12 Nov 2023  |   07:02am IST

Thought on Diwali: Will the people clean the system that will clean the State?

During Diwali every piece of dust & dirt is removed from our homes; when will this be done by our governance, our city and our State?
Thought on Diwali: Will the people clean the system that will clean the State?

Every home and office is given a major treatment of spring cleaning, during Diwali. It’s a time for fresh beginnings, a clean slate, a time to start clean and fresh.

There is so much thought and planning that goes into the cleaning and decorating of homes during Diwali.

But why are cleaning our thoughts, and our minds, revisiting our decisions and most importantly, doing all we can to clean the governance and those we elect, not on our agenda?

In the name of infrastructure and building a smart city, the taxpayers’ money, our money, is being spent like water, for substandard work which is allegedly overpriced at times by even 100% Roads are dug multiple times by multiple agencies. Repeated contracts are given for the same road stretches, but work never stops. The irony is that the work is never completed

Panjim is a bombed city, last year during the International Film Festival IFFI most of Panjim’s interior roads seemed like a bombed-out war zone.

This year nothing has changed.

A newly built Atal Setu developed cracks and half the bridge had to be closed down for repairs.

On this Diwali not only are the roads in a mess, Panjim is in a financial mess

The multi-level parking facility has hardly been of use because of a failed and non-functional urban mobility plan for which a consultant Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd (UMTC) was paid Rs 28 lakh. Three detailed project reports were made for the city with each consultant paid about RS 20 crores plus, according to reports.

CAG in one of recent its State Finances Audit Reports stated the company running the Smart City Mission had not submitted its accounts from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

This hid some interesting details. One consultant Milind Ramani, according to former Mayor Surendra Furtado, in a report, was paid Rs 8 crore.

Rs 95 crore was paid to engage another firm for ‘Comprehensive Project Management’. No one knows what this was for.

Implementation of the Master System Integrator for the Goa Intelligent City Management System, cost Rs 180 crore and the company contracted was paid Rs 22.49 crore as ‘mobilisation advance’. 

One company was paid Rs 32 lakh as ‘pre-tendering’ consultation fees for the restoration, refurbishment and interior design of IPSCDL’s office premises.

The question we need to ask is when will people take up the responsibility of cleaning the system of looters?  This is serious introspection that the people need to do. The fingers are pointing at them for not getting to the core of the mess- the deeds and actions of those in power.


Idhar Udhar