Water Scarcity in Porvorim
THIS is with reference to the news item ‘Porvorim residents serve 2-day ultimatum to resolve water woes’ (NT, Jan 10). Residents of Porvorim have long been facing an acute shortage of drinking water and have to depend on tanker water for their daily water requirements. The piped water supplied by the PWD comes only as a trickle and does not meet the minimum stipulated standard daily water requirements of around 100 litre per person. This is a regular feature not only in summer months but also during monsoons when our dams are overflowing. The PWD has admitted that around 30-40 per cent of drinking water supplied to Goa cannot be accounted for and is causing a revenue loss of a few crores of rupees a year to the Goa government. So where is this water going, when residents in most parts are starved of water? Are we still waiting to repair the old and corroded water pipes after spending crores on the JICA project? And what has happened to the promise made by Parrikar of a 24×7 piped water supply to all in Goa? It is more than 2 years now.
A F Nazareth, Alto Porvorim
Punish Molesters Severely
INCIDENTS of several women being groped, molested and stalked on the New Year’s Eve in Bengaluru are shocking. Apparently anti-social elements have no fear of law and the law-enforcing agencies themselves seem to be becoming more and more ineffective in punishing the culprits. A few days back there was news that a molester, who was released on bail, started harassing the victim again as a result of which she committed suicide. If such culprits are given exemplary punishment of performing castration on them in shortest period of time after the crime; maybe it will send strong signals to perverts and anti-social elements. But in the male-dominated society and all governing bodies, it is too much to ask for? Is anyone out there listening?
SHABANA MOTWANI, CARANZALEM
Fair Polling Duty
GOVERNMENT staff, teachers and other workers have been called for election duty at various polling stations. Many a times it has been noticed that only a few staff of a particular department or college or school are called for the said duty election after election. I request the authorities to be fair while selecting staff for election duty, and work out some kind of rotation system, wherein people called during previous elections are not called again. Further, I request the officials to be considerate towards women and senior workers and post them in their respective constituencies only.
ANDREW CARDOZO, MOIRA
Issue Clear Guidelines to Banks on Transaction Fees
THE government at the Centre had announced a slew of incentives in order to encourage the citizens to adopt digital transaction. However, there seems to be a lot of ambiguity regarding the fees levied on the use of debit card for making payments. It is understood that some banks have resorted to levy transaction fees for digital payment in absence of any clear direction from the government or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). A few other banks were still providing a waiver on Merchant Discount Rates (MDR). However, this MDR charges waiver was extended till January 7 and is not subject to review. Petrol pumps had threatened to refuse to accept card payments for fuel from Monday. However, this move by the petrol pumps has been called off after banks deferred their earlier decision to charge 1 per cent transaction fees on card payments at petrol pumps. It must be said that such ambiguity on levy of transaction fees will directly clash with the government’s efforts to wean people off cash transactions and encourage digital payments. It is pertinent to note that the common man may probably not be aware as to whether transaction fee is being levied on card payment as the amount is being directly deducted from their account. It may be recalled that after demonetisation, the government had asked petrol pumps not to pass on card transaction charges to customers and had promised the petrol pumps a discount. If the transaction fees at petrol pumps is not waived off this could be passed on to the consumer. The government needs to issue clear guidelines to the banks on whether the transaction fees have to be waived altogether so that there is no ambiguity over the issue.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO