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Authorities Must Act To Keep Goa Clean

Pictures in the media of hordes of cattle occupying highways and other roads all over Goa seem to be absolutely ignored by the government except for lip service. Garbage is strewn all over at many places and I cannot walk in Porvorim without stepping onto cow dung on the footpaths. Stench emanates from the Sulabh toilet at the Panaji bus stand and we pay Rs 2 to urinate while standing in wet and unhygienic conditions. The footpaths are generally not safe to walk on, if not occupied by vehicles or vendors, and the potholes and terrible road conditions still exist, damaging our spine and vehicles. Non-standard speed breakers, traffic signages not properly marked, unsafe zebra crossings and I could go on and on. The authorities need to wake up! Perhaps things could get moving in Goa only after some ‘creative’ rules are framed on the lines of the new rules implemented by the mayor in Bengaluru wherein officers need to get up and go onto the sites to check garbage clearance personally at 6 am. It is hoped that adequate measures are put in place to minimise the use of plastic and make garbage disposal efficient via strict supervision during the International Film Festival of India.


Stop Illegal Parking On National Highway

Roads all over Goa have been widened in order to control heavy traffic. However, the stretch of road from Dabolim to the airport and beyond is flooded with vehicles, mostly taxis, parked on either side of the highway, making travel extremely difficult for commuters and daily travellers. So also, maintaining a proper speed is not at all possible, as some taxi drivers stop in the middle of the highway to park their vehicles thereby disrupting the speed and making the place highly prone to accidents. Taking strict action against such illegal parking on the highway is the need of the hour.


Indian Football Has A Long Way To Go

With a 1-2 loss to tiny Oman, India are virtually out of the running for a World Cup berth. The craze for football in India at the school level has shown healthy growth in the recent years. Yet, somewhere between school and college, the enthusiasm fizzles out, probably due to lack of job opportunities and professional coaching. Oman, with a population of a quarter of Mumbai, has made rapid progress in football and so have other tiny nations like Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. We need to take a serious look at their football set-up.


Long Delay In Resolving Mining Crisis

It reminds me of a song from the 1972 Bollywood movie ‘Buniyaad’ sung by the immortal Lata Mangeshkar, which tries to highlight that values like love, honesty are good things but when the pangs of hunger strike, you tend to overlook everything. When I reflect on the mining scenario in Goa, it deeply hurts that the industry, which, like tourism, was the backbone of the state economy, was simply grounded a couple of years ago causing tremendous hardship to the people. What we should not forget is that the mining business had been the strength of Goa, boosting the economy by thousands of crores. That apart, there are several lakhs of people, who are directly or indirectly dependant on mining and the closure of this business has rendered hundreds of thousands of people jobless. What we observe, of late, is that in Goa every other person imagines to be the saviour of the state, mastering the art of using terminology like environment, ecology, demography and the likes. We do respect all these sentiments and fully uphold their importance but as I said at the beginning, when the source of livelihood is crushed and no efforts are put forth to rejuvenate the sagging tide, then such attitudes too warrant outright condemnation. We fully agree that the state had to completely shut down mining activities after the verdict from the Supreme Court in February 2018, cancelling all the mining leases, as their renewal was found illegal. But how prudent it is that the state had to wait and watch for 20 long months before deciding to file a review petition in the said court? It has once again justified our oft-repeated phrase on the state vacillating on issues, which are of prime importance. We would seamlessly reiterate that when the very basic maintenance of the family is at stake, the right to life itself is violated and that is most unfortunate. Consequently, the state should spare no means to ensure that families are sustained.


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