28 Sep 2022  |   06:11am IST

Letters to the editor ( 28 Sept 2022)

Public grievance app and potholes

A public grievance app will reportedly be launched next week where the citizens can directly lodge complaints regarding potholes on roads so that they can be immediately repaired according to the PWD minister Nilesh Cabral.

It is understood that junior engineers, assistant engineers and chief engineers and others will be held responsible if they fail to take action on complaints received via the app, including suspension or termination of their services. Instead of holding the engineers and other staff for bad roads it would be prudent to hold the respective contractors responsible for the same. Road repair contractors should be held responsible for repair of roads for three years with three years additional warranty.

The WhatsApp numbers of the contractors need to be made public so that the affected citizens can directly contact them in order to get the roads repaired. Public funds should not be used to repair the roads thereby covering the fault of the contractor. This will only encourage substandard road work in future. It seems necessary to make public details of the particular road contractor by putting it up on a board along the road that has been repaired.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco


Mobile app to 

detect potholes?

I really fail to understand why the PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral is insisting on having a mobile app to detect potholes on roads across Goa when the actual land area of Goa is just 3,702 sq km. It will be one district of Kerala or Karnataka and is the smallest State of India where one can travel north and south Goa in 5 hours.

Our government has appointed assistant engineers and junior engineers in every taluka and even in villages. Are these engineers incompetent to be a watch dog on the Goan roads or they are unable to move on the field as they are more adaptable to AC cabins?

Are they being paid salary paid by the government for the substandard work done by the contractors who in turn give bribes/commission to the government officials and even the ministers as it was evident from the strike by contractors from Bengaluru who said they had to pay 40 per cent commission to get contracts to officials? This shows that even in Goa there exists a commission culture. It is not clear to whom the commission goes.

If the government officials are not doing their allotted work then the government needs to act tough on these officials. This mobile app will be a blessing in disguise for AEs and JEs since their work of detecting potholes will be done by the public through the app.

Diomedes Pereira, Corlim


Rajasthan crisis, a

new low for Cong

The open rebellion by Ashok Gehlot's loyalists has derailed the plan to field the Rajasthan Chief Minister as a candidate in the Congress presidential elections. We believe that the revolt may not only cost the Rajasthan strongman the Congress presidency but may also lead to his removal from the chief minister's post. Gehlot's loyalists had defied the Delhi diktat and refused to attend the CLP meet convened by central observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge.

The Rajasthan crisis marks a new low for Congress and shows that the party is rapidly sinking into the quagmire.

N J Ravi Chander, Bengaluru


Long way to go for

the Men in Blue

Indian cricket management should not gloat over the team's T20 series win against Australia. As per the present form, India may find it very tough to regain the T20 World Cup when it gets underway down under in October. Consistency is still a far cry; players are shining in patches. The team does not give a settled look, and a few top players are not at their best. 

The only heartening feature is that Virat Kohli appears to be back in form. Also, it is good to see Suryakumar Yadav finding his touch. But Kohli needs to score at a faster rate although his running between the wickets is second to none.

Shuffling the batting order has not helped matters. It is important to persist with Dinesh Karthik who was given a raw deal in the Asia Cup. 

Rishabh Pant's prowess cannot be ignored but as far as the wicket keeping skills and scoring quick runs at the death overs are concerned, Karthik is quite ahead of Pant. Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, no other pacer inspires confidence, and on Australian pitches that can be a problem. Bowlers who can control the marauding opposition batters at the slog overs is any country's dream. 

Skipper Rohit Sharma has the onerous task of lifting the morale of the boys when the chips are down. Arguably, he has done well till now but can improve his body language by a few notches if he has to emulate the peerless MS Dhoni who astutely marshalled his team members to bring home the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Devaluation of rupee against the dollar

Our Finance Minister always seeks solace on others' failures. She never bothered to give an explanation of what went wrong with the economy, or why rupees are historically lowest at present. The RBI has been deploying the dollar reserves to defend the currency and has exhausted billions of dollars of currency assets in the fight. The fundamental observations on India's continued devaluation of the rupee against the US Dollar, which is not a good sign at all. The reason remains the same.

Energy is at the bottom of the inflation pyramid and it has to be secured at all costs. The power is still very expensive and that'll drag India down and they have to step up the nuclear mix, though renewables are cheaper and unreliable. Then keep food, fuel, fertiliser under control and the rest will follow.

The same with inflation, hovering around 7-7.5% whereas it's at least 8-9% in the West and elsewhere. A kilo vegetable costs Rs 100 or more in the market irrespective of which one we buy. All the food grains and articles which are grown locally have become costly. It has become difficult for common people to live.

CK Ramanathan, Chennai


Time to retire idlers

It is praiseworthy that Govt has recognised the malaise in the functioning of its government staff by resorting to extraordinary steps. It is hoped that it is not a gimmick to provide new employment at a premium.

There is a system of annual confidential reports of employees by Heads of Dept, which should form undisputed basis of any disciplinary action, including forced, termination or voluntary retirement.

Accordingly the employee is to be cautioned, disciplinary action recommended, withholding of annual increments before the final drastic steps. If such a process is being followed, identification and action is just a normal procedural formality. The employee has the right to defend any adverse remarks which must be communicated in writing for time bound explanations. How does the authority suddenly come to the conclusion of non-functioning of staff without proof of documentation?

The Heads of Dept prefer to overlook, play safe about dereliction of duties, absenteeism, etc, rather than face music from godfathers. The appointments are recommended by influential politicians, who have vested interests for support.

It is wise to first introduce compulsory periodic evaluation which can form the basis for such drastic action that may lead to litigation of arbitrary process that will be contested fiercely by employees organisation and grinding the process to a halt.

Nelson Lopes, Chinchinim




Ajinkya sets an example

West Zone skipper Ajinkya Rahane has beautifully shown that in the gentleman’s game one has to be gentle. By sending one of his junior teammate, Yashasvi Jaiswal, out of the field for some time for bad behaviour on the field with Ajinkya has set an example for cricketers around the globe that the gentleman's game should be played like a gentleman and it is not a game to flex muscles, use verbal volleys and various other tactics to apprehend opposite players like many do on the field. 

Jaiswal had scored a double century in the final match of the Duleep trophy against the South Zone. The incident of his captain sending him away from the field is a lesson for the young batter. Youngsters normally get carried away by accolades and praises for their achievement and sadly forget the gentleness of the game.

Let us hope it does not happen to this hard working youngster and he is sure to taste more success if he keeps his head on his shoulder . 

M Pradyu, Kannur


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Moonlighting by techies

Recent reports reveal that techies are into moonlighting wherein they are employed by a company but simultaneously work for another or carry out freelancing work, either solely or with friends. The moonlighting may have existed before the onset of covid pandemic but seems to have increased in the last two years. Some reasons offered by the techies to be moonlighters are job insecurity at the present workplace, fear of retrenchment, reduced salary, inflation, outstanding payments and may be the lure of the lucre! If a study is undertaken in India, one will notice hundreds of government employees who on the sly are into business, agents for insurance companies, consultants etc. And these may be carried out in the name of their family members. Politicians too are government employees as they are paid salaries, provide housing, staff and other perks; yet they may own, run or are ‘sleeping’ partners in various types of enterprises, businesses, law firms etc. As long as the techies do not share their employers trade secrets, affairs or tap their clients, we should be unconcerned if they are moonlighters as they are doing an honest day/night’s work. Hopefully they are paying taxes on the ‘side income!’ 

Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem 


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