PANAJI: Aldona MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreria hit out at the government for charging high cost for electricity but giving only poor supply in return instead asking that the government should give a discount every time there is a power supply disruption.
“You have electronic metres that run fast and the bills are not coming down. Even bank interest has fallen but bills are still high. Cost of living has gone so high and there is no money for people to pay the bills. The slabs have become so high and so prohibitive that the people are finding it difficult to pay. A bill that was once 200-300 is today 1000-1500 and people are crying,” he said.
“How are people going to pay these bills? You will now have the statistics of how many people are getting free. The money from DDSSY is not coming on time. Sometimes the meter reader comes and gives the minimum bill saying the door is closed and the next time you get a bill of 2,000-2,500,” he said.
“We are paying high rates and getting poor service. If you are going to a 5-star hotel you expect five star service. Why should it not be uninterrupted? You can’t pay high rates and get poor service. Else you give us a discount everytime there is a power cut” he said.
He also raised the issue of the phishing messages that people have been receiving threatening them that their power will be interrupted alleging that the data was being leaked from the call centres run by the department.
“You have said in the reply that you have filed an FIR. Why can’t the department take this seriously and follow it up? Although in the contract it is said that the custody of the data is the responsibility of the agency, it appears that only those people who have called the helpline are receiving the spam messages asking them to click here and there or else the connection will be disconnected,” he said.
Ferreira also said that material and fixtures procured by the power department is taken to South Goa for repairs. “Now you take the material to South Goa, then when it is needed in the North you have to send the vehicle along with the men, then after repairs, they bring them for which once again vehicle and staff has to be sent,” he said, adding that it would be logistically better to get it done at Thivim in North Goa itself.
Ferreira also pointed out from official documents the issue of unutilised renewable energy capacity from Goa asking the government to use buildings to put solar panels especially since land is scarce in Goa.
Speaking on the issues of the archives department, Ferreira pointed out to a missing pages from the Notorial book from noted notary Pinto Menezes from Mapusa whose books were doctored, pages were taken out and fresh pages were inserted apparently to execute a fraud.
“You have only filed an FIR and even though it will be very easy to find who is behind this racket,” he said. “Some pages were missing and then replaced. They even managed to make it look like authentic old pages. This could not have happened without the help of someone from the inside,” he said.
Ferreira also raised the issue of Corjuem Fort whose restoration work is currently underway. “I want to understand, what are you doing to support the village? If tourists are going to come to the village you are going to need some supporting infrastructure. Some toilets, some places to buy water and some snacks. I want to know for local self employment, how will the department support the village?” he asked while also demanding that the department remove all hanging wires from the monuments that spoil the look of the heritage monuments.