19 Apr 2024  |   04:27am IST

Letter to the editor (19 April 2024)

Do legislators care for the electorate?

This has reference to the report ‘Farmers from Barcem in Quepen don't know who their candidates are….’.- Herald April 18,  2024.

Barcem farmers not knowing who their candidates are, well, that seems to be typical of many of our rural voters, perhaps even in the urban areas across the country. Voters have been conditioned to look only at the symbol while casting their vote, no matter who the candidates may be. Incidentally, that's how our Democracy functions.

Another important point your news report bring out is, first-timers saying, only false promises are being dished out with no accountability. I think, they've hit the nail on the head! Yes, that's the sad reality today. There is no accountability. As soon as they are elected, they seem to think they are rulers of the nation not the servants of the people who have put them up there. 

And speaking of development, well it seems like is the development of the elected representatives rather than the common man.

We all want to see a nation with not only farmers but the common man, engaging with candidates demanding their welfare, welfare of the nation. Will that happen? Well, at the moment, it seems like a mirage! Long Live our Democracy!

Melville X D'Souza, Mumbai

First phase of polling begins today

Campaigning ended Wednesday evening for 102 Lok Sabha seats across 21 states and Union territories which will go to polls in the first phase on April 19. India's election is the world's largest electoral exercise with more than 18 million people voting for the first time in these elections. Nearly 97 crore people are registered to vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and around 1.85 crore of them are in the 18-19 age-group according to the Election Commission (EC). 

Obviously job opportunity is the most important desire of the first-time voters. It is pertinent to note that despite world-beating growth, India's economy has scrambled to generate enough work for its people. To tap into such disenchantment, India's main opposition Congress has promised paid apprenticeships. The ruling dispensation manifesto also focuses on creating jobs. Many of the youth work in private firms for a meagre salary which is not sufficient for a family to survive. Literacy would also be topmost on the mind of the youth. They would want to make India more fair and inclusive where everyone should be educated and illiteracy should be wiped out completely. There are more slums in the cities than there are in villages. Children as old as seven or eight years of age are forced to leave schools and their education to find jobs to feed themselves and their families. This needs to change.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

PM Care(s) Fund, a fit case for suo motu action

In March 2020, Narendra Modi announced the PM CARES fund which he claimed was being started for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it was extremely surprising since the PM National Relief Fund already existed for dealing with such exigencies.

The PM Cares Fund  seems to be more murky and opaque than the electoral bonds. Over the years, the dubious fund has accumulated thousands of crores through donations which included contributions from corporates from both India and abroad. The PMC managers have repeatedly refused to provide any information under the RTI Act claiming it is not a 'public authority' but a private fund. There is no explanation on how a purportedly private fund running in the PM's name is using India's national emblem and a gov.in website for soliciting donations. It also turns out that since the past two years, the fund has stopped publishing records/balance sheets of how much money it has received and how much of it was spent and for what.

After the electoral bonds scam and considering the extreme opacity of PM Cares, serious questions are being raised  on where the billions collected in the fund are being deployed and who is benefiting from it. This is a fit case for the Supreme Court to take suo motu action , after all the nation wants to know who is being CARED for ?

Vinay Dwivedi,  Benaulim

The El Nino and La Nina impact

The whole world is abuzz once again with matters connected to climatic conditions after the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and global scientific experts came out with the news that the Pacific Ocean has cooled substantially in the past few weeks and  thus making way for the weakening of the El Nino condition   which along with climatic  changes  pushed  global temperatures to new highs resulting in scorching heat, low rainfall, drought and various other climatic problems around the world.  In India odd climatic changes due to rise in temperature saw a lot of 

negative impacts. 

El Nino is often linked to the weakened Monsoon winds and dry weather, potentially resulting in reduced rainfall during the monsoon season and thus hitting the Indian population and the agricultural sector. 

The El Nino  effect resulted in  droughts, floods, crop failures, and looming food shortages. Farmers struggled to get enough water for irrigation, which lowered crop production.  

Meteorologists are now curiously making a study on  the opposite phase of El Nino, the  La Nina, which is the abnormal cooling of sea surface waters which again has its own effects around the globe. In India, while El Nino is mostly associated with hot summers and lack of rainfall during monsoon season, the La Nina meteorologists  predict  brings cooler temperatures and general increase in rainfall for the country.

According to the predictions, India is likely to experience above-normal precipitation during its peak monsoon season from July to September. Hope this helps revive the agriculture sector and help the population from drought. But at the same time  we have to be cautious as abundant water can lead to deluges too. 

M Pradyu, Kannur

Corruption damages roads beyond repair

According to governmental statistics, there were nearly 1900 road accident deaths due to potholes in 2022.  Poor engineering and lack of funds have led to Indian roads' "pothole phenomenon". The government has repeatedly claimed that it has released more funds for roads. So, another "universal"  phenomenon in India, "corruption", has damaged roads beyond recognition.

Heavy traffic and rains lead to surface underneath the roads expanding, and cracking,  leading to potholes. Insufficient drainage system has aggravated the condition. When sub-standard materials are used for road building, potholes surface, and patching is undertaken by the governments.  However, they do not stick long, and the original potholes resurface. 

 One has to depend on the latest technological methods  to prevent re-emergence of the potholes.  When the potholes first appear, immediate steps to repair them is important; otherwise they can give way again, and soon. During the fresh construction of roads, an asphalt is laid out over underlying multiple rocks called aggregators.

 In a hurry to meet the deadline, engineers tend to utilise inadequate aggregators. The government has stressed on "education and engineering, enforcement and emergency" as steps to prevent and repair potholes. Big on words, small on execution. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Idhar Udhar