23 May 2024  |   05:12am IST

Letter to the editor (23 May 2024)

Smart City work going on in slow motion

The monsoons are just round the corner but the contractors of the Smart City Project are still seen casually carrying on with their in slow motion in Panjim city as if they have come here to enjoy their weekend holidays and group picnics in Goa. 

The worst part is that although the State government (of course, under pressure of the High Court) has clearly given them a deadline to complete all their works by May 31, they are seen digging/damaging even some of the recently hot-mixed roads over and over again on flimsy reasons in some of the interior parts of Panjim city. 

For eg the road near Azad Maidan/Panjim police headquarters was nicely hotmixed just a couple of months back but the same is currently being re-dug by using a JCB. 

Well, it looks like the City Godfathers are hell-bent on wasting all central funds sent for the completion of the Smart City Project by keeping their contractors busy even during the monsoons and permanently destroying the beauty of Panjim city ca

The Panjimites will have to compulsorily keep a few boats, life-jackets on standby this time because no one knows how Panjim will really look like during the coming monsoons due to the incomplete work of the contractors which will definitely require at least another year or two to get the City fully smart in Goa. God alone save Panjim and Panjimites during the coming monsoons in Goa.

Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

Cut-off date needed for water-sports

Indicating that intensity of pre-monsoon showers is likely to increase across Goa for more days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has reportedly issued a related warning. 

According to the forecast, light to moderate rains and thunderstorms accompanied by lighting and gusty winds are likely at several places across the state. It is pertinent to note that despite the State experiencing thunderstorms and heavy rains during the past few days water-sports activities are going on unabated in the Calangute-Candolim tourism hub thereby endangering the lives of tourists. 

 It is learnt that many boat owners continue to still offer boat-rides despite the rough sea conditions. It may be recalled that a cruise boat from Nerul reportedly got stranded in the high seas near Grande Island due to rough weather. 

Twenty-four tourists and crew members were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard. There appears to be no guidelines from the government for operating water-sports activities. It seems necessary to have a cut-off date notified by the government by which day all water-sports activities should come to a halt. 

Just as one of the reasons for the fishing ban implemented in the State from June 1, is to prevent fishermen risking their lives in the choppy monsoon seas, all water-sports activities should also be stopped from a particular date before the pre-monsoon rains in order to prevent risking the lives of tourists.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Chemicals in masala powder raises concern

With Singapore, Nepal and Hong Kong recalling some masalas due to the presence of ethylene oxide and the European Union (EU) raising concerns regarding several other compounds found in packaged Indian spices, raises health concern.  

Consumption of ethylene oxide and other carcinogenic materials in food can lead to a range of cancers, including stomach and breast cancer besides lukemia . Even to ripen mangoes chemicals are used.  And the tea growers have appealed to government in Assam for action against banned chemicals in plantations. 

 Despite concerns expressed by food safety regulatory organisations in different countries, in India where some companies sell most of their production, FSSAI has lagged behind.  

The absence of official guidance leaves both sellers and buyers uninformed about potential risks associated with these products.  The delay from the FSSAI raises serious concerns about their commitment to our safety. FSSAI must probe spices brands, mango sellers, tea traders to check for any toxic chemicals.  

K G Vilop, Chorao

Implement rules against underage riders in State

It has been noticed that some underage children, in their early teens, are riding their parents’ bikes. This practice has become particularly prevalent during the summer holidays when children have more free time and tend to use these vehicles more frequently.

The situation is extremely alarming, especially considering the high number of accidents reported daily in Goa. Allowing young teenagers to ride scooters without helmets and licenses not only endangers their lives but also puts other road users at risk. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children's safety, and permitting them to engage in such reckless behaviour is highly irresponsible.

Rather than encouraging activities that could lead to serious injury or worse, parents should be guiding their children towards safer and more constructive pursuits, such as summer camps, hiking, or swimming classes. It is crucial for the well-being of our community that we address this issue promptly and effectively.

I urge the authorities to take immediate action by implementing stricter enforcement of traffic laws related to underage riding and helmet use.

David Fernandes, Borda

Wild life on the brink of extinction 

Hunting of wild animals have pushed some species to the brink of extinction in many countries.  Elephants and tigers are at the receiving end as their tusks and skin has high demand in international market. Some animals are hunted for human consumption. Global watchdog bodies that protect and restore wildlife and habitat should devise ways and means to host ecological sustainable wild animals in a defined territory. 

The receding forests cover due to concretisation and forest fires is the main causes of fast- eroding habitat make life miserable for wild animals who are often found to stay in human settlements wreaking havoc on human lives and property. 

The concerned forest department needs to look in the matter and protect human lives from being endangered.

Diomedes Romano Pereira, Corlim


Iddhar Udhar