the beach in other places would have been enhanced. Terrorists may not target the same type of location twice but seek a different where the security is lax. They depend on the element of surprise to cause maximum damage.  Hence adequate security needs to be provided 24X7 at all important and crowded places, be it the market-place, the beach, malls, luxury hotels, places of worship, etc.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

 

Lanka’s Post-Terror Steps Laudable

This refers to reports in the media that Sri Lanka has expelled over 600 foreign nationals including around 200 Islamic clerics as a follow-up action on account of the government’s decision to tighten visa restrictions consequent upon the Easter suicide bombings in which hundreds of innocent people were killed. The expelled foreigners were those who had overstayed from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan. The strong decisions in respect of ending terrorism and strict implementations of them by the Sri Lankan authorities are indeed laudable and exemplary. Equally worth noting is the determination of the President of Sri Lanka with all the political parties and apolitical organisations endorsing their support to the efforts of the government in wiping out terrorism from the soil of this island nation. Their orchestrated move to wipe out even the last speck of terrorism is indeed a great example for India to take cue from. Also, Sri Lanka’s visa system is being overhauled to arrest the ingress of infiltrators who camouflage as genuine travellers. Henceforth, suspected persons and their families are completely under constant watch of the security and if any threat or attempt is made by anyone, details of such person can be had at the click of a button. Every suspect has been brought under observation so that no occurrence of bloodbath should be repeated by a Sri Lankan citizen or foreigner henceforth.

T K NANDANAN, KOCHI

 

Mopa Airport A Step Away

Whenever any project of prominence begins to take off in the state it is but inevitable that it can be challenged with antagonisms from diverse groups at times emerging out of vested interests. The classic example is the greenfield international airport at Mopa, which is found to be obstructed under one pretext or the other ever since the time of its inception. We are well aware that foundation stone for the airport was laid in November 2016.  A couple of parties challenged the environmental clearance granted to the project but the National Green Tribunal refused to quash the clearance given. The matter came up in the Supreme Court and the court suspended the environmental clearance and directed the Expert Appraisal Committee to reconsider the decision in the light of its impact on ecology. Barely a month thereafter the committee has recommended to the Centre to grant clearance to the project with certain preconditions to protect the environment. We are fully aware that no matter how important the proposed project is in terms of meeting the needs of the state or generating employment to the locals it should never disrupt the fragile ecological balance. However the way some people reacted to the apex court order, without even realising that all that the court had said was to maintain status quo on the project till the matter is reviewed by the EAC, it looked as if the people felt that the Mopa Airport was totally vanquished. Let us not forget that the opposition to the Mopa airport is primarily from the taxi operators who are concentrated in South Goa for they know that if an alternative comes to the Dabolim airport their business would be at stake. People argue that Goa being a small state with a population of about 18 lakhs, the existing airport is sufficient to cater to the needs. They fail to realize that it is not the local population but the tourist influx, which crosses the million mark presently and is estimated to multiply manifold in years

to come.

MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES

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