Wednesday, January 04, 2006

GOMANTAK TIMES: Govt, city fathers neglect port town

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GOMANTAK TIMES: Govt, city fathers neglect port town

Dec 31, 2005

Goa's towns were planned by the Portuguese regime for smaller populations and their needs. And since then, they have grown haphazardly. From today, GT will focus on the ills plaguing Margao, Mapusa, POnda, Vasco and Panjim in a series 'Let's make our cities better'.


VASCO: As one enters Vasco through Vaddem or New Vaddem, negligence seems to be written all over the face of this port city. Tragically, successive governments and city fathers have done little to plan for the future.

Vaddem and New Vaddem have a cosmopolitan population of over 13,000 and form four wards of the Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC).

The major problem in these wards is lack of planning and infrastructure. Dr Pedro Bravo da Costa, a prominent physician and citizen from the locality, lamented that there was no planning with majority of constructuctions violating the FAR (floor-area ratio).

"It is sad that laws are made but are not implemented by the authorities. The authorities turn a Nelson's eye to the misdoings which affect those who follow the rules and the law," stated Dr Da Costa.

Former MMC chairperson and present councillor Carlos Almeida also emphasized that there was need to re-plan as the condition at present was chaotic.

"I also believe that poor planning has been the cause of the chaotic situation, but if there is a will then there is a way. The government can always help by re-planning," Almeida opined.

Flooding of low-lying areas still haunts villagers in the monsoons.

Dr Da Costa who stays close to the famous Vaddem Lak had the experience of his house being flooded. "I built my house with a plinth heighth of one and half feet above the road 30 years ago. But doay, the height of theroad has also grown like human beings," he said sarcastically.

He cited the failure on part of the authorities to clean up the three major nullas as the cause of major floods.

Eric Fernandes, yet another resident from the area, also expressed that there has been total neglect by both government and municipality. "The council is corrupt and what can one expect from them," he expressed, and added that it was only during Dr Mesquita's tenure that development had taken place.

The nullas in questions are the Goa Shipyard nulla, Vaddem lake nulla and the nulla by the side of the Pai Hospital.

The Goa Shipyard nulla serves as a water way not only to rain storm waters from Vaddem and New Vaddem but also Mangor, Baina and Butaybhat. Today, there is sewage gushing through it and residents of the MES Quarter also pour out their contents here.

Vaddem Lake, which was once famous for fish breeding is heavily contaminated as people dump garbage in it. Further, a builder has covered the mouth of this lake by putting an RCC slab over the drain, making it difficult to clean the silt. Teh nulla near the Pai Hospital too is flooded with silt.

Traffic jams near the road entering the city opposite Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) that has been greatly affecting the general public and the condition is acute during the afternoon.

The residents from New Vaddem face great hardships as widening of the junction opposite the GSL of New Vaddem road failed to materialise and the lethargic attitude of the PWD is the cause for the delay.

Dr Da Costa blamed the citizens for the garbage problem. There is no civic sense even among th eeducated. He also felt that there was a need to have more garbage bins.


Photographs: Dr Pedro da Costa Eric Fernandes Carlos Almeida Pics by Ramchandra Kamat

Traffic jam opposite the Goa Shipyard Limited


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