LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

No Relief From Water And Electricity Bills

Poor Goa government and poor common people! During COVID regime, government said, it lost nearly 82% revenue. Now, what about common people to say? They must have become beggars. In this condition, how government will give relief to the people? At least PM declared free rice up to December 2020; But what about other necessities? Let us assume, that government cannot provide monetary assistance to common people. However it could grant some concession over water and electricity bills during this pandemic period. Such as, waivers of fixed charges, Meter rent, DPC ,FPPCA, sundry charges, of  electricity bills and some relaxation would have been given in water bills such as meter rent. Amidst COVID pressure, government is trying to increase house tax in the state. I think government must be wondering Goans have enough bank balance in their accounts. Yes! PM Modi deposited Rs 500 per month in the accounts of women, those who have Jan-Dhan accounts. Senior citizens and women are remembering ex chief minister Manohar Parrikar for   monthly pension of Rs 2000 and Rs 1500 for women. A visionary person like Parrikar only could design this idea. Kudos to him. He has given major relief to Goan common people. But… Where is the legacy? Let us hope for the best.

Rajesh Banaulikar, Panaji

Double Track At Vasco To Benefit Business Tycoons

South west railways have decided to lay double track from Hubli-Londa  to Vasco da Gama. The said issue was long pending for the want of transportation and better railway services in Goa. The said track seems to pass through many houses and fields at village areas like Majorda, Cansaulim, Sancoale  and then touch Vasco  station. The whole purpose behind said project seems to be for the transportation of ore and coal which will benefit the business tycoons and not for common man and passengers. The present single track system has many hurdles for passenger express trains  and local trains which has to halt for almost 15 to 30 minutes for crossing at particular station. As on date we have passenger train from Kulem -Vasco and Vasco –  Kulem plying (presently discontinued due to COVID19). Also many goods train ply from Vasco to other states and vice versa. The local demand stoppage of project as it will harm local fields and environment for the benefit of few business men. The similar situation was seen when Konkan railway project was announced 22 years back. Tickets are not available even one month prior to journey date. The demand has increased for trains being the cheapest mode of transport. However though there are few trains from Vasco da Gama station most of the trains halt at Madgaon. If double tracking is beneficial for local in terms of transport and business for small traders then it will be a boon but if its only for few and millionaires then its not favourable situation. The authorities should consider local residents grievances and then take decision. The project should  be win win situation for both locals and railways then only it will be successful. 

RAJU RAMAMURTHY, VASCO

Defence Forces’ Help Sought

With the government deciding to seek the support of the defence forces posted in Goa, it is quite apparent that all the efforts of the state administration at containing the infection rate in the region have come to a naught. Barring the diligent efforts of a few officers in the administration to whom the locals will always be indebted to for their fortitude on the face of the devastating situation; the unpleasant set of circumstances in evidence in the state these days builds up an impression that the government has faltered at every step in determining the order for dealing with various corona-crisis related issues according to their importance. Right from the outset, the state’s designated authorities for COVID-related matters in North and South Goa have merely functioned as enforcing authorities of the MHA directives in the state and issuing notifications related to the pandemic. Moreover, encumbered by the prospects of systemizing a set of Standard Operating Procedures which are however in sharp contrast to its existing protocols governing various lockdown directives every time the state envisages the easing of restrictions on any activity; it is chaos that has welcomed Goa’s unlocking phase. Although acclaimed as heroes in the war against the virus, the doctors, nurses and other paramedics who have been at the forefront of this ‘epic’ battle have been virtually pushed to the background with politicians taking the centre stage and ‘glorifying’ themselves for the ‘achievements’. By delegating his cabinet ministers the responsibility of ensuring stringent implementation of government guidelines to arrest the spread of COVID in the state, the CM has once again given proof of a peculiarity so typical of him. It is time that things are seen in the right perspective! Goa is not going to get out of the calamitous situation by assuring itself that all is well. Far from it! The state government ought to have a rethink on its approach to prevent the overwhelming spurt in infections lest it has dangerous implications for the populace. It is best that politicians and bureaucrats leave the state’s COVID combat to health professionals assumes a greater significance with each passing day.

PACHU MENON, MARGAO