And, for the last few days it has been difficult for me to spot a real topic that I could vent my frustrations on.
And, I thought I had a kite, when I saw the headline news about the Goa Police dancing to the beat of the orchestra that was organized within the premises of the Porvorim police station after 10 p.m.
Naaah! Not that again. These things are bound to happen in a state like Goa. Lots of laws, writ petitions and High Court orders. But they are not worth the paper they are written on. We might not be surprised if late night orchestras are organized within the premises of the High Court itself come next Ganesh or Christmas time. And why not? They even have grand poojas in hospitals with the poojaris matching their tonsils to the blaring of the funnel speakers. And like once they had a grand New Year’s dance at the Goa Medical College with the then esteemed member of the British Parliament, Mr. Keith Vaz as the Chief Guest. And, if at all we are saying that the Goa Medical College’s main wing is sporting some prominent cracks, attribute these to the 40,000 or more watts sound system that was let loose in the entrance hall that NITE making our then a little younger hearts wanting to spill out of our chests. A fine way, indeed, of collecting hearts for heart transplant.
And, the netting of Abu Salem in Portugal looked like an even bigger kite. But really speaking, I have a feeling that a lot of effort, bile and money will be spent or wasted in trying to get Abu to Mumbai. And then one fine day one harmless and innocent looking havaldar on duty will quietly unlatch the door of the can and Abu will have bolted again. These things happen at the meer sight of a note of Rs. 500, leave alone bigger ones. But then the poor havaldar would be the sacrificial lamb. The real roaring lions in the 2Ps (police & politicians) will have filled their den with crores and Abu will be free again to milk the newest of the bollywood’s sensations and blast some other city to kingdom come.
And, I think I have found a blimp in this item here, courtesy Goa Desc.
“According to Dr Dessai, 'Diksha Holdings' had deposited a sum of Rs 1 crore
with the CMC ( read Canacona Municipal Council) as licence fees at the initial stage of the ongoing construction work. He however alleged that the CMC had hardly utilised Rs 1,000 for anti-malarial measures”.
What we are reading here is the Starred Hotel coming up in Canacona, which is being accused of breeding mosquitoes at its construction site. And Dr. Dessai is representing Diksha Holding which is the Starred Hotel.
As per the building code, the builder is supposed to pay to the government as follows:
1) Conversion fees @ Rs.15/m2 to the collectorate. Initially, the conversion fees was confined to the area to be converted only. Now, the entire plot is to be converted whether you like it or not. Why? How else to fill the empty pot?
2) Licence fees to the Municipality or Panchayat on slab basis of building estimate by PWD.
3) Infrastructure tax to the Municipality/Panchayat based on ‘x’ amount per square meter builtup area.
4) House tax based on ‘x’ Rupees per square meter builtup area.
With all this revenue going to the government, the builder is provided with “ZERO per cent facility and 100 per cent harassment. Diksha Holdings is right when they say that not even Rs. 1000/- out of Rs. 1 crore has been spent by CMC on malaria control.
And, when I say “Zero” per cent facility, I mean the builder has to make arrangements for water for construction as well as for drinking purposes for the workers from private sources, through tankers, at exorbitant price. The water connection is given only after obtaining the Occupancy certificate.(after completion) The Builder gets electricity supply at Rs. 8 or 9 per unit., called ‘commercial connection’. The builder has to make his own arrangements to get labourers from neighboring states and house them at the site. And these poor labourers get eaten up by the local goan malaria laden mosquitoes that breed like hell in the local septic ( and overhead water) tanks of houses and buildings and even our esteemed health centres and hospitals and clinics, that sport permanent open air- vents. And the health department, instead of apologizing to the migrant workers, penalize them for their own sins of omission.
Never have we seen anybody spraying any chemicals in the villages or the cities like we see done in Mumbai by the Mumbai Municipal corporation, or in Goa for that matter in days gone by. Never have we seen an inspection carried out by the health department of the thousands of septic tanks which have become the factories of breeding mosquitoes and malaria. Goa used to have mosquitoes only during the monsoons. Today, we find mosquitoes that reign the households 365 days of the year and have become chronically brazen and bold, just like our politicians, that they bite you in broad daylight. Gone are the days when we village folks used to sit outside in the open verandas and terraces to find relief from the summer heat and relax some. If the fans stop spinning at high speed come summer or winter night, it is like blood donation camp, right on your very own bed, when come morning, one finds that one’s bedsheet has gone through the fabric printing process of Bombay Dyeing, overnight.
And at the end of the day, when the builder is finished with building, he has to run after the occupancy certificate. At this time, the PWD engineers suddenly find their engineering skills in reading their tapes in meters , centimeters and at hard times even the millimeters, for this is what comes in handy to demand hefty packets of notes in return for their prized signatures on the occupancy certificate.
But then, I shall certainly not want to generalize the above statement, for there are also absolutely genuine persons in our government service who will do their job well and be done with it without the need for hefty packets.
And, I do sympathize with Diksha Holdings and feel that they too have the right to point fingers at our esteemed government administration, specially our esteemed health department headed by our esteemed health ministry, which is being run, (as we have learnt from our esteemed editor of Herald Mr. Rajan Narayan from his extreme stray thoughts of last Sunday) , not by the esteemed health minister but by the over steamed P.A. to the health minister, who is connected to the esteemed Chief Minister with an invisible laser beam.
And who ever said that we had a problem with mosquitoes and malaria in Goa? However, we must admit that we do have a titbit of a problem with dacoits in Goa who vanish in thin air in broad daylight, just like the mosquitoes do. Now, now, are we, by any chance, blaming our esteemed police force and their esteemed sniffer dogs, here?
And, just like Rajan Narayan, I had this wild stray thought hitting me in the head as I was concluding this piece.
“Could it be possible, just possible, that the our esteemed Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Parrikar bab wants his Panjim Municipal Corporation, so that he can spray the malaria and the malaria bearing mosquitoes away, just like the Mumbai Municipal Corporation does?
Perhaps, only the Municipal Corporations have this unique power to do so. One never knows!