LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (18/01/2021)

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Emulate The Courage Of Melauli Villagers

Bravo to the villagers of Shel-Melauli for their courageous opposition to the IIT project in Shel-Melauli, against great odds, which clearly demonstrated the power of the people to be able to carve out their own destiny. To protect their land and occupation, the valiant villagers of Melauli made the local MLA of Valpoi capitulate by threatening to divest him of political power over their domain. They made the MLA to openly oppose the IIT project in Melaulim by exerting pressure on him to abandon the project there. In like manner, the people of Goa have to now join forces by forming a united opposition to foil the designs of the present dispensation from carrying out the sinister destruction of green cover in Goa by imposing the three projects in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and the National Park at Mollem. The overwhelming majority of the people of Goa are against the railway double tracking, the 400KV transmission lines and the national highway expansion, which will destroy the Western Ghats, United Nations protected zone, home to exotic trees, wildlife, birds and butterflies, the core of natural beauty which should be protected at all costs. It should be like a second opinion poll, wherein the incumbent political dispensation if defeated for not complying to the wishes of the majority people of Goa, will demonstrate people power. Also, the coal handling by MPT and transportation of coal across Goa should be nipped in the bud of the Lotus, which is resorting to anti-people development that will destroy the natural beauty of green Goa. Even it means, rotating the Chief Minister’s tenure amongst the opposition political party unitedly, it would be worth to oppose consistently and doggedly until the next elections which is just about a year and four months away at the most. Hail to the power of the people of Goa.

Elvidio Miranda, Porvorim

Give Tri-Cycle Carriers To Garbage Collectors

Every morning the door-to-door garbage collectors are seen collecting garbage from the homes and dumping it in the garbage bins they carry along. A single garbage collector could be pulling along two or more of these heavy garbage bins filled with the waste. These bins are also seen having sacks tied to them since the garbage collector segregates the waste on the spot. It is pitiable to see these garbage collectors pulling these heavy garbage bins. Some of the garbage even spills off when the bins are being dragged by hand. Garbage collectors are human beings too and need to be provided with proper equipment. They wear neither hand gloves, nor head-cover. In order to make their task less cumbersome it would be in the fitness of things for the civic bodies to provide them with tri-cycle carriers so that the garbage-bins can be placed in these carriers at the back. It would not cost the municipality much in order to procure a few of these tri-cycle carriers in order to make the job of the garbage collector simpler.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

Political Angle Of Melauli

As they say, all is well that ends well! With the government having decided to shift the controversial IIT project from Shel-Melauli village of Sattari taluka considering the strong sentiments of the locals who had vehemently protested against the project, it does appear that curtains have come down on one of the biggest public agitations in recent times and peace will once again reign supreme in the region. However, the very fact that the decision was taken after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant met representatives of village panchayats and zilla panchayat members of Sattari and Usgao along with the Health Minister, and Valpoi legislator, Vishwajit Rane at his official residence at Altinho indicates that the solution has a political angle to it. With Vishwajit Rane leading the elected representatives from Sattari, it becomes amply clear that the ‘patch-up’ mission was an attempt to salvage his political reputation which would otherwise be tottering at the brink of disaster if the request to shift the project from Melauli village was not acceded to. Hence the CM’s ‘munificence’ should be seen as a face-saving compromise for the beleaguered legislator from Valpoi. But has this decision to scrap the controversial project in Sattari been prompted in any way by the willingness of the Power Minster to roll out the red carpet for IIT-Goa in Curchorem, his constituency! As a jinxed project that has not been able to get an appropriate allocation of an ‘undisputed’ site anywhere in the state, the apparent shortcoming will always haunt the Pramod Sawant-government. With Curchorem as the next possible ‘destination’ for the prestigious institute, at least the government has something to look forward to.  In any case the manner in which the Valpoi MLA managed to ‘arm-twist’ the CM to get the IIT-project out of Sattari, people in Salcete have come to expect similar ‘initiatives’ from Saxtti’s lone minster and the MLAs from Nuvem and Cuncolim to impress upon the CM to scrap track-doubling and coal transportation in South Goa. In any case, the Melauli matter is far from over! The vexed land issue is yet to be sorted out. Moreover, when the Power Minister mentions a ‘small issue’ in getting IIT to Curchorem which will however be ‘settled by talking to people’.

PACHU MENON, MARGAO