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NIO Must Take Up Goa-centric Research Work

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has in recent years failed to be even of consultative value to the state of Goa. With more than four decades of its existence in Goa, the NIO should have by now been able to especially advise the government of Goa on the maintenance of pollution-free rivers in the state as well as have a thorough and comprehensive treasure trove of actual analytical knowledge and day-to-day compilation of data on the variety of fish available in Goa along with its thorough research on the causes of various types of pollution that has affected the marine life in Goa. It is known very well that our rivers are polluted with effluents discharged by industrial units and mining run-offs that have polluted the waters of our eleven rivers in Goa with toxicity of metals like mercury, lead, chromium and arsenic and even large levels of iron and manganese which is ingested by the fish and which then affects the humans who consume these marine products. Instead of undertaking research, which is only of academic importance, the National Institute of Oceanography should have been able to arrest the rampant pollution of the rivers and the marine life in Goa. The NIO must have spent tens of thousands of crores of rupees in research and development, and has its head office in Goa, but sadly Goa has not benefited from it having sophisticated analytical instruments like spectro-photometers, gas-liquid chromatography and such other equipment along with supposedly a wide array of expertise in chemistry, biology, physics, marine sciences etc. It should be our endeavour to see that the NIO in future takes up Goa-centric research work for the benefit of Goa. Much damage has already been done but at least some damage control can still be exercised.



Protect Land Meant For Bus Stand Shelter At Dona Paula

Dona Paula residents have, of late, seen survey marking poles along the side of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) colony compound wall (within a distance of approximately 12.5 metres) along the road to Our Lady of the Rosary High School. These poles were fixed on December 11 and 12 by a builder, who perhaps has plans for a huge construction. I have seen the area being filled continuously with mud and being levelled using a JCB, as I live opposite to this filling site. There is still suspense over upto where this filling will continue or whether this will be connected to inner Dona Paula-Caranzalem road. There seems to be a plan to have a bar and restaurant, a toilet and a garden nearby. These poles appear to be aligned to the present new compound wall of another bar and restaurant. We, the residents of Dona Paula, will be the worst sufferers if this land, which is meant for a temporary bus stand shelter, is converted or sold to builder lobby. The government has been unable to find a solution to all the tourist buses being parked along the narrow roads in Dona Paula and near the NIO circle and I fear things will only get worse. I have been continuously stressing on the need for urgent widening of the narrow road from the NIO circle to the top of the gradient. The government should have continued with the broadening of the Dona Paula-Bambolim highway road right upto the NIO circle. Unfortunately, no heed is paid.



Don’t Politicise Military Operations

Retired Lieutenant General Deependra Singh Hooda, who was the former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army’s Northern Command in September 2016, during the surgical strike, has rightly spoken against politicising military operations. The strike was necessary counteroffensive of the army in retaliation to the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists.   He said that it was natural to have initial euphoria about the success, but the constant maintenance of hype over military operations was unwarranted. Indeed, a constant political showcasing of a military strike can do a twofold damage. First, a constant political chest-thumping for an army operation can have adverse effects on our relations with neighbouring countries. It is said that too much of anything is good for nothing. Indeed, the army operation in September 2016 was a counteroffensive or, in other words, a necessary measure to defend the country. It was not at all an act of offence or to provoke a neighbouring country. Rather, India had been provoked by the Uri attack into conducting the surgical strike. But the continuous hype over the operation could make it look like an act of offence. And second, if it is turned into a political asset of one political party, it will send a wrong impression that the whole country is divided on the terms of our defence policy. It is supposed that the whole country through the Parliament has always been behind the army at the border. It will be unwise to portray a fragmented picture. If one political party, with less than one third vote share keeps on trying to take all the credit for an army operation then it can create a false narrative that the decision for the strike was not unanimous.


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