Herald: Pondaites expect a lot from the new Council
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Pondaites expect a lot from the new Council

04 May 2018 06:41am IST

Report by
Santosh Naik Ponda

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04 May 2018 06:41am IST

Report by
Santosh Naik Ponda

Leave a comment

The earlier Council has managed to solve only garbage problems, say locals, but parking, traffic chaos and market congestion are some of the issues that need a solution and hope these would be solved by the new councillors

The votes for a new Ponda Municipal Council were cast on April 29. The results of the civic polls will be declared on May 7. The councillors, who will be elected, will have a tough job to provide the Pondaites solutions to their problems in their five-year term, say locals.

Several problems as well as challenges in Ponda Municipal Area (PMC) are awaiting the new councillors who will form the new Council.

The outgoing Council has done a good work to solve garbage problem in Ponda town, says a Ponda local. Garbage was one among the many problems haunting the locals. However, there are other bigger problems that are still pending for the past decade, he adds.

The Ponda Market Complex, which was constructed by demolishing Old Budhwar Peth Market in 2011, at an estimated cost of almost Rs 40 crores, is not bringing in any revenue to the PMC coffers. Six years have elapsed after it was inaugurated with the complex having 150 shops. The vendors refuse to occupy the shops in the new market complex claiming that they will not get customers in the new place.

So, a local says, the Rs 40 crores spent on the new market complex, seem to have gone in vain for the past six years with the PMC not earning a paise from the new premises.

The new councillors, he continues, need to take measures to remove the vendors’ fear of shifting from the temporary place at present to the new Market Complex. If the vendors move to the new complex it will reduce congestion and chaos in the Ponda Market which is currently running in the temporary sheds, he added.

The Golden Jubilee Signature Project of PMC was approved in 2011 by the then Government which sanctioned Rs 2 crore to solve the issue but six years later it is still half completed, says another Pondaite. Now it is learnt that the cost of the project has almost shot up to Rs five crore. So this would be big challenge before the new council to complete it soon as well as to test their efficiency how soon they would able to complete this long delayed project, continued the local.

The old Shastri building close by  is also  dangerously standing at the roadside despite Goa Engineering College (GEC) survey team giving a report that the building is dangerous for occupation, alleges another local. Encroachment on market pathway is troubling customers visiting the market. Besides, the vendors are not classified as per their commodities but are seen sitting haphazardly all across in the market forcing customers to locate the shops for their needs. 

According to Milind Mhadgut “only few Councillors did a good job.” “All the councillors should be active during their tenure to make the town free of problems,” says Milind.

Since PMC or the Ponda town is the Central place of Ponda Taluka, with government offices, bus stand, market, and hospital serving more than one 1.5 lakh people, has to depend on the town for the various services. “However, locals say, that health services, including the Hospital, are in a sorry state. This town has many problems which need to be addressed,” Milind added.

Not only Pondaites but every Goan entering the town faces parking and traffic congestion problem due to shortage of such spaces. The locals claim that the town badly needs additional parking spaces. 

The new council, another local says, has to solve the problem of shortage of doctors in the Sub District Hospital. Locals complain that even for a minor illness the patients are often sent to GMC for further treatment, due to the shortage of doctors

According to Manoj Gaonkar, Convenor of Swabhimani Fondekar, polls are held every five years but problems are never solved. “There is a serious need for allotment of sufficient parking spaces, improvement of traffic congestion, improvement of medical facilities. Once councillors are elected, people have lot of expectations from them,” Gaonkar said.

According to Vishal Fadte the candidates should not contest election to become councillors for prestige or to earn publicity and status but they need to work as social workers once they are elected.

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