Discussion:
Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
(too old to reply)
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.
Gabe Menezes
2005-01-02 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
From: "Philip Thomas" <phlp_thms at hotmail.com> wrote:-
To: <goanet at goanet.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: [Goanet]Re: Social audit of the IFFI, 2004
Post by Philip Thomas
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]
These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.
RESPONSE: As Ronald Reagan would have said - you aint seen nothing yet! Wait
until the Mopa Airport project gets underway, Multi Millionaires will be in
the making.

cheers,

Gabe.

joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
joseph fernandes
2005-01-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
The following editorial appeared in the 'Oherald'
newspaper of date (refer: www.oherald.com)


As part of the democratic system of government we
have created a statutory authority called the
comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to
audit the accounts of all government departments and
to make recommendations for corrections. The reports
of the CAG are required to be placed before Parliament
or on the table of the respective Legislative
Assemblies and have to be debated by the House. These
reports are meant to inform the public about how the
government has performed during the previous
(financial) year. Unfortunately, the Governments have
managed to circumvent the recommendations made by the
CAG. There are innumerable instances where scathing
indictments made by the Comptroller and Auditor
General against a particular government have simply
been ignored and no action has been taken on the
recommendations made. It is high time, therefore, that
the citizens galvanized themselves into action and
made a public audit of the performance of their
government.

The just concluded, ?International Film Festival of
India 2004? (IFFI) in Goa typifies the danger which
democracy faces if the government is allowed to make
decisions which are contrary to the established
procedures which have been put in place to ensure
transparency. The government decided that hosting the
film festival in Goa was good for the Goans and good
also for India. This decision was taken without any
consultations with the people of Goa. The rationale
for this decision was never made public. The
implications of this decision were not considered -
except, perhaps, that hosting an International Film
Festival would bring prestige to Goa, and would
increase the tourist traffic to this small State.

Paedophilia, which was detected in Goa many years ago,
and which was clearly linked to the tourist inflow,
has now become epidemic and is highly organized. It is
international in its ramifications, and is facilitated
by the Internet. The vigilance of
private citizens and of some voluntary organizations
helped to bring a few paedophiles to book; but the
extent of this anti-social activity is massive, and no
one can yet guess at its magnitude. In spite of this,
the Government, which has consistently failed to
protect the innocence of its children, has made a big
brouhaha about hosting the IFFI in Goa, as if this is
a feather in its cap. This procedure of floating
tenders for the different civil works was completely
ignored by the Government while allocating contracts
for many public works associated with the hosting of
the IFFI, with the result that many projects were
accomplished at exorbitant cost. Even worse, the
contractors were given the liberty of providing their
own specifications. The Chief Minister has promised to
make the statement of
expenditures public, but this does not satisfy the
criteria laid out in the Government?s own procedure
for the allocation of public works. There are
overwhelming reasons to believe that many of the
projects were completed at costs that are far above
reasonable expectations. It has been discovered that
the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of
renovation and refurbishment of the Academy for the
IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs 24 crore.
Similarly, research has revealed that there are
about 100 multiplexes all over India - all of them
built by private enterprise -, and not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex
constructed by the Goa Government in Panjim for the
IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore. This raises serious
questions about the manner in which the decisions were
made, and the criteria used to give the contract to a
particular company, viz. INOX. In particular, the fact
that the multiplex was built out of public funds
raises serious questions about the repeated statements
made by the government that it did not
have the funds to clean up the storm-water drainage
canal in Panjim, or to upgrade the sewage treatment
plant in Tonca. Quite obviously, the government has
got its priorities all skewed up. This is an
indication of the topsy- turvey priorities of the
government, reminiscent of the neglect of its citizens
by the French monarchy prior to the revolution. Marie
Antoinette is reported to have told
her advisors that if the people did not have bread to
eat, they should be asked to live on cakes. The
similarity with IFFI in Goa is striking. Since the
citizens of Panjim lack basic health facilities, the
government has made extraordinary efforts to provide
them with entertainment to distract their attention.
Entertainment becomes meaningful and acceptable only
after these primary needs are satisfied.

It is a matter of great shame that the two prestigious
institutions of the Government of Goa, viz. the
University of Goa, and the Goa Medical College and
Hospital are in a shambles. The University is moribund
and on the verge of collapse. The Goa Medical College
and Hospital is less than mediocre. Both these
institutions, which should have been the pride of Goa,
suffer from supreme neglect

by the Government. The Chief Minister has never
applied his mind to the serious ailments besetting
these institutions. All that he has done is to
interfere in the administration of what should
normally be ?autonomous? institutions. The Government
run schools, particularly in the rural areas are also
in precarious condition. The only solution that the
government could find was to hand them over
to the R.S.S., which is a blatantly communal
organization which fosters hatred and violence against
minorities. The primary health centres, which are
supposed to be the providers of basic health services
to the people, including preventive health
care, are grossly neglected - both in terms of
personnel and materials. Instead of providing finances
to maintain these institutions in the rural areas, the
Parrikar Government has splurged over Rs 120 crore on
providing an entertainment infrastructure in Panjim,
for the benefit of tourists. It is a great shame that
the Parrikar Government chose to invest all its
energies to make Goa a venue for the IFFI. It is
further unfortunate that it is trying hard to make Goa
the ?permanent?
venue for the IFFI. The nebulous and ephemeral world
of the films will not provide any direction for the
political and social future of Goa. On the contrary,
they will prove to be a drag on our progress. The
citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well
aware that some positive good has come out of the
frenzied activities of the Government, viz. better
roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but
these were overdue in any case. It did not need a film
festival to initiate these improvements. However, on a
balance, the primary needs of the citizens for better
health infrastructure, improved garbage disposal
systems, better traffic control,
and above all, protection of the more vulnerable
sections of our society, specially our women and
children, still remain unmet. Instead of expending its
energies to prepare for the next IFFI event, it would
be more appropriate for the Government to show as much
enthusiasm for the more important needs of its
citizens. This procedure of floating tenders for the
different civil works was completely ignored by the
Government while allocating contracts for many public
works associated with the hosting of the IFFI, with
the result that many projects were accomplished
at exorbitant cost.











________________________________________________________________________
Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online
Go to: http://yahoo.shaadi.com/india-matrimony
Philip Thomas
2005-01-02 11:15:05 UTC
Permalink
<It has been discovered that the entire cost of the construction of the Kala
Academy did not exceed Rs 5 crore; but the cost of renovation and
refurbishment of the Academy for the IFFI cost the public exchequer over Rs
24 crore. Similarly, research has revealed that there are about 100
multiplexes all over India - all of them built by private enterprise -, and
not one of them
cost more than Rs 5 crore, whereas the multiplex constructed by the Goa
Government in Panjim for the IFFI cost a whopping Rs 24 crore.>[Joseph
Fernandes, Jan 1]

These represent glaring discrepancies and need to be checked and validated
by knowledgeable people.

<The citizens of Panjim, (and perhaps of Goa ) are well aware that some
positive good has come out of the frenzied activities of the Government,
viz. better roads, and improvements to heritage buildings, but these were
overdue in any case. It did not need a film festival to initiate these
improvements. > [Joseph Fernandes, Jan 1 cited above]

The four-laning project is said to have got a budget of Rs 50 cr of which Rs
30 cr have reportedly been spent so far. Even so, the result is not at all
satisfactory given the unevenness of the surface in places from New Patto
Bridge to Miramar Circle. One two-wheeler accident near Kala Academy has
already claimed one or two young lives after IFFI ended.

Speaking of the frenzied activity in Panjm this is in sharp and glaring
contrast to the matter-of-fact (near catatonic!) four line report on IFFI
buried deep in the Ministry of I&B's annual report posted recently on
goanet! Obviously the Central Govt is not impressed by the Goa govt's over
enthusiasm for IFFI. The Goa government may have to think of some excuse
other than IFFI to launch into major beautification projects in Panjim in
future. In fact it would be well advised to shift such focus to other Goa
cities if Panjim is not to get swamped with real estate investors and
migrants and strain its already precarious water, health and sewage
facilities.
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