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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Confusing Traffic Signal At Verna 

The present traffic signal at Verna -Margao route needs attention which will help smooth flow of traffic and this will reduce chaos created at the junction. Traffic signal at main junction at Verna connecting Vasco Margao route and Margao- Panjim route is one of the most required step taken by transport authorities. However the signal at the junction is set for few seconds which causes hardship for the commuters plying to Margao from Vasco route. The signal is hardly for few seconds which enables only few vehicles to cross the signal on Vasco -Margao -Verna route. There should be traffic police personal to control traffic atleast in the morning during peak hours when people commute to their workplace or schools and colleges. The timing of green signal should be increased from present 30 seconds to at least 60 seconds which will help many vehicles to cross the signal and help them to reach in time. It is also required to change the signal pattern at Verna industrial estate junction as the vehicle which crosses the signal at junction to Margao route has to stop immediately again for the signal at Verna industrial estate cross road. The said signal is hardly at 200 mtrs road which holds traffic again and thus there is again long queue of vehicles. As there are commercial vehicles such as passenger buses, trucks, goods carrier, private cars and scooters/motorcycles pass through this route there is urgent need of changes in timings of signal at the route atleast during peak hours in the morning between 8.00 am to 10.000 am. Hope the authorities will take required steps.

R Raju, Vasco

Strange Street Lighting Contract Termination 

Having unsuccessfully sometime back managed to convince the High Court in Goa to book the goverment for the CFL street light “fiasco” (avoiding word scam) procured for all Goa which were all badly failing, we now have a bigger fiasco of an all India contractor Essel (according to the Power Minister, Nilesh Cabral) given a ten year contract to fix and maintain the street lights! Whilst the Goa government is reportedly forced to borrow around Rs 200 crore every month to pay salaries and maintain other expenses, the contract is being foreclosed as unsatisfactory on payment of Rs 116 crore! I was about to ask where is this money coming from when it is reported that some panchayats have objected to consumers being then charged 5 pisae extra per unit! With stagflation increasing and prices of all essential commodities the highest ever and still shooting up, is this government aware with a “Act first Think later” administration, what it is doing to the nation and the common man by taxing him no end?

John Eric Gomes, Porvorim

Hassles In Physical Conversion Of Mutual Funds

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed conversion of physical form of Mutual Fund units into an online mode through dematerealisation process (Demat). Mutual Fund as an instrument offers the investors an option to perform trading activity in a fair and flexible manner through both open ended and close ended schemes. The holders of physical form of mutual fund folios transact with Asset Management Companies (AMC) directly either in lump sum mode or SIP mode  through the physical Statement of Account (SOA). A physical SOA consists of detailed transactions carried out under a folio but the investor has to physically approach the AMC to otherwise make necessary changes in SOA including changes in KYC mandate. The process however takes tedious time as the same involves paper work with depository participant, verification by AMC for conversion from physical mode to demat etc. The investor is also charged a nominal entry load fees for conversion of physical units into demat form. SEBI thus should issue a mandate to all the depository participants to waive off conversion charges (that is from physical mode to demat mode) and encourage a robust switch to digital based investment of mutual fund transactions. The availability of mutual funds in demat form/online mode will otherwise immensely benefit an investor wrt  switch, redeem or transfer and updation of KYC particulars through a depository participant as nominated by SEBI. SEBI hence should completely do away with physical mode of holding mutual funds of investors and instead offer full/partial waiver to the retail investors for conversion of folios into an online mode through a demat account.

Varun Dambal, Bangalore

‘Tobacco Free Zone’ In Public Places

In a host of directions intended to take the war against tobacco forward, it is understood that the concerned authorities has issued directions to various agencies to install the ‘Tobacco Free Zone’ signage at the bus-stand, educational institution and other institutions as also the various beaches across South Goa. This a step in the right direction as one seldom comes across sign-boards depicting ‘Tobacco Free Zone’ in public places. Smoking in public paces can have a detrimental effect on the health of others around as a result of passive smoking and it can also have a negative influence on young minds who could even indulge in the use of tobacco products. It would be prudent to make known to the general public that the ‘tobacco free zone’ relates not only to cigarette smoking but also to chewing of tobacco. Market places, parks, gardens, areas around cinema halls, hotels, railway stations, religious places and other such public places also need to come under the ambit of the ‘tobacco free zone’. Those who are found smoking or chewing tobacco in the ‘tobacco free zone’ should be booked and penalty imposed as per the rules. These steps should be replicated in North Goa as well, especially along the coastal belt. 

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

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