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Wakeup Call for BJP-I
THE heavy defeat in the by-elections should serve as wakeup call for the BJP. The party fared worse in UP in comparison to the Lok Sabha and 2012 assembly elections. Factors like isolation of veteran leaders, empowering hate speech campaigner like Yogi Adityanath over grassroot-level leadership and importantly returning to politics of polarisation and going back on its promises of growth and development led to the party’s defeat. The results could impact the coming assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra with the party losing its bargaining chip. The party, which came to power on the promises of change, better governance and development, cannot take the voters for granted anymore. Failure to deliver on the promises or continuance of its politics of communal polarisation can do more harm than good for the party in near future.

Wakeup Call for BJP-II
The great Indian democracy has delivered its verdict. During the Lok Sabha elections the people voted for progress and prosperity in the face of complete policy paralysis. But in the state by-polls the people had other ideas. They voted for peaceful coexistence, repudiating the politics of communal polarisation. Hats off to Indian democracy.

Plebiscite and Separatism
THIS is with reference to the editorial ‘Scots on the March’ (NT, September 17, 2014). The referendum in Scotland should serve as an eye-opener for those countries which dub the separatists as ‘anti-nationals’ and exercise its military might to retain the ‘integrity’ of the nation by hook or by crook. Canada also allowed the citizens to go for a referendum in its French-speaking territory. In the guise of ‘nationalism’, no civilised country should deny the citizens of any region from exercising their human right of living as a separate entity. In the process lot of bloodshed, arson, violence and precious money can be saved.

In Pursuit of Pay Parking System
THE news report ‘Pay parking: Plan and no action a tale of 3 mayors’ (NT, September 18, 2014) has rightly highlighted the pathetic state of the Corporation of the City of Panaji and its inability to implement the much publicised ‘pay parking scheme’ over the years for Panaji roads. Pay parking is a must for every major city, as it helps in the regulation and decongestion of city roads. While every city in the country has a well planned pay parking scheme, it is a pity that the capital city of Panaji is still struggling to implement one, at a time when the traffic in the city has become almost unmanageable and causing problems to residents and visitors. Shopkeepers and residents of the city are bound to protest and raise objections if the scheme is not practical and their needs are not met. Unfortunately the CCP has overlooked this aspect in their unbridled zeal and selfish interests and undue haste to mop up revenue to fill up their depleted coffers in the shortest possible time.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

Criminal Negligence Puts Citizens at Risk
THE Lions Club of Mormugao, Vasco da Gama, in association with the traffic cell of Vasco police had organised a traffic awareness campaign in Vasco on September 11 and 12, 2014, as part of the Traffic Safety Week. On September 12, the campaign was held along the Airport Road near the State Bank of India. At around 7.15 p.m., while I was crossing the lane over the road divider opposite the ‘Prime Harmony’ residential complex, I fell into an unsuspecting deep trench. I sustained extensive injuries on my left hip and right knee. I was immediately pulled out of the trench by the police personnel on duty and my Lion colleagues. It was divine providence that I did not sustain fractures to my legs or ankles in the sudden fall. However, I am unable to walk freely due to severe knee joint pain, and advised rest and a MRI. The unsuspecting trench, which was dug in the middle of the road divider, had no barricading of any kind, or a sign-board cautioning the citizens of the grave danger lying ahead. A few minutes later another of our Club member, who is a senior citizen, fell into this same trench bruising his knee badly. There are several such trenches dug out on the road dividers along the airport, ostensibly to erect decorative light poles by the PWD. As given to understand by a senior PWD official, the contractor has acted irresponsibly and neglected the safety of citizens living in this area by not erecting barricades or even simple reflective tapes around the trench. The PWD, in its part, has failed to supervise the ongoing work. Had there been effective supervision, there would have been barricading done as a safety measure. The million dollar question however is: does the department leave the contractors to have a field day and function the way they want without effective departmental supervision? Will this irresponsible contractor be awarded with more contracts in future or will he be blacklisted by the department for criminal negligence?

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