11 Jul 2024  |   04:51am IST

Letter to the editor (11 July 2024)

The sea will not tolerate our trash

It is learnt that Benaulim beach was awash with an unusually large amount of waste material due to rough seas and high tide. This is an annual occurrence at various beaches across the state during the monsoon. People have the habit of littering, throwing waste in water bodies. 

But there is also the sea which is doing its own job of cleaning itself. Whatever junk gets thrown into the sea, the sea throws it back. Residential or commercial trash that is not properly disposed of will also eventually reach our beaches. 

Rain washes trash through storm drains, and rivers and streams carry it to the ocean.  Plastic makes up about 90% of the trash in the ocean. Hundreds of aquatic ecosystems have been affected or killed by marine debris, which can injure or kill animals if entangled in it, as well as jeopardize their habitats. 

Marine debris can potentially pose a health risk to humans and jeopardize navigational safety. More rubbish is found near tourist destinations like Goa and densly populated places. Besides littering, sewer overflows, inadequate waste disposal management, industrial activity, constructions are the main cause of garbage ending in the sea. The state spends crores of rupees of public funds in beach-cleaning operations. 

This expenditure can be curtailed by disposing of the garbage in a proper and scientific manner. The seas throwing trash onto the beach is one way by which nature reminds us that we are not doing it right.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Need to start ferry service on roads

The city of Panjim is certainly bearing the brunt of the monsoons. There’s flooding not just in the city area but even on the outskirts. Most roads leading into the city area are completely underwater. 

It’s difficult to tell where the road ends and where the pavement begins.  Among the worst affected, is the 18th June road, Mala and Patto in the capital and popular among tourists and locals for shopping and restaurants, where water entered shops and motorists struggled to wade their vehicles through knee-deep water.

The lack of proper storm water drains and or poor maintenance can lead to water accumulating on roads instead of being quickly diverted away.  Roads are not designed to handle large volumes of water, leading to flooding during heavy rains.

With recent some road renovations, the downpour has battered the roads, leaving them vulnerable to damage. The waterlogging concerns are distressing and troublesome for commuters. The flooding is an annual phenomenon in the state capital and we cannot expect anything from elected representatives.  

Commuters has to be really careful while moving around in Panaji. When the monsoon reaches Goa, atleast the government must introduce ferry  services on flood roads for the ease of commuters. 

K G Vilop, Chorao

Encourage spirit of adventure

This is with reference to the letter by Jerry Fernandes (O Heraldo, July 10 on waterfalls and picnic. His suggestion to ban access to waterfalls for four months is akin to asking for an amputation of a leg because the toe has a sore, or ban the youth from riding two wheelers because one to two got killed in self-accidents!

Treks to waterfalls or forests in the rainy season should indeed be encouraged for several reasons. First, it is a relief from a mechanical life throughout the year. Second, a waterfall is in its majesty only in monsoon, not in the remaining eight months. Thirdly the biodiversity (both fauna and flora) in our forests is at its best visibility in this season. But, most importantly, by suppressing the urge for adventure, what Fernandes, expects our youth to achieve?  Perpetual sedentary life in front of screens of various sizes? If Mr. Speke’s parents told him not to go to Nile because he may drown or be eaten by a crocodile, the source of this longest river in the world would not have been discovered! Many examples abound in history.

Already our youth have long been divorced from nature and environment and it is only now they are beginning to realize there is life beyond monthly pay cheques. And it is only now they are coming out of society- and self-imposed “you can’t do this” attitude to “we can do this differently”. We should encourage this spirit of adventure which is badly needed, for them and for society. Mishaps happen but they can’t be a reason for a blanket ban. In fact, the Forest department should encourage trekking and visits to waterfalls, under supervision if necessary.  We have villagers living in forests and the forests dept. staff themselves who can act as responsible trek leaders.

I am somewhat qualified to write this because I have personal experience of adventures – in the forests, waterfalls, roads, remote Himalayas, in the sea!

Mohideen Wafar, Old Goa

Concerted reduction of global warming needed

An integrated investigation and research is to be conducted by a joint team of experts representing all the countries of the world as to how much the entire world in tandem has to reduce proportionately the usage of petroleum products, gas and coal.

This will help draw a road map as to how to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that is critical to the amelioration of the quantum of heat of the sun that is being trapped by emitted gases and can in concert be reduced to at least limit rise in temperatures above pre-industrial limits of 1.5 degree Celsius before 2030.

Since it is being reported the earth this year is set to become the hottest in history and thus urgent measures to restrict together the emissions of greenhouse gases will make the fast heating of the world reduce and lead to a cooler and healthier place. 

It has been reported that the temperature worldwide has now increased to 1.64 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial levels that is compared to mid 1800 level. 

In proportion of emissions of each nation on earth reduction strategies have to be drawn to limit the emission with consensus of greenhouse gases globally.

For example, China, US, EU and India being the four largest emitters of greenhouse gases, they have to reduce emissions relatively and make it binding. Measures should be drawn to address total emissions as well as per capita emissions. A breakthrough has to be the outcome. A major shift towards renewable energy like electric vehicles, solar power, wind turbine energy and safe nuclear energy is to be reached.

Elvidio Miranda, Panjim


Idhar Udhar