17 Mar 2023  |   05:20am IST

Letters to the editor ( 17 March 2023)

Panjim turns into a ghost city

The contractors who have been assigned with the job of turning Panjim into a smart city by the Goa government have currently turned the same into a dust pollution spreading city by mindlessly vandalising/digging/ damaging all the interior roads of the city in the name of laying some underground cables, pipelines, chambers etc and making these roads look like graves. 

In fact, today most people travelling to Panjim  must be wondering whether they are really in the capital city or in some mining belt area after moving around in all the interior roads of the city and personally experiencing dust pollution everywhere instead of clean fresh air.

The monsoons are fast approaching and  most people do not even know how the city of Panjim will actually resemble after a few sudden pre-monsoon showers from April to May and after seeing the ongoing slow-motion work of all the contractors of the much hyped 'smart city project' in Goa. 

If the Goa government is really serious in turning Panjim into a world-class smart city in future then it should immediately appoint some modern professionals like architects and engineers to carry on with that job instead of allowing some unprofessional contractors  having absolutely no knowledge of modern architecture/engineering.

Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

Goa should be a safe destination for tourists   

The editorial “Goa shouldn’t become Bombay of the 90s” has correctly pin-pointed names of the dreaded gangsters of yesteryears who once ruled India’s financial capital showing scant respect for rule of law. The underworld activities in the nineties were flourishing with extortion rackets, with gangsters waging war against each other to establish their supremacy over the city.  Blood spilled freely on the Mumbai streets and contract killings were order of the day, thanks to the lax attitude of police force.

Though extortion stories are rare in Goa, the presence of Russian, Israeli and Nigerian mafia group operating in tandem with locals in the organised drug trade in Goa are well known, of course with the blessing of police. 

The issue raised by BJP MLA, Michael Lobo about some persons demanding protection money from clubs and restaurants owners in the coastal belt needs to be investigated thoroughly.  Instances of non-cooperation by Goa Police were highlighted by Hyderabad city Police Commissioner in the case of BJP leader Sonali Phogat death case. Goa in recent times has become a principal hub of the international drug trade, apart from being a key point of consumption.

The Goa Police irrespective of the political clout of the criminals must carry out its duty of investigation and nail the culprit failing which it will open doors for other criminals to take law in their hand.  Goa must be safe for all tourists.

Gregory Fernandes, Marcel

AI-based parking management system

It is learnt that the first Artificial-Intelligence (AI) operated traffic signal has been installed at the Merces junction and an e-challan system was launched which will have the capacity to track traffic violations and even pollution. Intelligent traffic lights are a vehicle traffic control system that combines traditional traffic lights with an array of sensors and artificial intelligence to intelligently route vehicle and pedestrian traffic. They can form part of a bigger intelligent transport system. 

AI is used in traffic lights to detect the speed of vehicles and adjust the timing accordingly. It is an internet-connected vehicle traffic control system capable of adapting traffic light controls based on information collected from sensors, edge devices, and video systems. Given the parking issues that Panjim city faces, it would be prudent to also introduce an Artificial-Intelligence based parking system in the city. The situation becomes absolutely chaotic during the tourist season and when global events like the International film Festival of India (IFFI) are held, when looking for a parking spot is like looking for a needle in a haystack. AI-based smart parking is an innovative parking solution that leverages data from different devices like sensors and cameras to form an AI-driven parking management system. These devices are either embedded into the parking lot or placed in close proximity to the parking lot to detect the availability of parking spots. They then relay collected data to software connected to different devices that communicate the availability of parking spots to vehicular drivers.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Death threat should not silence us

We all need to stand up for the truth in these times when threats are so rife. All that flowery oratory and pep talk by this Government over the last ten years has not taken our nation forward. In fact our once great country is falling to pieces.

Mere preaching that the nation must progress but having a private devious agenda is not in keeping with the larger interests of the nation. All this puts the nation on the wrong track and for that the government does not earn the confidence of its people.

Those public postures of intentions to make India the leader of the world, is on the wrong path because of its religion-dominated agenda and the hatred towards all other creeds arising from its patriotism. There may be some fine individuals but their patriotism fills them with bitterness and wrath towards every other creed that does not bow down to their skewed agenda.

Patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel, wrote Tolstoy in his essay on “Government and Patriotism in the 1900s and it was promptly banned by the then Russian government. Tagore did not approve of militant nationalism and wrote a book (‘Nationalism’) which reportedly was approved as a textbook by the British University. May better sense prevail in the leaders taking our Nation down the tube to the cleaners.

Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


Idhar Udhar