Mon, 27 May, 2019

Why Panaji shouldn’t vote for Mr Wrong

The paradox of Panjim is that prospective candidates are totally oblivious of the issues and needs of Panjim and Panjimites

Story: DR. | JOE | 15th May 2019, 03:22 Hrs

DR. JOE D’SOUZA

In a few days, Panjimites are to cast their votes to elect a candidate as their MLA, who will hopefully represent them for the next 2 years, at the most. Today, the Goa assembly has men, many of whom, do not truly understand their actual functions and the basics of the “ideology of the party” they represent, and, thus many of them are total misfits as legislators. 

As a result, governance in Goa is totally chaotic. Let us speak through examples. We made an “anti-gambling act, to regulate gambling. We then knew that gambling on board casinos would pollute River Mandovi, disturb the ambience around Panjim city. 

It was debated in Goa Assembly that gambling would have deleterious impacts on socio-cultural life of the people of Goa, that it would increase crime, facilitate money laundering, cause traffic chaos and disturb the peace of the residents of Panjim, due to the noise and the garbage it would generate. 

Late Manohar Parrikar opposed the “Amendments to the Anti Gambling Act” which was enacted in the garb of promoting Tourism in Goa. 

If any researcher in sociology or political science does an in-depth study from the records available of the Assembly debates of those days, it would be extremely interesting to learn as to how Pratapsingh Rane, Fatima DeSa with late Dr. Wilfred DSouza, calmed down Parrikar, the then MLA of Panjim stating clearly that “casinos would not be in River Mandovi, but being “off shore” they would be 10 nautical miles in the sea and Panjim and Panjimites could live in peace. 

It was at the assurance by the treasury benches that the MLA of Panjim reluctantly accepted this draconian amendment to the Anti-gambling Act. 

Sadly the MLA of Panjim did everything thereafter to put Panjim in utter chaos by adding a number of floating vessels and increasing their capacities. 

Unto his death, Parrikar was blaming the Congress party for the floating evils bestowed upon Panjim, but everyone knows of how gambling dens made their place in River Mandovi. 

Aspiring Panjim candidates should basically know that Panjimites are suffering gravely due to the floating chaos. The health of Panjimites is adversely affected due to traffic chaos, garbage woes, loud noises, water shortages, as thousands of casino employees, patrons, guests of the gambling enterprises have usurped space for commercial activities pushing the residents into sleepless nights and chaotic days in their own homes. 

The BJP must be voted out of power for the enormous harm it has done. Do the candidates aspiring for the Panjim seat know that there aren’t any Panjimites working on casinos as most employees are from North East, Orrisa, and other parts of India? 

In most commercial complexes, restaurants, business houses, etc, jobs are taken up by migrants. I was at a xerox store in central Panjim whose entire staff were from Jharkhand and Orissa. 

The illegal construction of the terminal building at the CoP jetty is carried out by 50 staff, all of whom are migrants. They all ease, defecate, bathe, wash themselves and their ware, polluting the Mandovi waters, which is a health hazard to the residents and visitors to the capital city. 

Sadly and truly, there was no one from Panjim on the job. The aspirant candidates of Panjim have been briefed about this and I personally offered to explain about this “Environmental hazard” caused by engineers, mechanics, skilled personnel, all of whom are earning their livelihood in Panjim at the cost of Panjimites. 

Today fisher folk, vegetable and fruit vendors, masons, carpenters, contractor, electricians, sweepers etc. in Panjim are all migrant labourers which put stress and strain on the infrastructure and the carrying capacity of the Panjim city, thus putting it into chaos. And a burden on the residents of Panjim.

The paradox of Panjim is that prospective candidates are totally oblivious of the issues and needs of Panjim and Panjimites. The green cover of Panjim is shrinking drastically, CCP staff themselves are burning garbage (including plastics), and its residents are made to suffer respiratory infections and cancer.

There is water all around Panjim but we do not get potable, drinking water to quench our thirst. There is pollution all around. There is traffic chaos, no parking fees for outstation vehicles. Pedestrians and senior citizen are acutely suffering. Our special people and the disabled are totally neglected.

Look at the animal shelter of CCP in St. Inez, looked after by PAWS. Our cats, dogs, bovines are all crying for attention in spite of the administrator giving her best. Major funds and medicines are not easily forthcoming. The GSUDA, instead of offering more space to our animals has decided to cramp up the poor animals in half of the present allocated space. 

  There are jobs, and jobs everywhere in Panjim but not for Panjim voters as they have too their personal aspirations which no Panjim MLA was able to understand or meet till now. True and real issues of Panjim remains unaddressed as Panjimites who matter have not been able to get MLA for Panjim who is a resident of Panjim and who truly understands the problems and issues of Panjim. Let us now wait and see if the newly elected MLA of Panjim understands and addresses our problems.  

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