LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (19/02/2021)

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On Counter Affidavit In  SC

It is reported that Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa and Cuncolim MLA Clafasio Dias have filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that ‘the Congress has ceased to exist as a party in Goa, and merged with BJP, as 10 MLAs defecting to the BJP rendered the remainder Congress 5 MLAs as Independent. So, the petitioner Chodankar of Congress has no locus standi, and his petition should therefore be dismissed.’ This is not only an insult to us voters, but a new form of democracy. Is this a joke or a new twist to the disqualification issue kept pending by the Speaker for so long? Truly amazing what is permitted to go on. It will be interesting to see how the electorate take this, and whether we as citizens are worthy of democracy, as also the reaction of the Supreme Court.

John Eric Gomes, Porvorim

About Liquor Seizure At Majali Check-Post

It is learnt that the Karnataka excise sleuths on Tuesday seized an empty fish lorry illegally transporting different types of liquor from Goa worth Rs 9 lakh at Majali check-post, a few metres from Goa’s Polem check-post.   It is understood that this is the third seizure at Majali check-post of liquor being transported illegally from Goa in the last four months. On the same day, the Belagavi police seized illegally transported liquor worth Rs 12 lakh. These seizures could be just the tip of an iceberg. One hears of instances of seizure of liquor bottles, being smuggled into the neighbouring states, at a disturbing frequency. The reason for the illegal transport of liquor is the huge price difference between the liquor sold in Goa and other states. Though Goa is no complete tax exemption on liquor, the state government has chosen to keep all taxes on liquor low. This makes Goa the cheapest state in the country for alcoholic drinks. At present, only two bottles of liquor are allowed to be carried out of Goa per person. Any attempt by tourists to carry more bottles is thwarted at the border check-posts with excise officials seizing the bottles. Hence the probability of liquor bottles being smuggled out of Goa in bulk is high, especially, during elections in other states. However, the question that arises is from where in Goa is this huge quantity of liquor bottles for illegal transport acquired.

ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco

No Signboard At Sharp Bandora Turn

The sharp turn near Sneha Mandir at Bandora, Ponda happens to be a critical location. A few years back rusted traffic signboards existed on either side of this sharp turn, but were removed subsequently. However, till date, there has been no installation of the signboards. Vehicles proceed with full speed from either side of this turn, and so could cause  major mishaps. Even the speed-breakers which are badly needed have been found missing. Travellers are confronted with risk and danger. It is the need of the hour for the concerned competent authorities to introduce immediate precautionary measures along this busy road, so, that the travellers are not put at risk. Let us hope that a prompt favourable action would follow in the public interest.

Pravin U Sardessai, ADPAI

Global Warming And Calamities

This winter has not been the usual winters we know of. November to some extent, and December and January are the two months that push the people to sport woolen clothes. However, 2020 December and 2021 January were different. Winter that made people shiver was totally missing.  In December, 29 degree Celsius was the maximum temperature recorded in Delhi on a particular day; the highest day temperature in the month of December in the last two and a half decades. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that January was  the warmest month in almost 60 years.  The colder times of the day are warming faster than the warmer times of the day.  The famous ‘La Nina’ conditions are conspicuous by their absence. Global warming, and less than anticipated response from the people towards reducing global warming coupled with a change in Arctic weather pattern have been the root causes for temperature change. Absence or poor clouds resulting in augmented sunlight penetration and  lack of rain are immediate causes. Agriculture crops, heavily dependent on seasonal consistency, have borne the brunt of weather vagaries. If the trend of mindless global warming continues unabated, excessive natural phenomenon like torrential rains can cause havoc.  Also, the air quality index (AQI) has turned ‘very poor’ in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).  Ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are the culprits that cause respiratory problems among the people. The greenhouse effect due to excessive burning of fossil fuels continues to contribute to global warming. What happened at Chamoli in Uttarakhand should act as a warning. The ‘chemical weathering’ which led to the lake or glacier burst there shows how needless human intervention with the mountain ecosystem has given rise to calamities. And, who are at the receiving end?  Human  beings themselves!

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola