13 Mar 2023  |   05:34am IST

Letters to the editor ( 13 March 2023)

Encouraging and enforcing punctuality

As reported in the press, recently a disabled person was refused the delivery of a special vehicle, which was to be presented to him, in view of his disabled status. The vehicle was denied to be presented to him at that time, because arrived he arrived ten minutes late for the presentation and photo opportunity. The elected representative who took this decision is said to have said that public must learn to arrive and time. In my opinion, this was a very good exemplary action taken by the elected representative. But the million dollar question that begs to be asked is, does not punctuality apply to those who are elected or seeking elections?

 I can recount thousands of occasions when thousands of suffering public have braved the sun and rain, waiting for the elected or aspiring dignitaries to arrive for the meeting or the function which they have organised. The public can only hope that the elected and aspiring persons will take this excellent example set by this elected representative to heart and follow the same dictum.

Rosario Menezes, 

Vasco da Gama

Forest fires

Forty percent of India's forests are fire-prone. Incidences of wildfire or forest fire increase manifold in dry and hot weather. High temperature and fast wind, or together, are primary natural causes apart from frictions among falling stones and rubbing of leaf surfaces against one another; mitigation measures must be directed against these causes. Nine out of ten causes of forest fire is attributed to human activities like open burns, vehicular use, industry and materials like burning cigarettes. 

It is of utmost importance to carry out campfires, if any, away from inflammable materials. All fire sources used should be completely extinguished, if possible with a bucket of water. 

Generally, small areas of ditches in forests act as firebreaks to control natural fire but there can be a problem if there is paucity of ditches. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Maharashtra forests lead in wildfire occurrences. Before forest fire incidents threaten to snowball out of proportion, it is imperative for the Centre to properly employ the two common technologies---- Modern Resolution Imaging Spectro-Radiometer and the more sophisticated Polar Oribital Satellite based SNPP--VIIRS to  alert the government on wildfires from time to time.

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

Poorly equipped fire fighters

Goa Govt's Fire Disaster management is first of all non-existent, and what is also coming to light now is how poorly equipped the fire fighters are!  Masks are an absolute necessity and the minimum basic for these fire fighters to do their jobs properly with minimum health risk to themselves!  It's really a sad state of affairs when a government which keeps on promoting "Good Governance" can splurge  scarce Tax Payers money on events and other non productive activities but cannot even provide Masks to the fire fighters!   Please can I request the government to provide these basics immediately?

Arwin Mesquita, Colva

A long overdue 

right decision

The Goa Government has taken a very sensible decision to wind up all the non-performing and non- profitable State run corporations.

While there are fully fledged departments to undertake their respective tasks, over the years parallel pointless Corporations have been created solely to rehabilitate politicians and allow them to merrily enjoy free perks and privileges at taxpayers expense. Infact Kadamba Transport Corporation and the Waste Management Corporation are the only two whose existence is justifiable. And possibly a Corporation to deal with the stray animals will be a huge benefit to the State as the stray dogs and stray cattle are an enormous menace to society. All the other corporations are an unnecessary huge burden on our debt ridden State and must be wound up in public interest. 

For rationalization in government spending, strong and sincere austerity measures need to be taken and such criminal waste of public funds on superfluous Corporations needs to end. Fiscal accountability and responsibility has to be an ongoing sustained process with every paisa of the taxpayer very judiciously spent. Due to the follies of successive governments we have landed in this huge fiscal upheaval. 

It is now the bounden duty and responsibility of the authorities to work towards restoring Goa back on the road to economic prosperity.

Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar 

Saline water not suitable for concrete mixes

A video has gone viral on social media wherein it is seen that a labourer is fetching water from river Mandovi with a bucket and using the same for concrete mixes. The concrete mixes were used for laying the foundation for the streetlights at the Mandovi promenade in Panjim by the State Electricity Department appointed contractor. It is obvious that the contractor is using the easy way out to fetch water by using saline water instead of fresh water for preparing the concrete mix. Research indicates that seawater is not suitable for the mixing and curing of both plain and reinforced concrete in marine conditions. Seawater contains about dissolved salt and total salinity is approximately 3.5%, of which 78% is sodium chloride. Thus, the use of seawater is avoided as mixing water for reinforced concrete, because of the risk of corrosion of reinforcement bars which is induced by chloride in seawater compounds. Salt does indirectly damage concrete driveways and sidewalks. 

Bumps and potholes don't just appear due to regular wear and tear but salt damages concrete over time by causing corrosion to occur under the surface, leading to discoloured, cracked and crumbling concrete. The finished cured strength of the concrete is compromised when using salt water for binding the cement. An enquiry needs to be initiated regarding use of saline water for concrete mixes at the Mandovi promenade and necessary action taken as per law.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Travails of the elephants 

The sad death of two adult female elephants due to electrocution and the pathetic sight of their two orphaned calves has deeply touched one's heart. While various reasons are attributed for the death of the precious animals, one main reason that is conveniently forgotten is that avaricious man has usurped their habitats for his selfishness forcing them to enter human habitats in search of food and water. We have heard of goons with political support having grabbed and converted thousands of acres of forest lands which till then remained the habitats of animals including elephants into create concrete jungles which has resulted in the starving and thirsty animals entering farmers' lands for food. We also feel sad to find elephants owned by private people and religious places remaining chained  and tortured  when they fail to obey the orders of the mahouts, mainly begging. The animals thus are denied their usual and natural way of living.  

If the government is serious to contain the dwindling in the population of the elephants, it should see that all the animals which remain domesticated are sent back to the deep forests and allowed to live under natural surroundings. The recent judgment delivered by  Justice Swaminathan of the Madurai bench of Madras High Court that there should be no more acquisition of elephants by individuals and temples and all the elephants in captivity both with individuals and temples should be sent  back to the government rehabilitation centres to mitigate their woes, is also a case in point. 

Tharcius S. Fernando, 



Iddhar Udhar