03 Oct 2022  |   05:25am IST

Letters to the editor ( 03 October 2022)

Waiting for VIP accident?

Recently a very prominent and respected industrialist along with other prominent associates were killed in a car accident, as they were returning to Mumbai from Ahmedabad. Post the latter unfortunate accident, there was a lot of national coverage and the Central Govt took a serious notice including starting an investigation and announcing some strong measures to save lives; including making seat belts mandatory for all passengers.

While I appreciate the latter, it begs the question: does the Government take serious notice only when VIPs are involved? Coming to Goa, we see quite a few people losing their lives on Goan roads in accidents which could be because of variety of reasons, including reckless driving, drunk driving, damaged/potholed roads, absence of signs/zebra markings, construction areas not taking proper precautions for drivers, etc.

Is the Goa Government waiting only for a VIP, Minister, MLA to be seriously affected before it decides to take any action?

Arwin Mesquita, Colva

Unauthorised homestays is a threat to society

I refer to your article in the Herald on Sunday, October 2, 2022, titled “Unauthorised homestays are a realtime threat.’

Homestays guesthouses have become a big nuisance to the residents of Housing Societies in Goa. We have invested our hard earned savings in complexes where the end use of the flats are purely for residential purpose.

However, a few members, who don’t even reside in the housing complexes, have entered into agreements with service providers to convert their flats into guesthouses without the approval of the society and the concerned authorities.

At the cost of great inconveniences and high risk to the residents of the housing complexes, the daily guests of these few selfish and greedy members and their service providers have disturbed the peace and tranquility of our societies.

You have so rightly described in the article the situation faced by the residents of housing societies due to homestays.

We hope your article is an eye-opener to the authorities who should immediately put a ban on homestay guesthouses in housing societies.

R Pereira Candolim

Should mobiles be allowed to school?

During the pandemic when schools were shut children used to follow their online classes by using a Smartphone. However, physical classes have now commenced but children are not allowed to carry their mobile phones to school.

There could be several reasons for this. Mobile phones in schools will reduce the interest of students in sports or extra-curricular activities. They will be distracted by the attractive games and apps on the phone. Moreover, they may also limit students' communication with their teachers and classmates, if they remain glued to the screen during breaks.

Mobile phones can lead to increased problems with bullying in school. Cyber-bullying can be harder to spot than other forms of bullying. Continuous exposure to radiation causes health problems. However for security reasons it becomes prudent for school administrations to allow students to carry their mobiles to school. In today’s world a mobile is more a necessity than a luxury. If not a Smartphone children should be at least allowed to carry a simple mobile.

Students can use them to call up parents in cases of emergency, such as a weather disturbance or transport problem. It can prevent a possible incident of kidnapping or abduction. There are GPS devices which can be linked to the cell phones that will monitor the child’s location. In today’s world where kidnapping and abduction of children has become a reality, a mobile phone tucked in the child’s school bag could be of vital importance. Schools need to have a rethink on not allowing children to carry their mobiles to school.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Dr Joe, a martyr for Goa's causes

The NGT order that the Captain of Ports halt the construction of the CoP Terminal building is to be ascribed to the single handed battle against this alleged violation of CRZ norms, of late Dr Joe D'Souza, who left no stone unturned in order to shelve this contentious construction. 

This temporary victory should now be followed up by those who regard Dr Joe as a martyr who opposed this project. It may be stressed here that Joe's health condition severely deteriorated during his struggle to get this project scrapped and thus Dr Joe should be equated with the likes of Matanhy Saldanha and late Fr Bismarque Dias who were champions for the protection of the environment.

It may be recalled that Dr Joe was deeply involved in being not only an activist, but pointing out a number of cases relating to environmental degradation which should have been protected, through his being a regular contributor to articles in the print media that highlighted aspects relating to the environment. It would be a fitting tribute if the CoP terminal building construction is scrapped as a posthumous reward for his fight against this contentious project.

Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

Congress Presidential elections

It is great to see the Congress party finally deciding to hold presidential elections and the two candidates are both equally talented to do the job based on their experience and qualifications.

Actually I would have liked if both the candidates could work together and bring together the old and new blood together to take on the communal elements who are threatening the democratic fabric of our great nation. 

Best of luck to you Kharge and Dr Tharoor. You are both great in your own right and we wish you will continue to fight to bring democracy back into the Indian polity. 

Matias Lobo, Tivim

Congressman for all seasons

Ashok Gehlot to Digvijay Singh to Mallikarjun Kharge   finally Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has been able to find a "suitable" candidate to run for the party presidentship.

Spontaneous or orchestrated, the Rajasthan dissent depicted Gehlot in a bad light; he must have received a sharp rebuke from Sonia. Digvijay flattered to deceive, his "respect" for Kharge coming to the fore. The grandiloquent Shashi Tharoor is only a formality; Kharge is all set to win. 

The octogenarian leader from Karnataka has seen it all. He has enjoyed almost every portfolio as a minister in Karnataka. Not exactly known as an able administrator, but as a person Kharge is pliable as well as amiable. Not having a rebellious streak in him has been his undoing or, should one say, his trump card. 

The dalit leader has never been known as a messiah of the community or a leader of the masses. Not an astute orator by any means, his good command over the Hindi language has been a plus. By all accounts Kharge will act as a facilitator to keep the rumblings within the party to a minimum by keeping senior and junior leaders alike in good humour. He has that knack as evidenced by some G23 Congressmen, or letter writers, quickly announcing their support to the veteran leader, a man of all seasons. 

Kharge's biggest support system is, of course, Sonia Gandhi though Rahul Gandhi's equations with him is not too clear. But a low profile leader like Kharge should be to Rahul's liking. More than one power centre in the Congress would have ruffled the Gandhis. They have taken sufficient care to ensure that doesn't happen. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Iddhar Udhar