MLA Michael Lobo wants to upgrade 30 existing jetties. Why, and why not? While it will be easier we are told for Goans to use river transportation at a more convenient hour - assuming of course there will be enough buses until late at night - there are some serious problems we need to consider or witness a repeat of history, and maybe worse.
The first question is what kind of fuel will the new transportation use? Pollution free? Will the boats, ferries, and barges harm the baby rivers and make them into another polluted Mandovi River? One river has gone to hell, will the same happen to all the others? Another problem. If hinterland tourism via rivers (I hope it does not mean casinos!) is to be developed - where will the sewage go?
Are these floating horses a Trojan plan to launch river transportation passenger service first, and later on to add new floating casinos in the rivers? Isn’t it enough we have almost killed our Mother Mandovi, do we have to kill the babies, too?
Are they going after the other rivers to promote casinos? Is there a hidden agenda? Villagers, be vigilant and awake, as you have nothing to lose but your rivers. That the Mandovi River is our Mother is no secret; people have been told this again and again, and politicians have shed crocodile tears again and again much to our surprise and amusement.
If their hearts are full of love for their Mother, why is our Mandovi River today sewage-full? Do we have to thank the casinos and houses in Panaji, and our politicians - past and present?
That there isn’t a sewage system in place is no secret; some say even the blind know it as it emanates a bad smell.
First things first: the water in the Mandovi River has to be tested for safety by an independent team of scientists as government reports and statistics are often not reliable. The governments of the past and the present have not bothered about the sewage problem of our Mother Mandovi River - as both parties have been competing for the love and affection of the casino lobby.
The late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar warned the public not to step into the Mandovi River as it was polluted at a very high level, and people would invariably fall ill. Our Mother Mandovi is dying! What will we do about the sewage problem - pretend it does not exist? If so, will the problem go away? And, why are political parties eerily silent on this issue?