Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Luxuries for Ministers - I

Walk the talk

Last Friday morning, they had to be the most resilient lot in Goa, because you can’t be hardier than the Friday Mapusa market vendors, who, braving the punishing, pouring rain, covered their wares, and waited, glumly for the more foolhardy buyer like me to come wading along.  Even the woman selling rock salt was there, so were some of the plant sellers, who perhaps lost more plants to the flooding waters, than they sold. 

Truly, it was a wretched Friday, and made me want to call up the editors of national magazines who have serially voted Goa as the ‘best and most trendy place’ to be in.  My point, you ask?  Our montris need to walk along this path too, literally.  They live in glass houses, pretending to be concerned about people’s welfare, and waiting to pounce like vipers on opportunities that come their way.  And, it’s not always about making money.  It is also about the opportunity to stay in power for another term.  Like the issue Atanasio Monserrate a.k.a ‘Babush’ picked, that is, he said the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat could reoccupy its home in Dona Paula if the ‘B’ Company boys at the Taleigao Panchayat were to get a one-time ‘compensation’ of Rs 2 crore; and all the house tax accrued from the park be parked in the Panchayat.  So, screw the sentiments of the people of Taleigao (the rest of Goa included) who fought hard to stop, what can accurately be called a hoax of ‘concrete’ proportions, if you get my drift.  What next Mr. Monserrate?  Tax Goans for setting their eyes on what is left of the tambdi bhaji (Red Amaranth) fields before they join the rest of the concrete jungle that was once beautiful Caranzalem?


But, not this way

Remember all the tax money spent to perk up the already stately homes of our montris, Dayanand Narvekar included, despite the fact he was struck of the privileged list, albeit temporarily.  Here’s more on our Nawabs and their princely perks, which brings me to a point I should have made a long time ago in this column.  Pandurang Madkaikar, the Prince of Cumburjua, is the only one I know who when in power, hasn’t been lavish with your tax money.  That’s saying a lot these days.  This week it’s the turn of Ramkrishna Dhavlikar, who spent just Rs 28,924.65 of your tax money perking up his official bungalow. Mr. Ravi Naik, the home minister, spent Rs 1,44,399.13 to do up his official bungalow and it went like this.  A steel cupboard that cost Rs 7,900, and Rs 23,000 spent on a washing machine.  For the rest, read on.


Movers and packers

Apparently spartan in the luxury area, Mr. Naik however showed a huge preference for handy items and splurged your tax money on exactly 86 categories of items. And, I make this point again. What the heck happened to all replaced items? I mean who takes away old refrigerators, washing machines and cooking stoves every time new ones are bought? And then, Mr. Naik decides to change residence. So, what does he do? He simply goes shopping again. Remember, the man who strangely as home minister licensed all the floating casinos on the Mandovi, had earlier spent Rs 5,25,185 of your tax bucks to paint another bungalow where he also installed a FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) cabin costing Rs 1,07,342, but then shifted residence on October 21, 2007 to the bungalow called ‘Herambh’.

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