21August2017

Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Diamonds Are Forever

Is a group of retired government mandarins trying to emulate their ageing political masters?  The Chief Minister Digambar Kamat hired R. A Verlekar as his officer on special duty (OSD).  His age as you read this is 67 years and eleven months to be precise.  His under secretary, Amrut Gaonkar is 64 years and ten months. 

He hired Jagdish Kalangutkar as his section officer.  His age as you read this is 60 years and four months, but that could be considered younger.  Eight of his ministers all have OSD’s (doesn’t that sound like some kind of James Bond adaptation?) over the age of sixty years.  Licence to Kill or not, Joaquim Alemao’s Man Friday is 68 years and two months old.  More power to their guns, but what I don’t understand is the government continuing to pay them a hefty pension because pension deductions are being made from their monthly salaries.  What was that about two sides of the same coin?

 

Dr. No(Goan)

And again, this has nothing to do with Bond. This is about non-Goans employed as doctors in the Goa Medical College (GMC).  The GMC employed 66 non-Goan doctors till July 2010 and counting.  In 2008 it hired 14 doctors.  In the two months May-June, 2009 GMC hired 19 (of the 66) doctors and two more in December 2009.  In 2010 five doctors were hired.  The Goa Dental College & Hospital has 13 non-Goan doctors on its rolls.  The Goa College of Pharmacy has two.  They were hired in 2009 and 2010 as lecturers.  The Institute of Psychiatry & Human Behaviour rehired two clinical pathologists after they retired in 2005.

 

Storm in a teacup

The Goa Barge Owners Association (GBOA) president Atul Jadav is going around telling any newspaper that will listen that Goa is in dire need of a maritime industrial estate.  Inevitably, the case of the Dubai Maritime City is cited as evidence without the corollary of course, that abroad there is definite transparency and definitive law.  It pissed off the Environment Minister Aleixo Sequeira who called up Jadav.  Thing is GBOA wants the government to acquire 5,00,000 sq mts at Bhoma near the Cumbarjua canal.  Blunder 1.  He was cocksure that the new environment would be protected but agreed the present repair yards are polluting.  Blunder 2.  Is there a plan here because we have elected MLAs (four) who are barge owners among other business interests they have?  Barge owners have themselves told me in the past that the playing field is getting crowded by the entry of non-Goans (Mumbaikars mainly) with generous amounts of black money to spare.  The barge business gives a huge opportunity.  They complain about the China market cooling down.  When business was bad they simply took their barges to ports in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and even faraway Andhra Pradesh.  In fact the barge business has evolved over decades from WWII Land Craft Vessels (LCV) converted into barges; to jumboization of barges in the 80’s, cutting their midriff and lengthening their size, to the huge present day 2,000-3,000 tonners.  But the sheen is wearing off.  Worse, there just aren’t any big fleet owners willing to buy the 100 size 4,000 sq. mt plots envisaged in the maritime industrial estate.

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