05 Mar 2024  |   05:04am IST

Letter to the editor (05 March 2024)

Are concerns about EVMs unfounded?

In a recent interview by Karan Thapar with Madhav Deshpande, former CEO of Tulip Software Company, it was categorically stated by Deshpande that EVMs can be manipulated but not hacked as these machines are based on a technology designed in 1977, when neither Internet, Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth were available. 

Also according to him, these machines are under designed because they have not been able to keep pace with the development of technology and with the advancement of Internet, Wi-Fi and other modes of wireless communication. Hence, the issue of manipulation of EVMs which at present consist of three units a Ballot Unit having keys to enter the votes, a Control Unit that stores information about votes cast and the VVPAT (voter verification paper trail) looms large. 

Out of these three, the one that stores the information about the votes cast to a particular candidate could be susceptible to manipulation and cannot be fully guaranteed that the votes cast will be always going to the right candidate. This is also because the manner in which these machines are connected to each other.

The order of connection being the Ballot Unit is connected to VVPAT which is in turn connected to the Votes Storing machine . This machine could be potential source of error due to its malfunctioning of or possibly due deliberate manipulation of that unit, hence many citizens both who are tech savvy as well as common people have expressed grave concern that EVMs of today may not be safe enough to assure the voters that the votes cast by them would go to the right candidates of their choice. 

Of course the Election Commission of India has always reiterated that the EVMs are perfectly safe and there are no flaws present in them that should cause any anxiety in the minds of the voters about their votes. However, given the  credibility of the Election Commission in recent years, people’s apprehension could be genuine and the way they express publicly their lack of faith in EVMs could be justified. 

 Well going back to the age old system of ballot papers, which is preferred at the moment by those who are objecting to the use of EVMs, could be the only choice. Although it may be said that in the past, even this process of voting by ballot papers has been grossly misused by the politicians in various ways.

Antonio Diniz, Fatorda

Provision of washrooms along highways needed

It is true that the number of tourists visiting the state are growing by the day. There is even a proposal to have a third airport in the state in Canacona in order to cater to the rising number of arrivals to the state. It must be said along with the need to make provision for tourists to come to the state, it is also important to enhance the infrastructure available within the state for the tourists. 

It must be said that not all tourists who visit the state come by flight. Thousands of tourists come by road by travelling in their private vehicles. It is absolutely necessary to provide facilities by way of public toilets along the highway. The gap between intermittent stops for food or tea could be far too long. These washrooms need to be provided with adequate water supply. In absence of public toilets along the highway people may be forced to answer nature’s call in the open. 

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Fix accountability for government servants

Being a democratic nation, the public servants should be made accountable.  As accountability is an important element of a good governance to increase the trust of public.  It brings more discipline into the actions of public servant and hence motivate them to deliver better services. The State government should effectively implement fixing of accountability on every government servant at every stage at every level.  

A public accountability on each employee of government including local and State is a must and penal provision for the same too are required for its practical implementation.  Currently, no law exists under which government employees can be prosecuted or held liable for inaction. 

 Today that it needs to be taken care of, it is time that public servants, particularly officers of the government in every departments are made to answer for the inconvenience, trauma and loss caused to the public due to their failure to act on time and to make them liable for inaction.  Pave the way by making public servants accountable if they fail to perform their duties.

K G Vilop, Chorao


Iddhar Udhar