04 Mar 2024  |   03:45am IST

Letter to the editor ( 04 March 2024 )

BSNL services going from bad to worse

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) mobile, landline and broadband users in Goa, especially in the rural areas are bogged down by poor connectivity. The subscribers say that they often face difficulties while making calls or while surfing the Internet due to the frequent disruptions caused by the poor overhead cabling and crumbling infrastructure.

Residents in Goa who rely on BSNL for their landline connections and internet services have expressed growing frustration with the deteriorating quality of service and lengthy resolution times for their reported issues. Complainants have highlighted problems such as malfunctioning landline connections and the lack of internet supply.

The locals have said that many of the landline telephone subscribers have been put to great inconvenience as their telephones have been ‘dead’ for a long time. Despite repeated complaints to the telephone exchange, there is no response and the telephone subscribers do not know who to approach to redress their grievances.

BSNL services have been going from bad to worse, with consumers complaining of errant services and constant disruption in broadband connectivity. However, BSNL officials are quick to blame others for the poor service, laying blame on various companies that carry out irresponsible digging work, thereby causing damage to lines at various places.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, which flaunts ‘world class, multi-gigabit, multi-protocol, convergent IP infrastructure through National Internet Backbone’, to provide broadband services, is arguably the worst service provider, locally. The public sector once monopoly service provider, cares two hoots for constant connectivity, monitoring of services and customer feedback in a highly competitive segment.

Newton Mendonca, Aldona

Empathy can prevent road accidents, save lives

In the past month or so Goa has witnessed numerous road accidents, many of them ending in fatalities. Goa could well become the accident capital of the country given the number of accidents per lakh population. It must be said that road accidents can be avoided if the one behind the wheels cares for others on the roads and drives defensively and responsibly. The “Sadak Suraksha Abhiyan” initiative was launched in January last year to raise awareness on the importance of road safety and encourage responsible behaviour on roads to help save precious lives. The campaign focuses on cultivating empathy behind the wheel, aiming to produce positive behaviour changes by sensitising citizens to the value of every life and rewarding safe driving practices.  It has been noted that the likelihood of saving lives drastically improves when victims receive urgent medical attention within the first hour, commonly known as the Golden Hour. It is understood that a bystander’s indifference to road accident victims is fuelled by a significant fear of potential legal complications and bureaucratic obstacles. Empathy is the need of the hour. To facilitate prompt medical assistance and protect Good Samaritans who render aid, the Good Samaritan Law was enacted in 2016. This legislation shields individuals from legal or financial liabilities when assisting accident victims. Subsequently, in 2019, the Government of India, as part of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, introduced a section aimed at further ensuring protection for Good Samaritans.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Must create a safe work environment

It is often said that the first-aid to the injured is safety. Safe work environment at home and work invariably promotes produce and enhances  punctuality. It also cuts down absenteeism besides being an economic necessity.  Anticipation and preparedness do not cost much: but treatment and rehabilitation do. Safety, health and environment (SHE) are  interlinked.   But the majority of Indian workers are in the dark about keeping themselves safe. Industrial safety is on the decline as evidenced by fire tragedies in establishments. Gadgets, no doubt, enhance safety levels but at the end of the day an individual- employer and employee -is his own defence.  

The example should come from the top; workers learn from their employers. Employees cannot carry on with old ideas and rusted tools. Ushering in an atmosphere helpful to safe work is not a luxury; it is imperative.  Worker education,  risk assessment and risk elimination are three  aspects the employers cannot do away with.  The biggest employer in India- the government -should also leave nothing to chance. "Safety for a sustainable future" is a catchy and apt theme on National Safety Day observed by the National Safety Council on March 4.  To take SHE to every nook and corner of the country, through campaign and awareness, is its stated aim.

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

Dabolim airport is the pride of South Goa

The pride of South Goa, our Dabolim Airport, will be closed down very soon. That news creates goose bumps as our South Goa people are literally going to suffer. Are really ministers going to work on this or only false promises are going to be made. Dabolim is also a part of development so why is the government not trying its best to save this development? We want Dabolim Airport we don't want Mopa. Please work for the welfare of the people. 

Anita Fernandes, Verna

Stop harassing KTC passengers 

It is understood from KTC checker Umesh Naik at Margao that 71 bottles of alcohol transported from Goa on KTC for commercial use were apprehend at Hyderabad by the excise duty officers in January 2024, for that the KTC management has advised all KTC outstation bus passengers personal luggage to be checked while boarding the bus at the KTC bus stands. The operation was so badly handled that any unknown person would think, if they are looking for illicit substance, the way clothes and belongings are turned upside down. Once a ticket is booked, KTC sends series of pre-boarding messages, but this restriction is not advised, with passengers caught by surprise while boarding. 

What one cannot understand is, airlines allow five litres per passenger, railway allows at least two bottles on permit issued by the Goa Excise Department, no private buses are checked while boarding - why KTC should unnecessarily harass the passengers while boarding at the door. Requesting the senior citizens and even, there is no mercy for the ladies to open their suitcases and trolley bags in public without securing their privacy, despite they honestly confessing that they don't have any alcohol. 

If at all someone is taking one or two beer bottles or wine or even Goa's liquid gold cashew feni, do you think they are taking to sell, where each bottle is labeled as 'not for sale outside Goa' and what would one earn versus dragging the one or two bottles for personal from one destination to the other - does not make sense. Many Goans depend on their relatives or friends in Mumbai for medical, visa documentation or for a job interview, where they carry as gift or gesture against obligation for the few days of free stay. The sudden embargo on innocent passengers, who are forced to simply leave the bottles at the KTC bus stand unattended with no other choice apart being embarrassed or harassed, even if one is old as 70+ ladies or gents!

Not a complaint, but a humble request to the Goa Government, to look into this issue with staying in par with airline or train travel, if they hold a permit to carry the entitled quantity for their personal use.

Gaston Dias, Sarzora


Idhar Udhar