Compensating Shack Owners II
In the wake of the damage to the Goa coast by Cyclone Ockhi and the proposal to compensate the beach shacks for the losses is completely out of order. The cyclone was an Act of God as defined in commercial parlance and should be covered by insurance that the beach shacks should have taken out. Moreover such damage is like a business risk and the shacks should take it in their stride rather than seeking government hand-outs. The government should also stop this squandering of public money to generate a good image for itself among those affected. In a way it is a kind of corruption where the government is paying out from the public exchequer so that they are assured of votes in the long term. Compensation is also prone to kickbacks which is a more direct link to corruption and hence it is best not done. If at all the government decides in any case to go ahead with the compensation, it should be to the minimum face-saving amount since it has already been hinted at by the Disaster Management Authority. However, it should not be given to non-licenced shacks and those shacks including the licenced ones who are located within that area.
S Kamat, Santa Cruz
Compensating Shack Owners I
The Patron Saint of Goa has once again protected the state from potential havoc which could have been caused had the cyclone Ockhi, hit Goa. My sympathies with those, including shack owners who suffered losses due to the wind and the waves. However I see no logic in vested interests, politicians and government rushing to offer compensation to the shack owners at the public cost, even before the wind and waves have subsided !!!!! When the shack owners rake in profits, hand over fist, and make windfall profit, do they share it with the public or taxpayer?? When the trawler owners rake in huge profits, sometimes 50 lakh in one night’s catch, do they share it with the public, or even sell the catch at a reduced price?
Whenever any business suffers a loss, is it to be compensated by the public? If a professional, an architect, engineer, lawyer suffers a loss, is he to be compensated at public cost???
There is a possibility the shacks suffered damage because the safety of the CRZ rules had been breached. Are the violators to be rewarded? Surely all these shacks have or should have insurance coverage and will collect damages from the insurance companies. Therefore the government and politicians rushing to offer compensation to the shack owners without taking into consideration or verifying these aspects, may not hold water or meet the yardsticks of logic, excepting perhaps to boost the vote banks at taxpayers cost. Moreover it is known that such bailouts are prone to misuse and abuse. When a vehicle is purchased, it is mandatory to have insurance cover before the vehicle is insured. Government must make it mandatory for shack owners to purchase insurance cover against losses, manmade or due to natural calimity, before license is issued. Then the need to bailout shack owners at public cost will not arise.
Rosario Menezes, Vasco