Anti-defection law needs to be further reinforced
The anti-defection law came into force in 1985 but it has not been able to curb the widespread menace of political defections. The law needs to be further reinforced to plug the prevailing loopholes and deter the evil of MPs and MLAs merrily hopping across parties motivated by the lure of office and monetary gains. This law has not been successful in preventing corruption by way of horse-trading as still the grey areas in the Act continue to be exploited by unscrupulous politicians.
In 1992 a Constitutional Bench of our Supreme Court reiterated extensively on the independence and impartiality of the Speaker’s post. But as we are yet to see a Speaker that is non-partisan, there is a need of setting up a permanent independent authority to decide cases under the anti-defection law in a time-bound manner. Needless to say when matters under this law land up in the High Courts or Supreme Court they should also be heard and decided expeditiously and prevent the defectors from seeking repeated adjournments to protract the proceedings. All this will restore the much needed morality and ethics in public life while deterring political prostitution.
Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
Auction notices by banks
Every day we see possession notices issued by different banks (nationalised and private) for auctioning of homes (mostly) and sometimes of vehicles, shops and factories. The names of loanees and guarantors with their details are printed and also the amount owed to the banks. In a majority of the cases the amount to be repaid is much less than Rs one crore and sometimes as low as couple of lakhs of rupees. The point is why do the lenders embarrass these small debtors when the big fish escape scot(ch)-free? We have never come across well-known business people or corporates who have their loan details published, although we are aware who they are. The lenders should avoid double standards in their proceedings. Either they adopt a uniform policy to publish about all defaulters (irrespective of their standing in the society and their hold on the government of the day) or altogether do away with the due process. A note could be released in the papers informing any interested parties to check the lenders’ website for upcoming properties to be auctioned. In the website too, the names of the debtors need not be mentioned or be mentioned for all the debtors. This way the lenders could save money on advertisements and also not put the debtors to discomfort. The lenders need to be impartial in the treatment of their debtors, irrespective of their standing in the society.
Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem
What the Poll Stars foretell for now
With the Mining Dependents Forum (MDF) announcing its entry into the Assembly Poll fray possibly with a pre-poll alliance with the MGP, Aam Aadmi Party and Congress, since the MDF has an estimated 2.5 to 3 lakh supporters, the largest single entity, if this alliance materialises, then the BJP looks set to face certain defeat. Should this alliance fail to crystallise, then due to the splitting of votes between the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, GFP, NCP, MGP, Shiv Sena, MDF, Revolutionary Goans and Goencho Avaaz Party, the pendulum will tilt towards BJP getting the advantage. At the moment, the BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are the main contenders. Should other alliances unfold with the passage of time, before the elections, again definite other permutations and combinations will rule the roost. In these elections disenchantment of various large groups are bound to determine the final outcome. At the moment should no pre-poll alliances materialise then a three-cornered contest between the BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party should be envisaged. As per latest projections, based on grassroots interactions, the Aam Aadmi Party will be the major gainer. The AAP will give Goan voters the choice of an alternative if accepted by the electorate.
Elvidio Miranda, Panjim
Provide world-class facilities on beaches
Goa happens to be a preferred destination for tourists across the globe as well as the local tourists. One attraction that the tourists are lured to is Goan beaches. In the seventies and the eighties Goa had several virgin beaches. But now almost all the beaches are crowded with people. There was a time when Calangute beach was known as the ‘queen of beaches’. But now this world famous beach is in a pathetic state. If we are to regain the lost glory of our beaches then the State government should provide all the facilities for the visitors to the beach just like any world famous beach. Some of the facilities include toilet blocks and changing rooms. Proper hygiene and cleanliness needs to be maintained at the toilet blocks. Obviously, the toilet blocks and changing rooms for men and women need to be at a distance from one another. There need to be separate toilet facilities for the persons with disabilities (PwD). A lactation room also needs to be made available for nursing mothers. There needs to be a staff room. Drinking water facilities should be available. A reverse osmosis filtration plant-cum-cooler needs to be provided to filter the water. Locker facilities should be made available so that the tourists can keep their belongings in safe custody. Adequate number of trash bins need to be provided at the beaches. The beaches should be free from stray cattle and migrant hawkers. Beach police should be present as is the case in other countries.
Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco
Irony died a thousand deaths
The State government's move to hire a transport contractor from Maharashtra to promote the ‘Swayampurna (self reliant) Goem’ campaign is extremely ironical and detrimental to the business interests of native Goenkars who have been ravaged by the pandemic. The State had earlier kept mum on the diversion of Mhadei River water by Karnataka and had also criminally allowed supply of oxygen to Sindhudurg even as patients in Goa were dying due to lack of the same. There is no spine in the present dispensation to protect the interests of niz Goenkars which have been compromised on many occasions in the past to please their political masters at the Centre. All this 'Goa first, Goans first' hoo-haa is a sham, it's high time Goans thought about an alternative for 2022, someone who would truly represent their interests.
Rekha Sarin, Benaulim
Helitours, a fillip to tourism
GTDC is all set to resume helitours from December, under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, a new helipad built at a cost of Rs 5 crore, was inaugurated at Old Goa as part of the 'Swadesh Darshan' scheme. The facility is spread over an area of 4550 sq mts and can easily accommodate three machines at a time. A private agency shall be appointed via e-tendering to conduct the tours as well as manage the helipad and to boost revenue the government will also allow private rotary wing aircraft to use the facility for a fee. Air ambulances are permitted to utilise the helipad for transportation of critical patients to hospitals in Goa or neighbouring States. The area around the helipad can be commercially developed by having cafes and soundproof observation decks for aviation enthusiasts, this coupled with the reopening of casinos and spas shall provide a fillip to high-end tourism in the State. To make the whole experience more inclusive, the government should put in place a 'discounted price' scheme for native Goans, at least two days of the week.
Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim