18 Mar 2023  |   06:08am IST

Letters to the editor ( 18 March 2023)

White paper needed on existing traffic lights

In Goa, there are more than 17 lakh vehicles for a population of 15 lakh. There are two main reasons for this firstly, poor and/or nil last stop connectivity by public transport to most places and this compels people to buy vehicles. Secondly, thousands of vehicles are available on hire to the tourists. It is agreed that with such a huge volume of people and vehicles, traffic management is a nightmare for the police. To help ease their jobs and make pedestrians and motorists movement convenient, tens of traffic light signals have been set-up in various places at a huge cost to the exchequer. These are supposed to help decongest and regulate the ever-increasing vehicles and people in the State.

 Ruefully, the traffic and traffic lights in Panaji and its vicinity leave much to be desired. Most of the signals do not work.

 Bus drivers stop between signals (e.g., Kala Academy and ferryboat stops) to pick and drop passengers, motorists jump the stop signal, people jay walk etc and hardly any traffic cops are there to monitor and book the offenders. If by chance they are present, then four to five cops can be spotted at the petrol pump opposite the ferryboat stop, near Divja Circle or on the roadside at St. Inez circle. 

Let us admit that traffic is chaotic and calls for a better and efficient management by the authorities and for the people to stringently follow the rules.  

 It is planned to have 16 artificial intelligent traffic management system (one was recently commissioned at Merces junction) but prior to that it will be pertinent to have an authentic white paper encompassing the status of already installed traditional signals. 

We need to know their numbers, locations, working or non-working and since when, made operational and if not the reasons, synchronisation with nearby signals and timers, maintenance, software updates and other related issues. There is no sense in having signals that stand as dead decorative pieces and mutely watch the traffic mess happening all over Goa.  

Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem   

Widows still  stigmatised in Indian society 

Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao has reportedly moved two private members' resolutions. One of these asks the government to stop unjust practices of widow discrimination. As widows move through their own experiences of grief, loss, or trauma after the death of a spouse, they may also face economic insecurity, discrimination, stigmatization, and harmful traditional practices on the basis of their marital status. The experience of widowhood varies across customs and time periods. They are still subject to patriarchal traditions and extensive prejudice in inheritance rights. Traditionally, in Indian society, widows are stigmatized and considered a vulnerable group. International Widows’ Day, which is observed on 23 June, takes a look at some of the issues affecting widows around the world and what must be done to safeguard and advance their rights. With no means to survival and sustenance these women have to depend on meagre government support for their survival. According to the United Nations, India is home to around 42 million widows. The government of India has various schemes, which supports these women, through a monthly allowance. Although meagre, this amount becomes a great source of self-respect in certain cases where the women do not want to bank on their children for monthly allowances. The policies have to be revamped in such a way that the financial aid is increased.  

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Public has a right to good roads, water 

People are facing arduous times due to digging of roads, potholes and inadequate water supply  This has become a common scenario every time and citizens wonder how the authorities fail to rectify these errors.  It is unfortunate that the residents of the government quarters at Bhatlem has no syntax tanks at their units.  While the citizens are paying all kind of taxes, they are made to suffer and until and unless laws are not stringent, the situation will remain the same.  If we have to live with poor infrastructure, then we are forced to adjust with corruption and inefficiency in every public domain including local governing bodies.  The inconvenience faced by the public due to the bad roads and improper water supply must end. Lack of access to safe, sufficient, and affordable water, sanitation, bad roads and hygiene facilitie has a devastating effect on the health, dignity, and prosperity of people.

While Goa has been certified as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by the Union Jal Shakti Ministry yet some villages don't even have water connections till date.  

K G Vilop, Chorao

Uphold secular values for peace

Even if it is regarded that "Hindu Rashtra" is a "cultural concept"; still the question needs to be asked who has defined the "cultural history of India" ! 

Or what constitutes the culture of India ! Is multi-religious, multi-cultural India "Of the Hindus, for the Hindus, by the Hindus"! What a mockery of not only the Constitution of India, but also of its secular and heterogeneous identity! 

RSS holds every democratic right to act as "proud Hindus"; but simply possesses no right to impose their exclusionary belief upon others, right of all of whom being absolutely equal in this multi-cultural polity.

 It is high time the organisation stops treating itself as the "guardian or" final authority" of diverse India and refrain itself from uttering such distorted idea about this nation of all. 

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkatta