The local residents of Mopa should not accept the measly compensation that the government is giving them, simply because the compensation is much lower than the market rate of land in Mopa.
The minimum that the Mopa land is worth now is about Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per square metre. As of now, the Mopa residents have the ability to retain their land for agricultural purposes which will remain for them a perennial source of income from the produce of the land.
In a place like Panjim, which is well developed, the market value of land is at least, if not more, than Rs 1,00,000 per sq mt. Why should the Mopa residents settle for less than at least Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000?
It may be stressed here that if the Mopa airport comes up, and God willing it will not, then the prices of the land in that area will skyrocket and it will be the local residents of Mopa who will suffer the most since they will not get value for their land due to the measly compensation being given, and they will not be able to afford the higher standard of living in and around Mopa. But on the contrary, those who have now bought land there such as the speculators will be the major beneficiaries if the price of land greatly appreciates there.
Mopa is not developed now, but the people can gain steady livelihood from their land through agricultural related activities. The Mopa residents would do well to not squander their land by way of measly compensation but retain their fertile land for their source of living as Mopa is now, which will be the much, much better option. If Mopa comes up, land in Mopa might jump up to Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 per sq mt and it will be the residents of Mopa who will suffer the most because their little money from compensation will not be worth later and their livelihood will become miserable.
Unfortunately successive Central governments have done nothing for glorification of real heroes of freedom-struggle while even the present Central government continues worshipping a person who was indeed responsible for vetoing deserving Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel as first Prime Minister of India instead crowning Jawaharlal Nehru on the responsible post.
No political party remembered the historical day of March 13, 1940 when great patriot Sardar Udham Singh made a surgical strike inside Britain at Caxton Hall in London by shooting down Michael O’Dwyer for his sin of infamous Jaliawalan Bagh massacre, even though he knew very well that he would be hanged to death for his heroic deed.
Only present Central government can take desired steps to keep memory of pre-independence freedom-fighters like Sardar Udham Singh, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Ashrafulla Khan, Lala Lajpat Rai, etc, by so many modes including putting their pictures and precise profile on currency notes of different denominations rather than of just one politically-worshipped person.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi
Soil displacement can lead to landslides
The metal scaffolding set up for building of an approach road to the new Zuari Bridge collapsed injuring four workers. The reason for the collapse has reportedly been attributed to an “imbalance” and “soil displacement from the hillock”.
This mishap should come as wake-up call for the authorities. The large scale of hill-cutting that has been carried out for road-widening purpose can result in massive land-slides as a result of soil displacement from the hills during the fast approaching monsoon season.
It is observed that at several places, specially, at the Cortalim junction, the hill has been cut vertically with no slanting slope and with absolutely no support in place to prevent a landslide. The displacement of soft soil along the cut portion of the hill could lead to land-slides just like the soil displacement led to the mishap on Wednesday.
It seems prudent to build a retaining wall along the hills that have been cut on a war-footing in order to prevent any untoward incident by way of a land-slide which could prove disastrous.
The honest poor and the filthy rich
It was my mistake. I thought I gave her twenty rupees. But it was actually two twenty rupee notes. They got stuck against each other so closely that I thought it was just one note. After a few minutes the woman came running towards me and returned one twenty rupee note after politely pointing out about my mistake and then went away without giving me an opportunity to thank her.
But could I thank her if she had given me the time? No, I could not because it had a shocking effect on me. Her old sari and her torn plastic-slippers were as rickety as she herself was. But she breathed a sigh of relief after returning the money.
The incident happened many years ago. But I could not forget it. Whenever I hear the story of corruption at the highest level, her face comes to my mind. This restores my faith that most of the ordinary citizens of our country are extremely honest. This is really a paradox! When most of the poor people are showing exemplary honesty, some rich people who have nothing to worry about are resorting to unscrupulous means. Tagore highlighted about it in his poem "Dui Bigha Jomi" (My last piece of land). In the poem, Tagore said, "e jagate hae sei beshi chae achhe jar bhuri bhuri" ("Alas, in this world those who have most want all").
The face of the lady and this poem of Tagore came to my mind again when I saw a video which was made and circulated by UK’s Telegraph newspaper. In the video, Nirav Modi was seen walking freely around on the streets of London sporting a handle bar moustache and an ostrich hide jacket. It is reported that the cost of the jacket is 10,000 pounds which is approximately Rs 9 lakh!
It also had a chilling effect on me. Here was the billionaire diamond tycoon who was accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case! Ostrich leather is one of the world's most expensive and also the toughest leather.
I would like to spread public awareness about the evil of rash driving by youngsters. Increasing economic prosperity has given rise to a class which loves to show off their money. These people buy cars, bikes and scooters for their children when they are still in school. Owning a vehicle is a sign of prestige for them. They do not care whether their children follow the traffic rules or not.
It is a common sight to see three young boys piled on a scooter or bike, all without a helmet. They do not have driving licences and endanger their lives on the road. Parents should be sensitised to the danger of rush driving. Hundreds of people die in road accidents every year.
It is a harsh reality that needs to be addressed. Traffic police should impose heavy fines on underage driving and rash driving.
Flagging the deadly impact of air and water pollution that annually claims at least nine million lives globally, a new UN report on Wednesday called for urgent action to save humanity from the disastrous consequences environmental degradation. It is very sad that many States of India are affected badly, diseases have been increasing at a very fast rate.
Many children and aged people are suffering from dangerous diseases, that sometimes cause death.