LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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India Flounders COVID Battle 

AMID reports of the alarming spread of the disease and COVID treatment centres running out of beds and ventilators, the startling news that India’s daily rise in cases outnumbers the total cases of the US and Brazil is yet to be understood for its incisiveness. With India overtaking Brazil as the second worst-hit country from COVID-19, the abject failure of the government in handling the pandemic as it assumes unmanageable proportions is starkly evident. The problem with India has always been that politics in the country has got the better of any situation, no matter what its enormity. With India as one of the major ‘exporters’ of the vaccine to poor countries, it comes as a surprise that the accusations against, and denials by the government, over the shortage of the vaccine is grabbing headlines now! But why is India floundering in its ‘COVID combat’! The view that ‘the capacity of a state and the degree of economic inequality among its residents will determine how successful it is in coping effectively with a pandemic like COVID-19 therefore attains greater significance. One can well understand the reticence shown by those from the weaker economic strata of the society in defying the safety protocols put in place by the administration.  While showing concerns for the lives and livelihood of its citizens, mere rhetoric by its leaders will not serve the purpose. Lockdowns are never an answer and the cascading effect of the one imposed in March last continues to be felt even today. A lockdown is a very unpleasant option and one that the government will not rush into. But it is amazing that despite COVID fear, the government has had no qualms in permitting public gatherings and allowing the staging of special events which have a traditional appeal to the people of the country for centuries. It is all the more consternating to have many of the participants not adhering to COVID safety norms at the venues. Amid the viral backlash, has the government got its priorities mixed up! 

PACHU MENON, MARGAO

Dangerous Manholes Of Vasco

RECENTLY manhole covers were put in place on the road along the Swatantra Path road in Vasco with concrete mixture. However, it has been observed that the level of the manhole cover is well above the road-level. This is not the case with just one manhole cover but all the lids on the road along the Swatantra Path. Ideally the level of the manhole cover should be in level with the road. However, when the cover is above the road, it can cause inconvenience to the road users, especially two-wheeler riders. Since the manholes are located almost in the middle of the road, vehicles have to swerve to one side to avoid the manhole which can lead to accidents. A speeding two-wheeler rider can also lose balance when moving over the mound of concrete. If remedial steps are not taken by the authorities concerned, things could turn for the worse during the coming monsoon season. The concrete around the manhole cover could become slippery which can prove very dangerous for two-wheeler riders as they can lose control of the vehicle. The only way to get the manhole in level with the road would be to hot-mix the road.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

An Eyesore In Ponda

THE roadside of the stretch from the Farmagudi Circle to the Kadamba bus terminus in Ponda has become a garbage dumping ground, flying in the face of the Swachcha Bharat Mission. The garbage dump portrays the location negatively in the minds of travellers. Moreover, students of educational institutions based at Farmagudi walk their way along this stretch. It has been observed that people come in two-wheelers in the morning and dump household plastic waste at this spot. The concerned authorities must take prompt action to clear the garbage and also prevent people from littering the location. Surprise checks can be conducted to punish the people throwing the waste; they should be fined heavily.

PRAVIN U SARDESSAI, ADPAI