A reasoned debate and fruitful discussion is the very essence of democracy as it paves way for transparency and accountability in Governance. It is good that the Power Ministers of Goa and Delhi will debate on issues concerning their portfolio.

It is unfortunate that the sessions of our Legislative Assembly in recent times have been sought to be curtailed curbing room for deliberating issues concerning the people. But the pandemic has not come in the way for the government brazenly indulging in all sorts of other functions involving gathering of people.

While in the Opposition Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate had accused the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) of being a big den of rampant corruption and had demanded a public discussion on projects being undertaken. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had summoned a public interaction of IPSCDL with the citizens of Panaji on 28th May 2019 but at the last minute abruptly cancelled it while publicly assuring that it would soon be rescheduled. It is over two long years and no sign of that meeting. Ironically Babush Monserrate and his Mayor son are now Directors of that very IPSCDL and there is no consultative process with the citizens of Panaji on the projects planned.

Without a truly genuine and concerted effort to improve the city’s crumbling infrastructure by taking the people into confidence, our now plummeting Panaji will only end up being further submerged with public money down the drain. There needs to be a public vigil to ensure Zero Tolerance to scams in the name of Development. 

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