BJP’s efforts in trying to fulfill pre-election promises need to be appreciated. Parties often forget them and legislators rarely stick to their word, some of them unable to do so, despite genuine intentions, particularly when they belong to the Opposition. In this aspect, the CM needs to be complimented over his assurances that all constituencies will get equal treatment. We expect him to honour his word, without being vindictive or using the carrot and stick method. We are looking forward to Lokayukta and clearance of plastic from the roads, though time frames fixed have expired. The former is needed so that exemplary punishment can be meted out to the cheats, fraudsters and destroyers of our beautiful land, but perhaps the delay is because the cages are not yet ready. Clearing plastic and other rubbish from the roads and other places is imperative and none of us can afford to ignore it.
This Government has certainly inherited an administration that was totally in shambles - one without any direction or planning, solely aimed at allowing the loot and plunder of the State, as the chances of another opportunity were on the wane. The present Government must understand that this is the very reason why they are in power today. Granted that it will take some time to clear the mess created by the past rulers and it cannot be expected overnight. But the Government must also have its priorities right and not solely concentrate on the sops which were promised and which are costing the exchequer around Rs. 700 crores. Certainly, the people who voted for the BJP were not attracted by the promises alone but by what the new Government was expected to do considering the party’s strong opposition and criticism of the misdeeds of earlier rulers like illegal mining, Regional Plan, casinos, drug mafia, HSRP tenders, etc. The CM’s statement that the party came to power because of Ladli Scheme and hence the forms were first made available to BJP MLAs is simply puerile, to say the least. This is akin to the practice of the previous Government of allowing Congress functionaries or Minister’s daughter to lay foundation stones or launch schemes funded by the Government. The funds, being from the public must not be utilized for the party’s or anyone’s personal publicity or popularity.
The CM has done a U turn on casinos. His stand on mining was suspicious right from the beginning of his tenure as CM. Perhaps the huge donation from Vedanta to his party, which he himself acknowledged, and possibly also from other mining companies and some of his colleagues’ association with mining, made him rethink about the issue. His recent “discovery” that there is no illegal mining but only illegal extraction of ore is contrary to his own past assertions and report. One would wish that his ardent supporters instead of defending him to the hilt on every issue would point out his mistakes so that he can realize where he is going wrong. Parrikar must be aware that people are watching him very closely and he has to act prudently if he has to retain his image as an efficient and somewhat clean administrator. Well meaning Goans will never remain silent if he overlooks or encourages actions detrimental to the State and its people, irrespective of the constraints he may have.
But, besides the issues that are regularly being dealt by the media, there are others that need serious and urgent attention, particularly those which affect the life, the health, the safety and the welfare of the people. Some can have irreversible consequences, like massive constructions coming up in our cities without proper infrastructure and parking lots. Our cities are already bursting at the seams. The haphazard development and unruly traffic will choke them shortly. The Government must insist that every building is either built on stilts or has underground parking. Public transport must be improved so that people can avoid using their own vehicles, thus reducing congestion and saving precious fuel. Traffic must be streamlined with police being extremely strict particularly with reckless driving. Crash helmets must be made compulsory, no matter who opposes it. Stray dogs and cattle must be removed from the roads and public places. Bus drivers must be disciplined. Taxi and rickshaw drivers and motorcycle pilots should be stopped from fleecing people, particularly the tourists. Meters must be made compulsory. They could charge double the fare but not three or four times, as it happens now. It is strange that no Government is prepared to act against them, even after petrol prices have gone down considerably. The law of the jungle imposed by taxis in South Goa hotels must stop forthwith. Law and order has certainly taken a beating during this regime with several robberies, murders and thefts. Surprisingly, the Home Minister remains unmoved. People must feel safe both at home and on the roads. The Government must initiate a ban on plastics starting from our beaches and impose heavy fines on those littering our beautiful sea shores.
The present scenario in Goa is highly depressing. If these and many other issues that would be long to enumerate, are taken on priority, the face of Goa can change and certainly the CM will be happy and proud to hear from the residents and those who visit the State that Goa is fast changing under his able leadership. We, surely long to see that it happens, with the least possible delay.