Wishful Thinking On Wiping Out Garbage
ADDRESSING the gathering on the Goa Revolution Day, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has candidly declared that by 18 June 2018 Goa will herald into a plastic-free and garbage free paradise. What a relief it would be if this statement translates into a reality by next year. It is the dream of every Goan that this beautiful place which has been so badly tarnished by this hazard is rescued from this scourge once and for all. Yet it is extremely important to accept that it would be one of the greatest challenges to liberate the state from this problem. First, let us focus on the plastic waste. Recently a bold statement was made that the plastic bags will be banned and those seen carrying such bags would be severely fined. Though it sounds simple, it is worth realising that it is not just the plastic bags that matter but a lot of product that comes packaged in plastic material. Is there any solution to the thousands of plastic sachets carrying the dairy products like milk, yogurt etc getting accumulated every day? Likewise, what about the grocery items like cereals, pulses packed in the plastic bags? So is the case with the readymade wear stacked in the plastic containers. Thus the focus should be on segregation of plastic waste and recycling it instead of merely involving in the wishful thinking of an ideal plastic ban. As for the garbage in general, there may be many areas in Goa like the one we have in our vicinity in Merces. With the garbage so rampantly strewn in some locations and the street cattle feasting over it, particularly in the rainy season, the road gets reduced to one-way traffic situation. There is no point displaying the warning signs that dumping garbage is an offence and that trespassers will be prosecuted, when no action is initiated. Around the area that we stay in Merces, though every residential complex has facilities for garbage collection, segregation and orderly disposal, there are disorderly elements from around who dump their garbage along the roadside. During the last panchayat elections every candidate who visited us pledged to resolve the garbage issue. We eagerly wait to see when and whether at all it would be a reality.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
It’s Madd Versus Matti
THE Parrikar government seems to be hell-bent on making the coconut tree as state tree. This is nothing but a populist attempt aimed at proving that the government is pro-coconut tree, whose declassification by the previous government triggered a public outcry. The Matti tree should not be sacrificed for political considerations of the present government, more so of the Goa Forward Party. As environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar has rightly pointed out, the Matti tree has unique feature that it can store water. The government should rescind the amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, carried out by the previous government and take effective steps to preserve the local varieties of coconut. In Goa, coconut is a cash crop and comparing it with Matti tree is like comparing chalk with cheese. The government should be prudent enough to respect the sanctity of the Matti tree and not sacrificing it at the altar of political considerations.
K B DESSAI, FATORDA
Pranab’s Fruitful Stint At Raisina Hill
PRANAB Mukherjee, who will lay down his office as India’s 13th President on July 26, may not have exactly been a ‘people’s President’; but it cannot be disputed that he was a ‘perfect President’ who brought six decades of political experience with him when he walked into his palatial Rashtrapati Bhavan at the Raisina Hill in July 2012. An Indira Gandhi protégé, Mukherjee’s erudition was his asset. One of India’s best parliamentarians and statesmen, his dignified ways, high learning, expertise as a ‘troubleshooter’ for the Congress seemed to have made his job as President easy though he was not really “tested” in the form of any constitutional crisis which would have merited inputs drawn from his vast understanding of men and matters. Mukherjee must have heaved a sigh of relief when the 2014 general election, contrary to expectations, did not throw a fractured mandate. Though a born Congressman, Mukherjee astutely distanced himself from all political leanings once he assumed the top post though he was described as “the best Prime Minister India never had” when he assumed President’s office. His political will came to the fore when he expeditiously disposed of mercy petitions, unlike some of his predecessors, and by the end of his tenure there were not any pending petitions. Mukherjee appeared to have gelled well with both Dr Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi – two prime ministers with contrasting working styles. That Mukherjee had cultivated a good working relation and excellent rapport with both was amply evident by the way he was respected by Dr Singh and Modi. Having said that, the President left no stone unturned in giving a piece of his mind when occasion demanded. Mukherjee’s take on intolerance was one of those instances. By the same token, the President’s description of Modi as a “quick learner” showed he was not averse to speak his mind. During his stint, the Rashtrapati Bhavan was not in isolation, and he reportedly had a free mind in welcoming politicians and other dignitaries. Now that he will retire gracefully, the 82–year–old scholar should hopefully be able to engross himself in his favourite pastimes like gardening and music. A prolific writer, Mukherjee’s deep insight should propel him to pen his thoughts on his tenure at the Raisina Hill.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA