22 Oct 2021  |   05:04am IST

Letters to the editor (22 October 2021)

Letters to the editor (22 October 2021)

Evaluating the TMC factor in Goa

Many in Goa would consider the entry of Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Goan politics as a case of sheer political opportunism. However, the very fact that all parties including the major ones such as the BJP, Congress and a fast emerging AAP are seriously apprehensive about the electoral prospects of the TMC gives credence to the fact that the TMC is a very potent force to reckon with.

People in Goa have to be aware that Mamata Banerjee is a serious contender to become the alternative candidate for the prime ministership of India. West Bengal have 42 Lok Sabha seats in all and if the TMC wins 38 of these, which is a distinct possibility considering its overwhelming performance in the Assembly elections recently and if the Congress fares worse than the TMC in India, Mamata Banerjee could emerge as a consensus candidate to nudge out Narendra Modi. This possibility would still be likelier if the Opposition unite pre-election time in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Practically and prudently this could become a possibility. Goans should take this factor into consideration when voting as most in Goa will agree that having a PM in India with a TMC majority cabinet in Goa will make life better for Goans and a welcome change.

Elvidio Miranda, 

Panjim


Tourism, a holistic approach needed

The Tourism Minister's irresponsible statement that Goa needs only rich tourists goes contrary to the government's own stated policy of focusing on all classes of tourism. Stressing on only high-end tourists to the exclusion of everyone else is a flawed policy fraught with danger. Goa does attract lots of low-end visitors from other States who drive in their chartered buses, camp at the roadside, cook their own meals, etc, but the fact remains that we cannot shut our doors to such travellers and backpackers. There was a proposal floated in 2012 to set up shelter for this class of tourists but it never materialised beyond the concept stage. In other countries campsites and trailer parks are set up at popular destinations with facilities for toilets, community cooking, cafeterias and laundry facilities; low budget tourists can avail these services for a nominal fee. Almost 90 lakh domestic tourists visit the State and a majority of them are on shoestring budgets, more so given the pandemic. All these years we have promoted mass tourism and now we say we only want the high rollers to come in. Let's face facts, most of the deep pocketed visitors as also the mid budget section now prefer going to neighbouring countries like Maldives (red hot), Sri Lanka,  Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand, which offer a far better experience without burning a hole in the pocket. The tourism industry there is much better organised and visitors don't have to deal with rowdy taxi drivers trying to fleece you the moment you land, dirty environs, crime or potholed roads. The government should adopt a holistic approach and provide some basic facilities to budget tourists while at the same time upgrading the tourism infrastructure to align with the expectations of the moneyed class.

Vinay Dwivedi, 

Benaulim 


Eating the right meals for a healthy life

It is learnt that the Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in association with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is organising a ‘healthy food and cultural programme’ in Panjim on October23. The program called ‘Eat Right Mela’ reportedly revolves around the idea of promoting nutritious meals and promoting local cuisines to cater to the gastronomic needs of the people with emphasis on eating the right meals which is good for health. There will be stalls serving healthy delicious food along with activities like walkathon, competitions and activity for children at the Inox courtyard. It is understood that Panjim has been shortlisted among the 75 cities in the country to organise the ‘Eat Right Mela’. The event which is open to the general public is a novel way of promoting right eating habits. Fast food has become a fad, especially among the younger generation. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important things one can do to protect one’s health. In fact, up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through one’s life choices and habits, such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active. A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. It protects one against many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars and saturated and industrially-produced trans-fat, are essential for a healthy diet. The event will be a good experience for citizens on the need to eat healthy food.

Adelmo Fernandes, 

Vasco


No retirement age for our politicians?

Some political parties are seen desperately welcoming defeated legendary old politicians (including those who are on a verge of retirement) into their fold and expecting them to do overnight sudden miracles by successfully wooing all the gullible voters in the upcoming 2022 Goa Assembly polls with the help of their own past charisma.

The most common practice that is rightly followed in sports is that once a player of any national football or cricket team becomes overaged, the player is forced to slowly retire and is mostly advised to take up coaching job but is never allowed to play for the same national team again. 

Unfortunately, we don't see such a thing happening in our Indian politics as even our over aged  politicians (including those suffering from serious illnesses and retired ones) are either recalled, told to carry on and keep playing like star players like Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, etc, in Parliament/State Assemblies for life. Hey, why doesn’t the Supreme Court of India tell the ruling government at the Centre to immediately bring out a law to compulsorily retire politicians who are above 60 years on the lines of all the government employees for the betterment of our country's future? Coz when almost everything (from consumer goods, medicines to all other items) produced in our country have an expiry date then why not politicians and why don't they compulsorily have a retirement age in Goa/India????

Jerry Fernandes, 

Saligao


Fuel & LPG price on fire

There is no respite to the common man as prices of petrol and diesel have increased again.  The oil companies are drilling a hole in consumer’s pocket via daily price revision.  Prices differ from State to State depending on the local taxes.  It's the time to fix that old bicycle and start cycling.  Trouble for Indian consumers has been mounting as most of them no longer receive LPG subsidy any more. The lack of subsidy mainly hurts millions of customers from poor families, which have switched to cleaner fuel in recent years and are often tempted to go back to the traditional polluting biomass.  People are yet to recover from COVID-induced economic crisis. Before increasing prices of essential commodities, the government should look at the economic status of the common man. The government at Centre should control petroleum products price and bring Achhe Din for the common man.  

K G Vilop, 

Chorao


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