Bengal Showdown Uncalled For
WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Centre are fast inching towards a showdown. On Monday West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah apprising them of the situation in the state, which has been in the grip of political violence since the Lok Sabha polls. Speculations are rife in Opposition circles that the Centre may be planning to impose President’s rule in West Bengal ahead of the assembly elections due in 2021. Belligerent Banerjee was quick to react that the Centre wanted to turn West Bengal into another Gujarat. She even warned the Centre saying, “Don’t play with fire.” On Sunday, the Union home ministry expressed deep concerns over the continuing violence in West Bengal, saying the unabated violence even after the Lok Sabha polls were over appears to be a failure on the part of the state government. However, Banerjee hit back at the Centre saying that there were a few stray post-poll clashes, and that the situation is under control. The situation in the state has been by and large bad with frequent bouts of political violence ever since the recent general elections. The Chief Minister has been sowing the seeds of hatred in the minds of the people. She has only added fuel to the fire, and has not done anything constructive. Banerjee did a botched job of her home affairs. She should stop making hate speeches, and instead send out positive messages so that peace prevails in West Bengal.
T K NANDANAN, KOCHI
Water Shortage Mishandled
MINING pits in Goa are proving to be useful these days, as accumulated water is being pumped into the lakes to replenish the dwindling water levels. The government’s decision to use mining pits for rainwater harvesting is therefore timely and needs to be encouraged. Much of Goa’s water problems are manmade and we ourselves are to blame, despite being blessed by nature with an average annual rainfall that leaves all our dams overflowing at the end of the monsoon. Year after year we are told that the scarcity of water is due to the wastage of around 30-40 per cent of treated water supplied, and that the water gets lost due to leakages in the distribution system. Crores of rupees have been spent by the government under various water supply projects employing foreign consultancy services, but to no avail. In the last five years, the government has been promising a 24×7 piped water supply, although our villages have to do without a drop of piped water. The villages fall back upon tanker water at great costs. Can there be anything more misleading and discouraging?
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM
Run Of Antisocial Elements In Margao
NEWS reports in a section of the press that traders in Margao have sought action against the rampant antisocial activities being carried out on the Old Station Road with blatant impudence should come as a wake-up call to the Margao police, which have time and again been cautioned about these happenings. Vicinities of the bus stands and railway stations in any town or metropolis across the country are always breeding grounds for criminal elements to ply their trade in full public glare despite the assurances made by the law enforcers to the contrary. Margao is no different! Umpteen public petitions already made to the police authorities have failed to elicit a favourable response with the antisocial activities continuing without any check. With absolutely no, or minimal police checks and interventions at these places, gambling, prostitution and people causing a ruckus on the roads in an inebriated state have made their presence felt in no uncertain terms. That the police require special petitions to spur them into action sums up the sorry state of affairs in the city. Moreover, the new railway station and the roads leading to it wear a neglected look. It is as if the antisocial activities assailing the old railway station area in the city has been passed on to the KRC station. It is wrong to believe that these nefarious affairs are restricted to the area between the footbridge in the old premises and Apollo Hospital. In fact, it is the stretch between Apollo Hospital and the KRC station and further along the bypass road to the Power House that should be the immediate area of concern for the police. In spite of bringing to the notice of the authorities about the threats posed to the security of the region by the illegal shanties and vendors frequenting the zone, the manner in which a Nelson’s eye has been turned towards the wicked activities raises a lot of questions vis-à-vis the insensitiveness of the police. The proliferation of hotels and dwellings should further alert the police on effective measures to counter the threats posed.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO