PM Must Speak Up on Church Attacks
FOLLOWING a spate of attacks on churches, Catholics who were participating in a peaceful march to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence in Delhi, met with strong resistance from the police. Several Catholic leaders, including the vicar of a cathedral, were arrested. In a show of strength, Catholics demanded an assurance from the Home Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that minorities rights would be protected. It is interesting to see how the PM who has maintained deafening silence on the issue till now, reacts to the situation. Silence on his part will adversely affect the fortunes of his party in the Delhi elections.
ROBERT CASTELLINO, Calangute
CCTVs and Privacy of Citizens
IT is extremely puzzling to read about the CCTVs being installed at Aquem-Baixo road in Navelim. It is more baffling because recently the Aqua festival was held behind the Navelim church and the law enforcing agencies did not notice it being installed. Installing CCTVs in such residential area would require people’s cooperation for which the villagers must be taken into confidence. Without proper licences or other official permission no one can install cameras on public roads. Installing CCTVs in such residential areas definitely curbs on privacy. Further, some goons can misuse the information for their ulterior motives. The Villagers and Navelim Civic and Consumer Forum have done a commendable job in being vigilant and bringing it to the notice of the concerned authorities. It shows that the alert citizens can do a lot of good work in society than the public servants.
RUI PEREIRA, Navelim
Gandhi Cap Should be Only of Khadi
ALL the political parties, including BJP, AAP and Congress, contesting elections to the Delhi state assembly have turned to ‘Gandhi cap’. The humble cap regained popularity during Anna Hazare’s Lokpal movement because the anti-corruption crusader, being a Maharashtrian, has always worn it. It is significant to note that Gandhi cap made of khadi is still widely worn in Maharashtra. But the caps used by workers of different political parties during poll campaign are not made of khadi or even any other cotton fabric. Gandhi caps made of khadi were introduced in pre-Independence era to promote hand-woven khadi on charkha, which was favourite of Mahatma Gandhi. If political parties pledge their respect to Gandhian ideology, then khadi rather than caps of anti-environmental polyster fibre should be given to party workers and others. The Union environment ministry should ensure that such caps and other material used for poll campaign are environment-friendly.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, Delhi
BJP Pursuing Misplaced Strategy in Delhi
THE BJP is following the success script, which catapulted the party back to power at the Centre. But it is pursuing a misplaced strategy vis-a-vis the Delhi assembly elections. The sheen of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is waning. The choice of candidate for Chief Minister’s post is not producing desired outcomes. The BJP has accused the AAP of faulting its mechanism in scrutinising donations and candidates: actually the BJP should have put its money where its mouth is. The popularity of AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal has made the BJP nervous and jittery. Resurrecting a nine-month-old open donation by cheques to the AAP is part of dirty tricks. The greatest blunder of the BJP is no-holds-barred personal attacks on Kejriwal. The AAP has sympathy and grassroots level followers, who will not be influenced by this malicious propaganda. In fact as per opinion polls, the AAP is forging ahead leaving the BJP behind, which indicates that the electorate has more faith in AAP than BJP or Congress.
NELSON LOPES, Chinchinim
Prioritise on Disposal of Biomedical Waste
GOA is a top tourist destination in the world. Medical tourism is the fast growing sector in the state, and the government is keen on attracting investment for large healthcare facilities. But increasing number of healthcare facilities generate huge amount of biomedical waste. Biomedical waste is any waste generated during diagnosis treatment, immunisation of human beings and animals, research activities and production or testing of biologicals. The major sources of biomedical wastes are government and private hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical production units, biotechnology institutions, blood banks, medical and research centres, and autopsy centres. A major issue concerning biomedical waste management in many hospitals is that the implementation of waste regulations has been unsatisfactory as some hospitals dispose of waste in a haphazard and unscientific manner. Some healthcare centres dump their waste in open place or nearby garbage bins. Lack of segregation practices results in mixing of hospital waste and general rubbish, making it hazardous. The improper waste management causes spread of communicable diseases. Toxic waste can contaminate water table during monsoons. Garbage is often burned, and fumes generated can cause rashes and respiratory problems. There are around 172 government hospitals and 800 private producing 1200 tonne of medical waste per year. Goa has just one biomedical waste treatment plant in Mapusa. It can process 800 kg of waste per day. It treats its own waste and that comes from Asilo Hospital, Mapusa and Hospicio Hospital, Margao. This does not take into account the tonnes of waste produced by other medical centres. This means that other private hospitals will have to set up their own treatment plants or ensure proper disposal through a common waste treatment facility. Private hospitals can avail a central government scheme under which 25 per cent of total cost is provided as central government assistance. The government should allocate lands for treatment plants away from residential areas and not in hospital premises. Municipal councils should strictly segregate biomedical waste from general household waste. The Goa State Pollution Control Board should inspect all the hospitals and clinics operating in Goa and take strict action against the hospitals violating the rules under Environment Protection Act and Management and Handling Rules 1998. If we want to protect our environment and health of community we must sensitise ourselves to this important issue not only in the interest of health managers but also of our community.
RAFSILA KHAN, MAPUSA