cannot be like China-make goods which come neither with a guarantee nor
warranty. As the BJP in Goa will
soon complete four years in office it is time that we, the people, audit its
This government has to be assessed on the ‘Goa Vision
Document 2012-2017’, released by the Party in the run-up to the March 2012
Assembly elections and its acts and deeds over the last four years in Power with
a never ending string of U Turns and the reneged promises. On having classified
the Palm as Grass, less said the better.
On March 9th
2012 Manohar Parrikar took over as Chief Minister by burdening the State
exchequer with those Rs.11 lakhs unnecessarily squandered on that pompous
swearing-in ceremony on SAG grounds at Campal rather than the customary modest
one at Raj Bhavan. And were the best and brilliant from amongst his MLAs chosen
In its ‘Vision Document’ the BJP promised that
Annual Performance Reports of every government department would be prepared and
publicized. This has not happened. Also promised was participatory governance
at village level as envisaged in the 73rd and 74th
amendments, which too, has not seen the light of the day. Promised was a new
Agricultural policy to make agriculture a more rewarding effort but all that we
witness today is the continued sight of fields and hills being converted to
concrete jungles. We were assured a new regional plan keeping in mind Goa’s
identity, but there is no plausible progress in that direction while a selected
coterie of builders are having a field day with constructions mushrooming
everywhere without a provision for basic infrastructure of electricity, water,
parking, sewage and garbage disposal.
To ensure regular, uninterrupted power supply the
BJP had promised that the whole of Goa would have underground cabling in five
years and that the State would be plastic-free in three years which has also not
happened. It is almost four years and the promise that a garbage management
system would be in place in 18 months is still a distant dream. The government
has miserably failed in its promise of 12 hours-a-day uninterrupted drinking
water within two years. Also not appointed is the promised Minority commission.
Contrary to the 2012 assurance, the
six-lane Zuari Bridge was not a priority. Let the government enlighten us as to
how many Non-Resident Goans (NRGs) it has encouraged and in what manner, for
Goa’s development, as promised in that Vision document. The BJP has only played
to the gallery on the issue of Special Status but has done nothing to control
the alarming and unacceptable levels of migration into Goa.
We were assured that
in three months garbage strewn along the roads would be cleared. Apart from a mere
cosmetic exercise on some roads, the garbage situation statewide has instead
turned critical with even the beach cleaning contract being a multi-crore scam.
The BJP has not had the spine to even deliver on its promise of banning plastic
Escalating level of crime is a matter of grave
concern while political interference in police functioning is turning Goa into
a lawless State. The promise to get rid of the Casinos from the River Mandovi
was another joke.
The BJP had promised that Professionals and not
Politicians would head Corporations and other bodies but to our utter dismay, all
the Corporations have been loaded with political cronies, some of whom carry
Various schemes launched to pay doles and build
vote banks are in bad taste. Welfare measures cannot be treated as gifts of the
ruling party but have to meet the needs of the deserving. Even on the Medium of
Instruction (MOI) issue there has been an oscillating volte face.
While in the Opposition the BJP had always vociferously criticized the
wasteful expenditure of Ministers and MLAs on unnecessary travel, especially
the foreign junkets, but over the last four years the current Ministers and
MLAs have been jetting around the world
recklessly, while draining an already depleted the exchequer.
With so much hype on
e-governance, Goa’s bureaucracy is bloating by the day. Despite the current
financial crisis, the BJP has been s hiring thousands more to accommodate his
party cadres. One of the first decisions by the BJP on taking over office in
March 2012 was to hike the fees of the Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni from
Rs five lakhs to a whopping eight lakhs a month. Despite the hike Atmaram
Nadkarni has continued to be the legal Messiah of the Mining Barons, Casino
Lobby and the Builders.
In his first budget
speech in 2012 the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured that every
Department would implement e-governance within 18 months. Sadly, most
government websites are dysfunctional or remain not updated for months. The ‘aam
aadmi’ is now paying much more for every government service. Even the fee for registering a Power of Attorney
which was earlier Rs.50/-, shot up to Rs.500/-.
Despite having been
given a clear mandate, the BJP has been unable to deliver on the ‘Parivartan’
that it promised by way of Good governance and Zero tolerance to corruption.
Rampant corruption continues unabated. Scams continue galore. What has changed
is only the identity of the agents, brokers and beneficiaries. And we are
without a Lokayukta till the BJP finds a pliable one!
Last year Manohar
Parrikar left Goa and passed on the baton to Laxmikant Parsekar but every Goan
will vouch that it has been four dismal years of confusion, contradictions and
controversies. This may sound like a requiem but that, is the unfortunate
ground reality. During the 2012 election campaign, Manohar Parrikar had
promised us the moon but reneged on almost every promise. He used every trick
under his sleeve to usurp the office of Chief Minister. We thought he had
learnt from his past mistakes and would turn a new leaf. Sadly, it was not to
be. It was the same old Manohar Parrikar, puffed up with added arrogance
and highly allergic to any criticism.
His one remarkable achievement is of having stifled
the entire voice of the Opposition. Through his trademark tactics he successfully
caged and grounded most Opposition MLAs. Surprisingly, to Parrikar’s credit
goes the fact that many of the otherwise vocal and proactive NGOs have also gone
With elections due
within a year, we have had a very pompous Carnival and an equally colourful
Shigmo will follow. But this is a sign of bad governance - when a State
sponsors fun and frolic when its coffers are empty. The government has been on
a borrowing spree. How long will it be able to sustain such lavish spending?
We are reminded of the
words of Manohar Parrikar in his first budget speech of 26th March
Sir, the election results made me speechless, and now is the time for me to
speak and assure the people, that the faith and trust they have put in us,
shall be responded and honoured in multiple”
But the BJP has not honoured the faith and trust
the people of Goa reposed in the party. The actions of the government speak for
themselves. We were hoping that the ‘Parivartan’ in 2012 would be
for the better. But the question that torments the common man today is “Have we
landed from the frying pan into the fire?”