10December2017

Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Cock and Bull stories

“Pay parking is the need of the hour, since parking is free everybody brings four wheelers to the cities, mostly shopkeepers and businessmen, who park their vehicles for the whole day,” said Arvind Gawas, the Superintendent of Police. 

Let’s not even bother to dissect the absurdity of his argument, because a mere Rs 5 per hour isn’t going to convince car owners to pass up Panjim nor is the per hour rate going to deter traders who will simply pass it on to the unwitting consumer.But really, what Gawas needs to do expeditiously is to ban vehicles including mobile food vendors entering Panjim’s 18th June Road and instead convert it into a shoppers’ promenade (pedestrian only street) which has successfully been done the world over.  Indeed your montris and babus have had the pleasure (courtesy your tax money of course) of seeing them on several occasions on their many world travels.  In March this year shoppers and non-shoppers overwhelmingly voted in a survey to make Bangalore’s hugely popular Commercial Street a pedestrian zone.  It’s not been done yet, but Bangalore is getting there.  But for baloney, Gawas gets the month’s Emmy for outstanding gibberish beating the transport and river navigation minister’s rubbish on introducing a Ro-Ro ferry service between Agassaim and Cortalim on a build-operate basis. The other contender is the harebrained idea of a link between Dona Paula (in Panjim) and Mormugao port.  This, like the Mopa airport, will never happen, but here’s a hint to the officials who went on a junket and returned awed by the Rs 1,600 cr Bandra-Worli sea link.

 

Saved! 20 minutes

Autocar recently tested the Sea Link and the traditional Mahim-Prabhadevi route in two Maruti Swifts.  Their drivers took off from the domestic airport at 9.30 am sharp, joining the rush hour traffic heading towards Trident Hotel at Nariman Point.  One Swift took the Sea Link and the other the Mahim-Prabhadevi route.  The magazine’s verdict: the Sea Link proved to be longer and cost Rs 50 one way in toll, and it only saved 20 minutes in time.  Not even India Inc starts board meetings on time.  It is an Indian fad to be late.  Mumbai, a metro larger in a sense than Goa and with several times more vehicles than Goa’s population, might have decongested a fraction of its traffic congestion.  In March 2007 it had 1,21,70,991 vehicles including 85,73,679 two-wheelers, 7,00,356 trucks, 64,357 buses, 1,33,309 taxis and 5,55,118 autorickshaws.  What’s in it for Goa?  Any Mumbaite will tell you that the Worli exit hits the sea face road at a right angle and is the only bottleneck in an otherwise smooth drive.  Shift gears to Dona Paula, already a bottleneck –that’s why I said harebrained.  Next swing to Mormugao/Vasco where almost the entire shore line is shared (or has claim to it) by the Mormugao Port Trust, Goa Shipyard and the Indian Navy … well, even more nutty.  Aah yes, but then, our politicians do tend to rush off like the hare that nature bestowed very little brain power to.

 

Hares and hounds

The hares and hounds race, the game of chase in which one group of players, the hounds, follows a trail of scraps of paper left by another group, the hares, and tries to catch them before they reach a designated point.  This is what it has been like chasing the hounds (those who waste our tax money) all these years.  Or, do you feel like the hare sometimes, chasing the scraps thrown at you?  Nuff said.  Your montris (including Subodh Kantak, the government’s attorney general) spent Rs 1,35,778 between April and June 2009 living in hotels in New Delhi.  But, what was Luizinho Faleiro, a non-montri, doing at Hotel Shangri la (expenditure: Rs 25,781) between June 8-10.  Yeah, who cares?  The austerity mantra is not for our montris.  You can’t stop the juggernaut on wheels.

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