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Need for Adequate Judicial Infrastructure
This is with reference to the editorial ‘Crocodiles in our cesspools’ dated September 11, 2014. I endorse the views mentioned in the said editorial. The editorial has rightly pointed out the shortcomings in the judicial setup of our country. As it speaks about speedy trial for the accused, the government should also ponder on the backlog of cases on the civil side. There are lakhs of cases pending in the lower judiciary. Litigants have been suffering for years. Imagine the plight of a litigant, who has approached the court to retrieve his property, which has been illegally encroached upon and the case has been going on for years. Unscrupulous elements tend to use this system to their benefit because they are assured of delayed justice. One cannot blame the judiciary or the lawyers for this mess. It is for the government to take steps to have adequate infrastructure in place including adequate number of judges in the lower judiciary. The number of judges should be proportionate to the population of an area. There is also a trend of having special courts whenever a new penal law is passed but most of the time some or the other existing court is entrusted with this additional burden. The purpose of special courts is to ensure speedy justice but instead of having a separate special court with a special judge it is seen that an existing court is given the charge thereby increasing the backlog of cases. Further, another thought-provoking aspect is that how can we expect quality administration of justice if judges are compelled to pass judgements in haste and hurry? It is high time the Union government considered this issue and assisted the state governments in devising a plan for building adequate infrastructure.

Goa Must Help Jammu and Kashmir
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by the worst floods in the last sixty years. The ‘paradise on earth’ now looks like a ghost state with large tracts of land inundated. More than a lakh of people have reportedly been evacuated to safer places by the army and naval forces. It is understood that more than four lakh people are still stranded. After the rescue operation is complete, the focus will shift to rehabilitation and preventing the spread of water-borne diseases The central government has reportedly sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for the relief and rehabilitation operations. But given the magnitude of the devastation that has been caused, much more funds will be necessary to put the state back on track. The Goa government needs to do its bit to help the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The elected representatives of the Goa Assembly could donate their one-month’s salary towards the cause. The government could also ask its employees to donate their one-day’s salary. A special bank account could be opened by the government and it could invite the citizens of the state to donate generously. It must be said that many Goans have a soft corner for the state of Jammu and Kashmir as many of them go to this Northern state on vacations. Hence many will come forward to financially support the Kashmiris at their time of need.

Pay Parking Will Decongest Panaji
Reports that the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has started preparations for the implementation of the pay-parking system in the capital city is indeed good news. For, managing to secure a parking slot in the city is like searching for a needle in a haystack, a horrendous experience! At any time of the day or night, Panaji wears a look of a city permanently in the throes of a bedlam brought about by unruly traffic. Not only by virtue of its capital-city status that has a number of both state and central government offices, as also a number of corporates setting their headquarters in the city; going by its status as ‘the’ happening place on the itinerary of any visitor to the state, one would have expected the authorities to be a lot more attentive towards the problems brought about by the ‘vehicular-explosion’ that has become the common feature of every metro-city in the country today. Yet the fact remains that Panaji is bursting at its seams today in trying to accommodate its share of vehicular traffic. The allergy shown by people to avail the existing pay-parking facilities in the heart of the city is, however, surprising. It is this penchant shown by the public for adding to the existing chaos on the roads that has compounded the woes of the authorities. The pay parking at Patto-Plaza area in Panaji is an example of an organised attempt at regulating the flow of traffic into any prime sector. After the conversion of the entire zone into a pay-parking area, the sight of ample parking space in an area where even moving about on foot was a tough proposition in the melee of vehicles parked haphazardly, does give hopes that the city too will soon wear a regimented look with all vehicles parked properly in their designated places, facilitating the smooth flow of traffic. Local shop owners expressing their apprehensions over the implementation of this plan can be well understood. Where are they to park their vehicles if not in front of their shops? And what about the delivery vans for receiving and dispatch of goods that forms an inevitable part of any trading business! A meeting of the city fathers should decide as to how best they could address this genuine problem. Opposing and stalling well-meaning projects will only hamper the development and beautification of the city. It would be a welcome move to have similar plans envisaged and implemented for the rest of Goa as well.

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