JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, MARGAO
THE tussle going on between the state government and civic bodies in Panaji and Margao over the Carnival parade route is turning very interesting. In Panaji, the CCP is insisting in having the parade through the old route, despite the police’s disapproval on the ground of congestion in the city. In Margao, though the MMC wants it in Fatorda for similar reasons, the Carnival committee and the government want the parade to glide through the old route. It is very strange that everywhere the government wants to interfere, leaving the elected civic bodies lame duck. The elected bodies in villages and cities must be allowed to decide on development and issues concerning their area of jurisdiction, or at least asked for their say. This is what Articles 73 and 74 constitutional amendments have been meant for. In Panaji, the police and consequently the government, I presume, object to the route because of the congestion it creates in the city, though the CCP is ruled by those supporting the government. However, in Margao, just to spite Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, the government is favouring the old route, which has been discontinued for the valid reason of traffic congestion. Many people have had problems in reaching hospitals, along or close to the old route, due to the parade. I myself, was unable to take a specialist doctor to attend to my mother in 2010, because I could not take the car through the parade. But insensitive and irresponsible governments we have are more interested in playing political games than in the lives and health of the people.