This refers to the news report ‘ CoPs freezes construction of new barges (Herald, June 29, 2012). The order of the captain of Ports, freezing the construction and the induction of new and more barges in Goan waters with immediate effect, has come not a day too soon.
For quite sometime now, there has been official recognition of the fact that the state’s waterways have become overcrowded with barges, floating casinos and trawlers. This overcrowding is at the cost of the safety of bridges, vessels and life, besides grossly polluting and damaging the environment. Indeed, such a similar action is also required for de-congesting the roads. It has become the practice, for some persons to purchase vehicles in multiple numbers, and park them on the roads and pavements and alongside the highways, in violation of laws and rules.
Some of these operators even use the public areas as unauthorised repair and servicing yards, thereby using public property for private profit which is unfair to the other citizens whose safety and convenience is infringed upon.
There are countries which refuse to issue vehicle registration unless the applicant can prove that he possesses his own off- street parking for his commercial vehicle, and come down heavily on owners and operators who misuse public property for private profit. Now it is upto the Minister and Director of Transport to, introduce similar regulatory action in order to decongest the roads.
Dr. Rozario Menezes, Vasco da Gama
Private buses, taxies and auto rickshaws ferrying passengers in Goa are masters of the road. No Government in power, since Liberation, has been able to do anything to exercise some control over these public transport utilities. Private bus operators never give tickets; unless the bus is overflowing, the bus will not leave the stand.
It will stop anywhere in between to pick up passengers and wait for the passengers at a bus stop at his pleasure. Rickshaws and taxies do not have fare meters and it depends upon the passenger to bargain and fix the fare. Anybody who has engaged a rickshaw or a taxi would know that the fares are fixed by the taxi operators and rickshaw drivers and not by the Government of the day.
Whenever the Government in power tries to rein in these operators, they flex their muscles and thwart any attempt to regulate them. The commonly flaunted argument is that meters for taxies and auto rickshaws are not feasible in the Goan conditions. What they mean by this statement is not clear.
The present Chief Minister of Goa is known not to buckle under pressure. Let us see whether he could call the bluff of the taxi and rickshaw operators and stop the exploitation of the locals and the tourists by these licensed passenger vehicle operators.
SND Poojary, Miramar
Over the years, the Congress Party in Goa has been totally dependent on a few leaders committed to promote their own selfish agenda. Dependence of the party on these politicians has harmed it more than it has analyzed so far. Salcette once considered its stronghold has become the Congress enigma after the elections. Bungling up of core issues dear to Goans has cost the party dearly.
Today the Congress is perhaps in hibernation and is yet to come to terms with the drubbing of the recently elections. In a stable democracy, lack of a serious opposition is not a very healthy scene for the people. The Congress has to seriously introspect and reach out to the people not with goodies but with sincere good wishes.
It is high time they get rid of all the old war veterans who the Party considers indispensable, and infuse fresh young blood in their system if the party wants to come back in the limelight with renewed vigour. The Congress must wake up and realize today’s ground realities concerning Goa and its people.
Allwyn George, Carmona
Corruption in Defence
It is a sad state of affairs that a prestigious institution like the National Defence Academy, wherein leadership qualities and resistance to temptations of moral turpitude are instilled, has to become an arena of corrupt practices. The fact that the accused belong to the elite category of the principal staff of the Commandant is all the more alarming- for the staff officers are chosen from select group of officers with immaculate character. The young cadets under going training are unfortunately brought face to face with corruption, indulged in by their own so called ‘role models’- the directing staff. This incident must have been a shocking experience and exposure for these young trainees. Although corruption has become part and parcel of our every day life citizens have the right to expect at least the armed forces, especially the vital academies grooming future commanders to be free from such corrupt practices. The nation, particularly the army can ill afford such criminal indulgence and must react strongly against all corrupt quarters.