Chief Engineer S T Nadkarni has stated that wells would be closed, if owners fail to register them with the Water Resources Department. This is shocking news. What action has he taken on illegal borewells constructed in various industrial estates? Though the registration of wells is compulsory under Goa Ground Water Regulations, were there any advertisements in local newspapers? If not, what means was used to create public awareness regarding this regulation? I received a form on September 15, 2012 during a house- to- house verification. The duly filled form to be submitted to Water Resources department along with survey plan and Form I &IV to register wells. The Government is boasting about E-age, why can’t it access websites of other departments to verify the land titles?
This will save paper, in turn some trees, for a betterenvironment.
James Moraes, Cuncolim
Consumers of Angfranca Housing Society, Santa Cruz are facing a nightmarish Ganesh Festival as PWD officials deny them water supply even after constant reminders and pleas. On 8 August, a complaint was lodged before Raju V Gawas Under Secretary, Public Grievance using the online grievance form about the non availability of water supply.
Gawas issued a letter dated 27 August as `Most Immediate’ to the Principal Chief Engineer asking him to conduct an inquiry and take appropriate action within two weeks, but till date all that the Junior Engineer Gaude did was called to say that the matter is being looked into.
Now there’s not a drop of water in the pipes for the last three days. On 18 September, residents were told that water meters were faulty and that all four water meters had to be replaced, and only after that he would be able to ascertain the reason for the non availability of water. To worsen matters, Gaude refused to pay a visit to the site even after repeated pleas. At around 5.00 p.m, Gaude called up to say that there was a block in the line and that it would take atleast another two days to verify the fault. All this conversation and assurances were through his mobile phone, not through a personal visit.
The question is how has water supply suddenly stopped after the complain letter? The Engineer could not pin point where exactly the blockage was, even after water continued to run through the main lines. Following cross questioning and frequent visits to the overhead tank at Bambolim, it was realized that the pressure in the main lines was deliberately reduced so as to deny the residents the required pressure to fill the underground water tanks. If all these questions remain unanswered, than this surely smells of total disregard to the Under Secretary’s letter, as also it gives us a feeling that the online public grievance website is not to solve the problems of the public, but to further aggravate the problems of the public at large.
Arturo D’ Souza Santa Cruz
Coal keeping MPT going
MPT Chairman’s offer to a local TV channel of stopping coal handling at the Mormugao Port if Khariwade sea-shore is handed over to them is disturbing. If our government and the policy of `development’ at any cost is accepted, then it will be the end of Vasco. Khariwada is located in Vasco itself which is a very small in area. The public hearing on coal and iron dust pollution in Vasco was perhaps organized to gauge people’s understanding on the issue and fool them into accepting the offer.
It is a reality that MPT requires the business of coal and iron ore handling to remain in business and survive as an organization, but it should not be achieved at the cost of dislocating the lives of the people in Vasco.
MPT is basically having an easy time in Vasco because nobody is seriously interested in challenging them. People have taken notice only after pollution has worsened. MPT has to sometimes deal with Mormugao Municipal Council which can be easily won over, or ignored. The government of Goa has never taken the issue seriously before and therefore the decision by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to appoint special officer for Vasco to deal with big central government organizations is step in the right direction.
In Goa we are paying a heavy price for our obsession with mining and tourism.
Mukund Kamat, Vasco
Bus fare hike
Now, with the increase in diesel prices, as usual comes the call for bus fare hike. The bus owners will promise us the moon, but deliver nothing on earth. There will be no uniform or badges. Nowadays, the bus owners do not even bother to print tickets, leave alone issuing them. The worst sufferers are the working people. They are squeezed together to fill more passengers. If anyone dares to challenge the conductor like yours truly, they are asked to get down. The women office goers are the worst sufferers. They get their daily massage without asking for it, that too twice a day. The buses travel overcrowded in full view of the traffic police. The least the authorities could do is to adjust the bus timings so that more buses ply before and after working hours. During the rest of the day, they can reduce one trip since most buses travel with even less than half the capacity of the buses, a total waste of diesel.
Transport Ministers have come and gone, but in the last 20 years or so, have failed to apply their mind to the problem. Will the Home Minister please help?