25 Jan 2023  |   05:00am IST

Letters to the editor ( 25 January 2023)

LPG cylinders have ‘due date for testing’

It is learnt that officials of the Goa Police and Fire and Emergency Services officially claimed that leakage of cooking gas from the hose pipe connected to the stove triggered the explosion thereby putting to rest the mystery over the Mapusa blast. Officials said that a high pressure regulator was used for a domestic cylinder and that the hose pipe was not in good condition. It must be said that now every household uses LPG cylinders for cooking purposes. However, if necessary precautions are not taken an LPG cylinder could be like a bomb within the four walls of the house. Besides homes, hotels and restaurants, cooking gas is also used by wayside eateries and fast-food joints which are located at crowded places by the beachside and market places. God forbid, an explosion due to leakage of gas at one of these food joints could result in a large number of casualties. The distributor of gas cylinders needs to see to it that the hose pipes and the cylinders of the consumers are checked regularly by the company officials. It is pertinent to note that every gas cylinder has an ‘expiry date’ which is the date which the cylinder has to be tested, which is painted on the cylinder. Consumers need to know how to read this date which has an alphabet representing the four quarters of the year along with the year. They should not accept cylinders which have crossed the ‘due date for testing’.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Deserving Goan expats need to be awarded

The movement leading to the conferring of Statehood on Goa was done from the point of Konkani movement which was a must for getting Statehood because Indian States are formed on the basis of languages, one State – one language. Hence there came an imperative need of working for the recognition of Konkani language. Expatriate Goans mainly from the Gulf countries took upon themselves the task to shoulder this responsibility and Kuwait Goans in particular took a major step as none others did and sent lakhs of rupees for the Konkani movement in Goa where our brothers and sisters were struggling to attain victory for this cause.  

While our brothers fight for this cause of Goa in Goa, our expatriate brothers and sisters help their counterparts in Goa mainly through the remittances for the expenditure in lakhs of rupees and this help finally turned out to be the major factor for the success of Konkani movement.  

While our people work in the Gulf in general and Kuwait in particular where I have spent a number of years and being part of the Goan community, Kuwait Goans have always helped in the promotion of Konkani by organising seminars, tiatrs, meetings and even the Mando Festival.  This was not a small job for the promotion of Goan culture and tradition in addition to Konkani language promotion.

There are organisations in Goa to acknowledge the works of Goans in Goa that bestow special awards upon those who do excellent work in the promotion of Goan culture, language, tradition and other aspects.  But why till now not a single deserving expatriate Goan has been given any of these awards?  Expatriate Goans are equally responsible to work for Goa causes as their brothers and sisters in Goa.   

A Veronica Fernandes,  Candolim


Mixed education trend

Direct interaction with students and teachers on various educational aspects is generally transparent. An NGO has been doing that over the years to assess the schooling status, reading habits and arithmetic skills in five to 16-year--old children in rural India (Annual Status of Education Report or ASER).

The organisation’s report, after a gap of four years, has concluded that while enrolment in government schools has seen an upward trend at all levels, the reading ability and mathematical skills of Class III children has taken a hit after 2018. Broadly, the ASER reveals the high impact of social media platforms like WhatsApp in percolating knowledge between students through groups.

It also unmistakably points to the influence of tuition on children. One shift that was noted in the last four years was that the drop in children’s capability to learn arithmetic was less than their ability to read languages like English, and this could be attributed to the thrust on “difficult” mathematics in tuitions.

A salient feature of the study relates to girl dropout that has decreased significantly over the last four years. A high admission in schools and a low girl student dropout can be attributed to a heightened awareness among parents as well as some salutary policies of the government. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Pan masala ads on KTC buses

As we all know that public health is one of the responsibilities of the government and it tries to create awareness with regards to treatment or prevention of disease through advertising on public transport e.g. HIV AIDS, polio, etc.

Recently, many KTC buses have been advertising pan masala, which is injurious to health. KTC being owned by the government and allowing these advertisements indirectly send a message that the government supports consumption of these tobacco containing products. With reference to COTPA 2003, Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulations of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, bans the advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products in India. Many researches have shown how consumption of products containing tobacco has led to cancer. Hence, these advertisements should not be carried out especially by a corporation owned by the State government as these actions contradict with the Acts passed by the Parliament of India and threatens the lives of the public as instead it’s promoting Pro-Tobacco awareness.

Therefore I would like to bring this issue to the notice of the authorities concerned and would like to request them to take action against advertisements of pan masala on the KTC buses by not allowing the advertisement of Pan masala and other products which are harmful since it’s the responsibility of the government.

Danisha Fernandes, Raia

Curtailing of Parliament,Assembly sessions

Covid spread and infections are at bay. Anyway these restrictions have never been applied to rallies of election propaganda, meetings and gatherings. Thousands of unsuspecting crowds of voters had to bear the brunt attending these meetings. Restrictions are now almost relaxed in all spheres of human activities except in the conduct of sessions.

The shortened period of session is sure exercise to ward off opposition onslaught, debates and questioning of government failures or inaction. There is a general trend to bypass the forum of democratic institutions in not holding the full sessions as envisaged Covid scare has been stretched too far as an alibi to justify. The exchequer incurs a whopping amount in maintenance and salaries of legislators for a few days' participation in a year. They seem to be like contract workers and hence compensated only for those days attending the sessions and not paid emoluments for the whole year. The brute majority is used to pass bills and legislation with least resistance and to announce grandiose government schemes.

The curtailed sessions are a deliberate attempt to scuttle the voice of the opposition and avoid uncomfortable debates and discussions affecting the people. The number of sessions should not be reduced and there is no plausible reason for it anymore to spread of infections.

Nelson Lopes, Chinchinim



Idhar Udhar