LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (29/04/2021)

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Musings On CM’s Advertisement Blitzkrieg

CORONAVIRUS has affected the thinking power of many, even of those not infected. Goans are suffering tremendously and are feeling helpless. Many have paid with their lives, perhaps not for any fault of their own. It is an unprecedented and most distressing situation, which only an insensitive government can ignore. State Chief Minister Pramod Sawant made an appearance in advertisements on his birthday like Prime Minister Narendra Modi does very often. The only difference is that the former does not avoid the media. But what of importance did Sawant say, except beating the drum of the so-called achievements? Did he tell us that he invited justifiable protests from alarmed students, and that instead of listening to them, he opted to detain them? Did Sawant tell us that he put teachers and school staff to risk by insisting that they report for duty, until he came to his senses? Did the Chief Minister tell us where he spent the Rs 300 crore meant for 60th anniversary of Liberation but that he surely didn’t even spend a pie in improving health infrastructure? Did he tell us that night curfew was meant only for Goans and not for casino goers, as they bring in a lot of money into the state, which the Chief Minister can’t afford to forgo? Did he tell us that this income is more important than the lives of Goans?  

JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, MARGAO

In Praise Of Madras HC’s Rap

THE Madras High Court severely lambasting the  Election Commission for allowing massive congregation in political rallies is welcome, apt and timely. The HC has reflected the people’s sentiments  by holding  the EC “singularly responsible” for the raising COVID patients in India. The court went to the extent of saying that the EC should be “booked for murder”.  When the top election body permits huge rallies, the question paramount at the back of its mind should be “whether such rallies are feasible under the circumstances”. The answer should have obviously been ‘no’. But the EC did not see the writing on the wall. It cannot abdicate its responsibilities by shifting the onus on the police because it is preposterous to expect the latter to enforce discipline among the large crowd,  majority of whom were without wearing masks, and cared two hoots for social distancing. Elections should be conducted but the governments should avoid double standards.   

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA

They Are CCP Councillors, Not Corporators

THE CCP is governed and mandated by the City of Panaji Corporation Act, 2002, and it has to strictly function and operate within the ambit and framework of the act. The CCP has been wrongly designating and addressing the 30 elected representatives as ‘corporators’, instead of ‘councillors’ as mandated by the CCP Act. A complaint to this effect has already been filed with director of municipal administration Gurudas Pilarnekar and secretary of urban development Dr Tariq Thomas. Section 5 (11) of the CCP Act refers to ‘councillor’ as any person who is elected as a member of the corporation. Furthermore Section 9 (1) (a) of the act also states that the corporation shall consist of thirty councillors directly elected at ward elections. Despite this being the mandate of the law, the CCP has in clear violation of the act been wrongly designating and addressing these 30 elected representatives as ‘corporators’ and  not ‘councillors’.  The 30 elected representatives, in contravention of the act, have been listed as corporators on the CCP website. The CCP commissioner should immediately rectify this violation while designating and addressing the elected representatives as ‘councillors’ and not as ‘corporators’. The commissioner must also explain as to how the corporation has been acting in clear violation of the CCP Act. The onus on complying with the provisions of the CCP Act is on the commissioner. Since its inception, Section 41 of the act, which requires ward committees to be formed, was not enforced. The High Court last year had to issue directions to that effect. There are many other provisions of the CCP Act which are not being enforced; it is hoped that the commissioner will work to ensure that every provision of the act is complied in letter and spirit.

AIRES RODRIGUES, RIBANDAR