3 years on, ‘smart’ vision remains a distant dream for MMC chairperson
09th November 2018, 03:25 Hrs
the goan I network
When Dr Babita Prabhudesai took over the reigns of Margao Municipal Council in November 2015, many a Madgavkar had pinned their hopes on the city-based doctor to provide a healing touch to the ills plaguing the commercial capital.
Three years down the line, the Council is still grappling with a host of burning issues, including garbage segregation at source, Sonsodo tangle, parking and traffic issues, stray dog menace, etc.
The Goan takes a close look at the manifesto released by the Margao Civic Alliance, stitched by Goa Forward Chief Vijai Sardesai and Margao MLA Digambar Kamat with an endeavor to make Margao ‘a smart city with a heart’.
Parking and traffic management
Traffic management had topped the manifesto with the Alliance promising proper parking facilities within the city of Margao by improving existing infrastructure and by building modern infrastructure.
Sadly, leave alone developing the vacant spaces at the old bus stand and the pick-up stand, the multi-storied parking lot planned by the previous body at the old fish market is yet to take concrete shape. With the civic body bracing up to re-float the parking lot tender after the shortlisted contractor shying away from executing the project, it may take more than a year for the parking lot to see the light of day.
On the traffic management front, the ground reality has remained unchanged, barring cosmetic changes at Old market with the installation of traffic signals and trimming of the traffic circle. There’s no progress on the ring road project, which has been hit by a road block at Comba.
The Alliance had promised to evolve a solution to the long pending kabrastan issue and any other issue relating to crematoria or cemeteries to ensure that the final rites of the departed of all religions are carried out with due dignity. All, however, appears quiet on the land admeasuring 30,000 sqmts acquired by the municipality at Sonsodo for the kabrastan in the year 2011.
With the proposal triggering stiff resistance from the local populace, questions are raised whether the Civic body is scouting for a new site in Margao, around the Sirvodem-Khareband area.
Public health and sanitation
The Alliance had promised to push for the immediate commencement and completion of the district hospital and upgradation of Hospicio hospital.
Three years down the line, the district hospital is still under construction with the government only shifting the deadline every six months. The ground reality at Hospicio is not anything better, with patients sharing beds for want of space.
Effective mobilization of municipal revenue had found mention right at the bottom on the Alliance manifesto.
While outstanding arrears amounting to Rs 18-20 crore is staring at the civic body, the municipality has been in the news in recent days for its bold initiative in recovering revenue, including house tax from the commercial establishments. In just one month, the municipal coffers were enriched by a whopping Rs 2 crore, with officials saying the drive has the potential of bringing in revenue on this head by around Rs 100 crore.
The Alliance had in its manifesto promised to restore the nostalgia of Margao city by restoring the heritage structures in Margao, including restoration and refurbishment of “Camara de Salcete”. While the Council had resolved to earmark funds for the acquisition of the heritage building, the ground reality remains unchanged.