Expansion of National Highways
I would like to ask a plain question: What is simpler? Allow the state bridges to be taken up by the National Highways Authority of India as part of the national highways expansion project, or keep pleading with the Union Minister for Highways and Road Transport for financial assistance for construction of bridges at the state level (NT, April 16, 2012).

It is ridiculous that the present government seems to be determined in shunting the expansion of the two national highways NH-17 and NH-4A just to prevent razing of structures and consequently be in good books with the people. But the need of the hour is to think beyond this narrow line. With the expansion in traffic and transport there can be no alternative than to widen the roadways not only along the highways but even internally. However that needs a broader vision keeping in view the futuristic requirements. There is an urgent need for the new government to delve deeply over this point than to keep brooding over issues like exemption of toll collection in Goa along the national highways. What people want is to travel safely, in minimum time with best fuel efficiency, which can be a reality only with the expansion of roadways.

Parking Woes in Vasco
WITH the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the roads, parking has become a huge problem in the various cities of the state. In Vasco, the vehicular density appears to have reached saturation point. Looking for a parking place appears like searching for a needle in a haystack. But then with a strong willpower and a little bit of imagination on the part of the authorities, the problem can be solved to a large extent. It must be said that having two vegetable markets hardly serves any purpose. At the old vegetable market situated along the Swatantra Path there are only a couple of vegetable vendors and a few vendors selling plastic goods. The place is mostly used as a go-down to store goods. At dusk even matka bets are accepted at this market. It would be in the fitness of things to convert this vast area into a pay-parking lot after allocating alternative space elsewhere for the handful of vendors operating at the old vegetable market. This will provide sufficient parking space in the marketplace and mitigate the difficulty faced by the vehicular owners. In the process it will also bring in revenue for the civic body.


Measuring Commodity Packs
The Union government has decided to make packs of 19 categories of commodities in fixed measures of 25 gm, 50 gm, 100 gm, 125 gm, 250 gm, 500 gm and thereafter in multiples of 1 kg. But such a fixation is firstly contrary to metric spirit and secondly some measures are too nearing which can put consumers at disadvantage because of gimmick tactics of manufacturers. We have a currency note of `20 and not of `25. Likewise unit-size should be 20 gm and 200 gm instead of 25 gm and 250 gm. Unit of 125 gm is not only irrational but also nearing another fixed unit of 100 gm.  For simplicity all commodities rather than just 19 categories should have standard units of packs but only in units 1, 2, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 or 500 gm or millilitres, and then in 1, 2, 5 or multiples of 5 kg or litre  only.  Rather commonly used medicines other than to be packed by dose-wise administration should also be packed in such suggested metric-units only. Even cough lozenges are at times packed in strips of eight rather than ten because consumers compare price of such commodity by strip overlooking number of cough lozenges in the strip.


Political Feud for Fatorda
FOR sure, Fatorda will never remain a neglected constituency! At least Mr Damodar Naik and Mr Vijay Sardesai have ensured that by virtue of being in the news for their well-known sparring matches, Fatorda continues to hog the limelight. Exaggerated though it may sound, but even the refusal of the Congress nomination for the Fatorda constituency for Mr Sardesai created the sort of ruckus that could only be matched by the histrionics of the Alemao-clan after being made to bite the dust by the electorate in the recent hustings. But unfortunately, with a political feud between the two that has lasted for well over a decade, Fatorda cannot vouch for the sort of development that one would generally associate with a locality where, in spite of the presence of a sitting legislator, another dares calling it his personal turf and steadily nurtures it! Their claims notwithstanding, it has also been equally difficult to credit either of the two for whatever little work that has been carried out in the name of growth and improvement. Mr Naik’s oft-repeated rhetoric “in spite of being in the opposition” and Mr Sardesai’s highly hyped proximity to the Congress leaders in the last assembly tenure, according to the locals, did not work wonders for Fatorda. Now with Mr Sardesai’s resounding victory heralding a new political scenario in Fatorda, Mr Naik today finds himself in much the same enviable position that Mr Sardesai was in prior to the elections. With the Congress at the helm of affairs, Mr Sardesai could use his clout within the party to assist him in tending the constituency. Known for his penchant for going over the top, when former legislator Mr Naik recently came out with the idea of functioning like the ‘Shadow MLA’ of Fatorda, it was tantamount to a proclamation that he would up the ante against Mr Sardesai, and consequently the two would continue locking horns over issues that may or may not have a direct bearing on the welfare of the people of Fatorda.