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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Temporary Relief To PMC Bank Depositors

The decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow an additional withdrawal of Rs 50,000, over and above the existing permissible limit of Rs 50,000, has come as a big relief and a blessing to several PMC Bank accountholders, who are presently undergoing trauma, battling a severe financial crunch, for various reasons such as expenses for medical treatment, education, housing loans and livelihood hardships in general. Secondly, permission for part-withdrawal of amounts from fixed deposits to avail of the benefits of the additional Rs 50,000 is also a welcome step and a great help. It is now hoped that in the light of the recent talks and assurances given by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, depositors will soon be able to withdraw the entire amount held in fixed deposits, and the PMC Bank will be able to resume normal activities and service to their clients without restrictions. 

A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM 

After E-cigarettes, Now Ban Tobacco Cigarettes Too

Parliament on Monday passed a Bill, which seeks to prohibit the production, trade, transport, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes in the country. The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, was passed in the Rajya Sabha with a voice vote. It was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier in the month. This is a step in the right direction but then what about bringing a complete ban on the production of the traditional tobacco cigarette also? E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices shaped like cigarettes that provide a way to get nicotine. The key difference between traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes is that e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco. Traditional cigarettes contain a long list of chemicals that are proven more harmful than e-cigarettes, which have some of these same chemicals. It must also be said that the conventional cigarettes are more widely used than e-cigarettes. Hence, it would be desirable to prohibit the production, trade, transport, storage and advertisement of the traditional tobacco cigarettes as well, as they can cause various diseases of the respiratory tract including cancer. It would thus be logical for a ban on conventional cigarettes to follow the ban on e-cigarettes.  

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

Traffic Jams On Agaccaim Stretch

While the intentions of the Transport Minster of Goa to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic points along the Cortalim and Agacaim Highway stretch to penalise motorists, who jump lanes and invariably cause traffic jams along the route needs to be lauded for its sincerity, the sight of government vehicles brazenly violating these norms on an everyday basis puts a big question mark over the seriousness of the whole plan. Stranding commuters for hours together, traffic roadblocks are the order of the day on this stretch and it worsens as peak hours approach, so much so that the commuters have even chartered out a safe period to travel over the Zuari bridge when they deem that the traffic is at its minimum. But with the golden jubilee celebrations of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and Novenas to St Francis Xavier at Old Goa in progress in the state the last week, it was virtually a mad rush out on the stretch. The feast of the patron saint of Goa, which witnesses multitudes thronging to the venue from across Goa and from the neighbouring states, will further create problems for the traffic authorities. The police personnel in Goa have never been epitomes of flawless traffic management, unless of course, when there is VVIP movement announced within the state’s borders. The script and execution is impeccable then! Just a handful of policemen handling a sea of vehicular movement at a stretch of road, which is bearing the brunt of the heavy construction work in progress in the area is the worst example of traffic regulation that one can expect. For a fact, the bottleneck that has been created at the Cortalim junction because of the ongoing work on the new Zuari bridge, as also the potholed surfaces at many places on this stretch, is the main cause of the traffic congestion. If those on the road learn to be a bit more circumspect and maintain a single lane at these bottlenecks, the flow of traffic would be a bit more orderly.

But then, everyone is in a hurry and the haste is more so when motorists approach the narrow sections of the road that impede traffic.

PACHU MENON, Margao

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