The world lost a powerhouse of a priest in Fr. Lourenco. In a time when Goa is slipping steadily into deeper depths of self-destruction, she could have ill-afforded to have lost such a good messenger of God; but the Lord knows best, and I'm sure the people that Fr Lourenco laid his hands on, thus sharing his immense love and joy with, will blossom into twice the blessing he was.
In a heart to heart with him in the grace filled Cruz dos Milagros church, I asked him to begin interceding with his prayer army and pray for our youth to collectively swear off alcohol, drugs and other destructive vices from their teens, and put Goa's spirit to optimum use: proving she is the Land of 10,000 saints and not the Mother of a 100 perverse vices as the rest of India and the world thinks she is.
If anything, I can only hope Fr Lourenco's untimely passing puts Goans back on track with being madly in love with our mighty inheritance: the barely heard of wonders of Cruz dos Milagros church, the Se Cathedrale and other grace-soaked divine structures that few Goans have even heard off, or even cared to visit and touch their heads to their hallowed floors in reverence, thus giving the demons of addiction and wasteful existence their walking papers.
Apropos to the news report ’36 IISIS militants killed in US ‘mother of all bombs’ says Afghan Ministry’ (Herald, April 15).
US military latest dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan is rather confusing. This is the second military engagement of the US in a week, the first being Syria. In fact, Afghanistan is facing more threats from Taliban, Al Qaeda and militants from Pakistan than the ISIS. It appears US President Donald Trump is following the path of his predecessors, who had ordered one-off strikes with little or nothing to achieve. According to US source, at least 36 suspected ISIS militants were killed in the bombing without any civilian casualties. As it is, the US military is currently facing widespread concerns that its accelerated bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are increasing civilian casualties.
What does this US powerful bombing in Afghanistan means and what messages it has sent North Korea, Iran, Syria and Pakistan? From the looks of it, it appears the Trump Administration has sounded official warning bells to these countries that it means business and that they must be cautious in their approach.
Gregory Fernandes, Marcel
Altaf Shah deserves congratulations for his article, "Understanding nationalism" (Herald, People's edit, April 15) in which he has gone to the core of nationalism and highlighted two basic criteria for assessing a nationalist in our country.
The first criterion is to love our own country - India and its people irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. Indeed, a true nationalist should try to do whatever she/he can for the development of fellow citizens and for improving India's dismal position in Human Development Index which has slipped further downward from 130th to 131st during last year.
Second criterion is to know our Constitution and especially its preamble and to try to adhere to its principles. As a matter of fact, it is really a crying need now to counter the lathis of gau rakshaks that thrash our fraternity, the chappals of a Member of Parliament that slap our liberty and a fatwa of a youth leader of a political party that challenges the rule of law of our country. It is time to reflect on what to do to replace such grammar of anarchy from our political backyard by our Constitution.
National Highways - the road to great development and connectivity. Travelling to Navelim on and along the National highway from Margao is nothing but a see-saw or rather a Humpty Dumpty ride. The state of the roads are so very bad. A sorry state of affairs on the executed public works! Last year the internal roads were tarred and now again with monsoon nearing it is surely going to be a nightmare to ride and drive on these roads. Speed breakers too need to be highlighted. The roads leading to the school and college are quite uneven causing a danger to our youth too.
How about a 500mtr along the National highway - pothole ban on these bad roads? Why not take away and stop renewing the licences of the contractors undertaking the works and the concerned authorities too along with inferior material suppliers if any? Why not ? This is not applicable only for the roads at Navelim but all along our highways. For all public works carried out haphazardly.
Highways are our national pride. Connecting to the National highway is equally important. It's about time we citizens demand for proper infrastructure maintenance and not mere construction of roads and bridges. Our taxes mostly appreciate; so why should the maintenances alongside depreciate!
Although the deadline for completion of pre-monsoon works has been mentioned as May 31 annually, some of the concerned authorities seldom complete these works within the stipulated date. As far as the panchayats in the state of Goa are concerned, only a few panchayats obey this requirement.
With regard to the village panchayat of Durbhat (in Ponda), pre-monsoon works start only during mid-June or so annually. With a very little time to complete the said work, performance in this regard is found to be unsatisfactory. Some of the areas remain unattended as well. As a matter of fact, the Directorate of Panchayats do not depute its representatives to the jurisdiction of Village Panchayats for getting acquainted with the actual work done during this period and depend only on the report submitted by the Village Panchayats.
With a view to assure timely pre-monsoon works by Village Panchayats, it would be worth for the Directorate of Panchayats to issue a fresh circular to all the 190 Village Panchayatss in the state of Goa to complete above task by May 31, 2017 positively. Panchayats which fail to meet this deadline should be taken to task without any discrimination or political patronage.
Pravin U Sardessai, Adpai
Going by the present state of readiness of the Director of Panchayat’s office for Panchayat elections in Goa, it seems inevitable that polls for the Panchayats in Goa are destined to be postponed to August. It seems the delimitation process of the wards will take much longer than expected considering the fact it has just started and the term of the present Panchayat bodies expire on May 21 with no provision for any extension.
In those circumstances, likelihood of the Panchayats being taken over by an administrator looks all the more certain and thus setting up a wrong precedent in village governance. If at all the polls have to be postponed it would be wise to plan for a gap of a minimum 6 months between the completion of term of the Assembly and the Panchayat bodies so that in future the people are not left at the mercy of the government with regards to Panchayat elections.
It is high time the Government announces the dates or postponement of Panchayat elections to relieve the thrilling anxiety in the minds of the people.