Monday, January 12, 2009

Goa Government lethargy may cost lives.

It is indeed a shame that the government of Goa has yet again exposed its callousness in fulfilling its obligations made to a service provider after entering into an agreement.

It has now nearly become a habit for the Government of Goa and its departments to take things rather carelessly and in turn invoke the ire of the service provider.Failure to make payments on time seems to be a shameless habit of the Goa governemnts' character which is bound to keep away all service providers from executing their works.

The latest victim of the government apathy has been the Drishti Special Response Services( DSRS) a service provider who has been providing services to save lives on Goa's beaches with a novel concept called "The Surf Life Saving Goa"( SLSG). SLSG is a concept of beach management with a special emphasis on saving people from drowning introduced by DSRS on the eleven beaches of Goa which is a 20 kilometer coastline.

DSRS has now decided to withdraw their services on account of the governments inability to pay their dues amounting to over 5 crore as reported in a section of the media. With the failure of payment being the reason for DSRS to wind up their highly skillfull and successful bay watching  operations, due to the lackadaisical attitude of the Goa government, this incident will add to the reluctance of entrepreneurs to risk undertaking any projects which could benefit the people when the government is a payee.

In Goa we are well aware that deaths due to drowning are a regular feature on almost all the beahes of the state and the tragedy is most often averted with the help of life-guards. Unmanned shorelines without professionally trained lifeguards could therefore be new wanton death traps for beach revelers and would therefore affect tourism hugely, the effects of which will one day invite wrath of the locals. However it could be too late by then.The bird(tourist) will already have flown into another nest.

The avenues of employment with such endeavours for the local Goans are also aplenty and the same will be snatched away form Goans and thereby deny them their livelihood which seemed quite secure some time ago.

The government uses a lot of fanfare to launch such projects with huge advertisements  and a host of political jugglers swallowing a lot of adulation at the time of introducing such projects. However they fatefully meet their watery grave and the cost of such an exercise is never known to the common man. The suffering however is there for all to see.

These situations therefore throw up a few questions. Is there a corrupt rat involved in the whole issue? Someone who could not be accomodated and is failing to release the payment? The government of Goa needs to show its credibility in this case, else no one is going to believe any of its assurances in future.

Meanwhile the governemnt better take up the beach management on itself immediately rather than dilly dally on its part thus thrusting precious lives in risk.

Xittuk Goencar

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