Behind the curtains…

 

BY ROQUE DIAS
Thermocol waste faces the brunt of Shridhar, Arthur feud
 
Sonsoddo waste treatment plant commenced on December 12, 2012, and now, rumours of cold war between Arthur and Shridhar are doing the rounds — Shridhar being tough, the MMC chief seems to have been not getting on well with him, at the critical juncture of paying  the bills.
 
It is understood said that the Minister for Urban Development was asked to pay a surprise visit to the Sonsoddo site and watch the functioning of the plant. And, the shortcomings were brought to his attention. The minister, after his visit to the plant, expressed concern over the slow pace of work. He also asked the MMC to pay off the bills after getting the nod from consultant, even though MMC does not have one. It is learnt that Shridhar is much disturbed by the delaying tactics adopted by the MMC in paying the huge bills. He reacted and the first reaction against the MMC was that a truckload of thermocol waste sent by the MMC was not accepted at the Sonsoddo dumping site. In a tit-for-tat action, the angry MMC chief now appears set to tell Shridhar to return the truckloads of mud allegedly taken by Shridhar almost a year back, before making the payments.
 
A case of numbers
The Karnataka transport department office’s act of issuing one registration number to three different vehicles was discovered by the Margao police. Kudos to them. However, this should not be a case of the kettle calling the pot black. The incident has brought forth a challenge to the police in Goa to clean up their own backyard as there has been a case where the same registration number was found to  be given to more than one truck in the state. The registration numbers of the trucks belonging to police, RTO and the politicians, who have engaged the vehicles in the mining industry in the state, now need to be checked to see whether their trucks carry the same registration number or whether their different trucks have different numbers. It is said this would not be a difficult task as these days the trucks are off the roads.
 
Mhazans of khazans
The government’s draft bill over developing the khazan lands has not gone down well with the mhazans of khazans of Salcete. Spitting venom, associations protested against the draft, claiming that the government wanted to ‘eat’ into the revenue generated by the khazan tenant associations. It is informed that a secret meeting of these associations is fixed sometime this week, with the agenda being to draft and send a memorandum to the government on the draft Bill, through a well known lawyer-turned-politician of Salcete. It is gathered that the government survey of the barren khazan land is going on at a fast pace and rumours have it that the government may acquire this land within the next two years. The associations feel that this land will be given to the developers in order to fill the coffers to meet financial demands and to pay government servants’ salaries. The associations have advised khazan land owners of Salcete to start cultivation on fallow land if they desire to save the same.
 
Fishy business
Fish caught off the coast of Goa is not for Goans’ consumption, but for packing and export, and the tasteless fish imported from Karwar is sold to Goans at high prices. The rich and the ‘tarvottis’ from Salcete do not feel the pinch and buy this fish. It is learnt that boats from Kerala and Gujarat venture into Goan waters illegally during the nights and the catch is sold directly to a dealer in Goa who is not a Goan. This fish is unloaded secretly in the dead of the night, under the cover of darkness at the jetties of South Goa, in connivance with the concerned officers and coastal police. It has been discovered that the dealers transport the entire cache of fish in trucks, directly for packaging and the boat owners disappear into the night with their money. It is said that the palms of the authorities are greased so that they look the other way and these authorities who are supposed to guard Goan waters allow this plunder. Well, these authorities have a bag  of excuses if at all an inquiry is initiated as to why they failed to act when the illegal act took place and the most common excuses being  vehicle battery failure, no manpower, no diesel, information was not accurate and others.
 
Goemkars puzzled
The politician Goemkars have looted and still loot in the name of Goemkars, while the niz Goemkar is silently suffering due to the high  inflation rate — prices of almost all essential commodities have skyrocketed. One independent Goemkar is now fighting back, asking other Goemkars to support him in his fight. His slogan is ‘Be aware of the new Goemkar in the new year.’ As the ball has been set rolling  in the south, the real Goemkar is puzzled as to which Goemkar to embrace – the one who has provided them with the schemes or the one who is fighting for the issues sitting on the fence. There are also reports that there is yet another Goemkar, who is bidding his time, waiting to lead the Goemkars. [NT]