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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Non-payment Of Power Bills: Make Depts Responsible

It has been reported in the press that various government departments, most notably the public works department (PWD), the central library, some police stations and even the Secretariat have apparently defaulted in the payment of long-standing electricity bills to the collective tune of over Rs 100 crore, leading to a financial crisis in the electricity department and prompting the Power Minister to begin disconnecting power supply to the defaulters, as is done as per the rules, to the citizens who default on payments. In the case of the Panaji municipal market, the action to disconnect power supply was fully justified, as the culprits are the more than 900 traders, apparently, illegally occupying the premises, doing roaring business, while apparently not paying any rentals, electricity and water dues to the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) for close to 20 years, apparently collectively amounting to Rs 20 crore. As a result of this, the CCP is in a chronic financial crisis, apparently resulting in postponement of the developmental works. Therefore, it is a bit of a disappointment that the government apparently proposes to use taxpayers’ money to bail out the non-paying defaulting traders, who should be compelled to cough up their dues. Government departments should lead by example by paying all their dues on time. It is not enough to do crisis management and find a way to clear the pending bills of departments like the water supply and other important departments. What is important is to institute an inquiry and fix responsibility for dereliction of duty by the government departments which resulted in such monumental bills going unpaid for so long.

ROSARIO MENEZES, VASCO

Coal Pollution And Deteriorating Health Of Vascoites

Coal dust pollution has been a major cause of concern for the residents of Vasco, causing a health hazard, while the closure of mining has snatched the bread and butter of the mining dependants. The excessive handling of coal at the Mormugao Port berths has severely affected the health of the citizens of Vasco. Although coal-handling companies stake claims of adopting all the precautionary measures, the ground reality is that the companies have miserably failed to put all the measures in place at the coal-handling berths. The coal dust particles are learnt to have entered the houses and even closed-door flats in Vasco, deteriorating the health condition of the citizens. The people demand that the dailies, which are the fourth pillar of the society, should favour the people on their stand to oppose the handling of coal at the Mormugao port.

NIKESH THORAT, VASCO

Stop Electricity Wastage

One can easily come across streetlights functioning during daytime at various places in the state. It is rather unfortunate that this particular matter has remained neglected for long. In Ponda, such cases have become a regular phenomenon. As on Sunday, September 29, streetlights were found to be functional in Adpai village at 9.30 am, while at Gholiwada-Talaulim at 2 pm the streetlights were on. Near Shantai Niwas at Varkhandem, the streetlights were functional at 2.30 pm and adjacent to Matrushala at Dhavali the streetlights were on at 3.40 pm. On Monday, September 30, the streetlights were found to be functional at Gholiwada-Talaulim at 8 am, at Daag area the streetlights were on at 8.15 am, while near the old bus stand, these lights were found to be functional at 8.25 am and in the vicinity of Shree Manguesh Devasthan at Mangueshi, the streetlights were found to be functional at 11.30 am. On Tuesday, October 1, the streetlights were found to be functional around 8 am at Kapileshwari, Daag, behind Almeida High School along Khadpabandh road and at 8.30 am along the internal road behind municipal market at Upper Bazaar. On Wednesday, October 2, streetlights were noticed functioning at Adpai at 7.45 am, near Mahalaxmi temple at Talaulim at 8 am and adjacent to Dadaji Mansion (in the vicinity of Saraswat Bank) at 8.30 am. Further, on Thursday, October 3, streetlights were found to be functional around 8 am at Adpai, Talaulim, Daag area and near civil court. At 1.45 pm too, the streetlights adjacent to the civil court were found to be functional. Similarly, on Friday, October 4, at Kasawada near Durbhat, streetlights were found functional at 8.20 am and near Mahalaxmi temple at Talaulim, the streetlights were found to be functional at 8.30 am. This clearly proves that the electricity department has not initiated any favourable steps to avoid wastage of power supply. Officials in the electricity department should initiate necessary steps to utilise the available power supply and avoid wastage of any sort.

PRAVIN U SARDESSAI, ADPAI

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