Don’t Object To Railways’ Projects

Recently general Manager of South Western Railways visited Goa for an inspection in connection with the doubling of tracks upto Vasco station from Hubli where the work is already in progress. Setting aside the remarks made by him, we should think about the development aspect of the project and its economical viability considering that commuters will travel everyday to their workplace from Vasco and other stations to Kulem and vice versa. Local trains ply from Kulem to Vasco and vice versa in the morning, afternoon and evening, while trains are not available at other times. As only three trains are available for travelling between the two destinations, many commuters face inconvenience. Bus journey from Vasco to Margao costs Rs 35 to Rs 42 (KTC shuttle service) and by train the cost of ticket is Rs 10, which is the minimum charge for bus journey within a city. Looking at the cost involved, many commuters prefer to travel by train. Thirty years back, some people had objected to the Konkan Railway project but today the situation is such that one does not get tickets to travel to Mumbai and other places by train, even a month before the date of travel. The demand for train journey is so high that locals are unable to obtain tickets whenever they want to travel. Hence, objecting to projects undertaken by Railways will affect us.


Need For Safety On Roads

I wish to bring to the notice of the public and the authorities concerned the urgent need for road safety. Young drivers enjoy driving at fast speed and often flaunt rules and regulations. They get an adrenaline rush by driving beyond the speed limit and claim it to be exciting and thrilling, but it is extremely dangerous too, as the roads are crowded. At higher speed, it usually becomes difficult to control a vehicle and there are greater chances of accidents occurring. We must always follow the traffic rules. It is always better to be safe than sorry. At times, people drive very fast under the influence of alcohol and this must be avoided at all costs. They must ensure that their vehicle’s indicator lights function properly and the horn is heard clearly. Traffic police must impose fines strictly on offenders; people driving without helmets or seatbelts should be checked. I hope members of the public will realise the importance of road safety and the concerned authorities will take more measures to check offenders.


Dissent Is Essence Of Democracy

The removal of journalist Faye D’Souza from the panel of speakers for the D D Kosambi Festival is unfortunate. Just because she is critical of the Citizenship Amendment Act, it does not mean that the government should take the drastic step it took. Dissent is an essential part and parcel of the democratic process. The Goa government has shown that it does not tolerate dissent by any individual.


Development Versus Conservationism

It is but natural for us to wonder what this world must have been when it began to evolve millions of years ago. Irrefutably, it must have simply been a green cover with all sorts of plantations. Slowly and steadily as civilisation progressed with rise in human population and innovations, the need arose for steady development, which invariably was at the cost of the environment. No doubt it is the endeavour of every human being to conserve the nature in the best possible way, without which we will have to bear the consequences and a lot of awareness is pointedly created in this regard. At the same time, we have to keep pace with the rising demand for development as the human population grows. In the present age, if there is one biggest conflict, it is between development and conservation. In our own state, we saw untoward opposition to the Mopa airport in North Goa. Despite clarifications being issued by the government that the additional airport is inevitable to meet the rising tourism influx, which is the backbone of the state’s economy, there was rampant opposition to the project irrationally promoted by various agencies, so much so that the project was forced to be held in abeyance by the Supreme Court. Some people were excessively jubilant and began to celebrate as if the proposed airport was scrapped, though the court had only sought environmental clearance by the competent authority. When this was obtained with the assurance that the new venture would not impede the conservation, the clearance was given and the project is targeted to be completed in the next two years for the relief of people, who have made air travel as a way of life. The highway expansion is another task that is often surmounted with blatant antagonism. Recently, we have seen what commotion was created in Mumbai due to the metro project. The new mantra should be to plant at last two trees for every tree that is cut.