Monday, May 9, 2011

Ensure government funds for welfare of people

Ensure government funds for welfare of people

By Chandrakant Gawas

Endorsing Dr Nandkumar Kamat’s article – ‘Three years of political fire fighting’ published recently in this daily, which said "it is the corruption in the administration which has emboldened the violators of laws, in Goa, and that during the two months of IFFI the entire administration slows down, that expenditure on IFFI has totally been unproductive, Goa would miss nothing if IFFI is not held at all. … Public funds are siphoned liberally."
I, however, would like to add, without political patronage corruption in administration cannot thrive.
One may recall, in the run-up to the staging of the first IFFI in the city had come to have a thoroughly upgraded look, including the new Patto bridge, Inox, sprucing up of heritage buildings, roads etc – a tangible addition to infrastructure. That was pleasant to see. In the later years, however, we have been seeing only cosmetic jobs, and painting of a few approach spots before each IFFI.
The noble purpose of motivating local talent through IFFI envisaged when it first started and has fallen wayside in subsequent years, like many good schemes do, if not handled properly consistently. It is felt, the Rs 100 crore plus we spend every year, we burn on the absurdity called IFFI, could well be diverted to improving the infrastructural items, that will in turn reward the state handsomely. We don’t have to splurge public funds on parading the ‘filmi’ luminaries and screening of some obscure films. Let us leave these luxuries to the far more affluent societies. Except the ‘politically well connected interests’ the aam adami is gaining nothing out of it.
The stark reality is there are extremely narrow roads, treacherous bends on them, (waiting to be eased by reconstructive) garbage heaps, clogged nullahs with stagnant dirty water, government buildings in neglect, broken footpaths, absence of footpaths on many roads, tilted and dilapidated benches for public at the Miramar children’s park, requirement of a parallel bridge on Zuari, (instead of pressing in for the Ro Ro ferries, which is a retrograde step), reconstruction of the existing bridge on NH17A near Pai Nursing Home at Vasco, that has been declared unsafe a good four years ago, and so on.
All these things and more are craving for benevolent attention. It will do Goa a big favour if the IFFI bids adieu and the funds saved are used for providing for the above pressing and productive items. We ought to have a sense of priorities. Last year, in fact, IFFI’s funds could have been better utilised for rehabilitation of Canacona flood victims.
It is said, in a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long last. Will those in authority at least now wake up to ground realities and spend government funds where they ought to be for the good of Goa’s population, and discontinue unproductive stuff like IFFI. While the government has just completed three years in office, it is hoped wise counsel will prevail with the experience gleamed over the period.

(The writer is a resident of Vasco)

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