Payment Of Water Bill
Whilst it is easy to pay our electricity and BSNL bills online, not so the water bill. So far we used to pay it at an NBFC outlet/ cooperative bank but those outlets have also now started not accepting water bills. Senior citizens are not supposed to step outside their house and the online site is also not functioning. Getting ‘Customer Care’ or any official on phone is a mighty chore! At last the executive engineer informs me that the site is indeed down and they have not been able to establish satisfactory online payment of bills. So please send the cheque to his office! I really fail to understand how this government functions in public interest. Government offices have started to function sometime back and these are essential services especially in emergencies? Just look at the plight of the travellers and migrant labor. The left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing. Do we all have to get frustrated and suffer unnecessarily when dealing with our government?
JOHN ERIC GOMES, PORVORIM
Reopening Of Schools
There seems to be a lot of uncertainty as regards the reopening of schools for the new academic year on scheduled which is less than a month away. If the lockdown continues after May 31, it is understood that schools will reopen in the month of July instead of June. If the situation does not improve by then, it is believed that the new academic year may begin with online classes. However school students in the rural areas may not have access to the internet or may not possess a desktop/ laptop. It is also understood that as and when school commences there could be classes on alternate days for students who are divided into batches as social distancing may not be possible in the limited space of the classrooms. However, a late start to the academic year coupled with classes being held on alternate days could leave teachers with little time to finish the portion for the year. All said and done attending school will not be the same again. There may not be recess and playtime for the students. Getting students to school and back home in the school-bus by maintaining social distancing will be a challenging task. One cannot keep playful little children apart for long. When many adults do not understand the importance of social-distancing, how will little children understand?
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Pre-Monsoon Clean-Up Works
Cleaning of storm water drains , gutters, nullahs and other de-silting works, is the duty and responsibility of every municipality, to ensure public hygiene all the year round , more so before the start of the monsoon, to ensure that there is no flooding of streets. It is a common practice therefore for municipalities to commence pre-monsoon works around three months before the start of the rains, viz in the month of March. There is nothing to gloat about if these works are competed in time. Unfortunately, year after year we experience the same problem of drains, channels, and gutters getting filled up again with debris of all sorts, construction waste, plastic bottle, bags, etc, just at the start of the rains, leading to flooding of streets and market places in all the major cities. Another contract for cleaning up the clogged drains therefore becomes necessary and inevitable, nullifying the earlier labour, time and money spent for such clean up works. Past experience has sadly not taught us the way out of this duplication of work and waste of public money.
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM