Herald: letters to the editor

letters to the editor

22 Jan 2019 05:25am IST
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22 Jan 2019 05:25am IST

Prayer with 

the Pope

Each year, the Holy Father asks for prayers from the faithful for a specific intention each month. Churches are invited to answer the Holy Father's request and to join with many people worldwide in praying for this intention each month. 

From time to time, the Holy Father may add a second prayer intention related to current events or urgent needs, like disaster relief. The second prayer request will help mobilise prayer and action related to the urgent situation. However, thanks to modern Information Technology people can now pray along with the Pope. A prayer with the Pope is just a click away. Pope Francis on Sunday reportedly swiped a tablet to launch a new app allowing the faithful to pray along with him. The Holy Father presented the Vatican’s first digital platform known as the Worldwide Network of Prayer with the Pope. The new app called ‘Click to Pray’ will inform the user what the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholic is praying for, whether it is for world peace or for people hit by war or natural disaster. It is believed that if more and more people pray for a single intention affecting thousands of people, the prayers are answered. This app will go a long way in uniting the Roman Catholics of the world and praying for a single intention at any given point of time.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco


Work together

The news that conversions under Section 16B of the TCP Act could be subject to revision causes us concern as it threatens to unravel and destroy the hopes of many holders of small orchard properties.

Goa is core to our sense of ourselves, and we watch helplessly as it degenerates into chaos and disorder, losing its beauty and its way of life. Yet we (my father-in-law and I) have applied for conversion of our orchard properties to settlement, apparently hastening this degradation.

Why? After many years of applauding activists as they fought on our behalves, Goa has continued to degrade, and we are told that in spite of this activism, thousands of orchard acres have been illegally built upon. Those with no ‘sense of Goa’ but with money, continue to construct gross structures and hundreds of apartment blocks in the heart of Goan villages.

So, it’s time for change else Goa will become another destination with nothing except casinos and alcohol (the beaches went a long time ago). We need to change from ‘prevention’ (that encourages illegality), to converting orchard property where needed in a transparent legal manner. “Development” will happen, so let’s work with elected law makers and suggest equitable and actionable constructs, instead of denial and blanket bans.

Coming to the issue of change of zones; the majority of the thousands of applicants have small holdings whose life savings have gone into properties that are presently rendered useless unless they are converted to settlement. We need redressal from the deeply flawed RP2021. Preventing this conversion will be denying equity to these small holders.

Of course, amongst the many applicants will be the sharks who have accumulated large swathes of orchard land and who will make their profits any which way, because in the end activism can stop only a few of their more visible excesses. We must stop the sharks, and yet not throw the baby out with the bath water. One suggestion could be that large holdings are given a much lower FAR thus preventing development in its more ugly forms.

Lastly, we are Goans, as are our lawmakers. Respecting each other will helps to negotiate. Let’s start by not sentencing those law makers and institutions, let’s instead work with them. Our own experience has been excellent - as we went through every process (yes, slowly) to legally obtain permission for a farmhouse, we have never, ever, been asked to pay a crooked rupee. CZMA, TCP, Health and the Panchayat permissions were all seamless and nothing was asked or given. 

Ehrlich Desa and Dr Antonio Silva Rosa, by email


Didi’s day

The leaders who spoke in the Opposition mega rally at Kolkata displayed a "united" look for the cause of democracy.  The galaxy of luminaries were unanimous that Modi had crushed dissent in India.  The mood in the country has "changed" according to some.    

The regional chieftans are bound to sense the  mood in their own strongholds. The Prime Minister's "publicity stunt" was taken to task by the leaders who said Modi merely spoke with no action overlooking the truth that a Prime Minister cannot keep mum on his plans and achievements.  As chief ministers and  former cabinet ministers they would know well how tough it is to implement ambitious projects in  four years. One BJP showman vouched  to "show mirror" to the party.    It is surprising they waited for so long to "hold a mirror".   A former Prime Minister took credit for some of the projects implemented by the NDA government saying the foundation was laid during his tenure.   But he had no explanation about how the project, lying in a limbo for almost twenty years, were not pursued by the subsequent governments.    

Among the leaders who spoke, some have an arduous task of saving their own chairs.  They have to spell out their agenda; an alternative to Modi. Be united now, fight like cats and dogs for the PM post- elections, will not do. The big crowd at Kolkata's Brigade ground had, undoubtedly, come to see and hear their favourite: Mamata Banerjee.   Didi declared the expiry date of the Modi government.  Whether the country thinks so will decide the correctness of her prophecy. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Bike modification 

legal or illegal?

A noisy-strange two-wheeled machine that pumps at high speed along the road, makes shocking noise and obliging all to stare at it and gives back a heart full of lightning beats. Isn't that all about a customised bike?

Modified bikes are highly inspirational to watch but not that much in terms of law. Owning a motorcycle, motorcyclists may think that they can do any customisation on the motorcycle as they wish how the bike should be. Of course you can modify your bike, but the only truth is that you will be suspended from the road if you move with the modified two-wheeler. Because, it's illegal to modify a bike and run it, the law says. 

Customisation mainly involves chassis' metal cutting, welding, spray painting, changed silencers, lights, filters, horns and fittings. Then it carries on the replacement of other parts like mirrors, alloy wheels and tyres. Finally, as a result of a total demonstration, a new motorcycle is born, which is entirely unidentifiable from what it was earlier. 

We see a lot of youngsters and some of the older generations who are bike enthusiasts who modify their bikes and show it off by riding like maniacs on the road. This is one leading cause of the rising number of accidents happening nowadays.

The RTO needs to get up and going to get these things in place like it is happening in other States of our country. Some of them have horns and silencers that are so loud and disturbing causing a lot of noise pollution and causing a nuisance to one and all. The basic concept that denies India Govt. to encourage motorcycle customisation is the threat to one’s life. Since the stability of these customised machines are yet to be proved, chances are higher to endanger safety while all these modified stuffs are on road. Hence, the officials are helpless but to stand with the modifying maniacs. Nevertheless, few alterations are possible under Section 52 of Motor Vehicle Act for modification which I hope is changed someday for a better tomorrow.

Zubin De Miranda, 

Margao



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