PONDA: Pondaitees feels the government free water scheme has no logic. Even a wealthy family of four would get free water, but a poor family with six members will pay bills.
It’s simple mathematics. If four family members get 16000, then a joint family of six should get 24000-litre free water per month. If they waive off bill and meter rent for a family of four, why injustice on joint family members of six and above, people feel.
They said that when Government declares a scheme, it should be first for the upliftment of the poor.
Pondaites say the Government’s free water scheme has no logic. It could even benefit a nuclear family of rich but not the family of poor with six members. Why injustice on injustice on the joint family? Why govt not extend it to joint families? They asked.
“The scheme would not benefit even a four-member family because they consume around 24-25 units in the month,” they said.
Ponda locals say Government free water scheme is faulty.
“There is no logic in the free water scheme. Free water is just eyewash. If govt wants to give free water, it should provide 200 free water to each citizen, which is the actual average,” they said.
People feel that after the Government declared a 16000-litre free water scheme, the common man has a feel-good atmosphere as he expects a zero monthly bill and doesn’t know how much unit it means.
When asked for reactions of literate citizens, many of them said that when they checked past bills, they found they consume an average of around 22 to 25 units, i.e. above 800 litres by single members and monthly 22000 to 25000 litres per month.
“If the Government wants to give free water, then its criteria should provide at least 10000 litres of free water to every single member of all families in Goa. If the family members total consumption crosses the limit, they should only be charged for extra units,” they said.
Further, when the Government declares a scheme, it should be first for the upliftment of the poor and if for all, its criteria should not be limited to four family members.
That means a rich person with a two-member family would benefit from it, but a poor with more than six members would pay bills.
Ramdas Naik at Ponda said this scheme would benefit mostly people with three family members: a couple and one child and even migrants residing in the rented room but many Goans having big joint families and scheme of no use for them.
“It is just eyewash. At the end of September, Goans would get hefty bills due to increased tariff,” he said.
When Government plans schemes, it should benefit the poor. But in a free water scheme, a rich person or government employee with three members, including husband-wife and one child, would not pay monthly bills to incase their consumption may be within the limit of 16000, but a poor joint family residing in a rural area with more than six members comprising of grandfather, grandmother, Father, Mother and two to three children would be paying the inflated bills along with meter rent because bill rates are hiked exorbitantly and also faulty free water scheme, he said.
Naresh Naik at Ponda said If Government expects a family, which means four members, then it is wrong. It would just include father, mother and two children’s.
“It would be called a nuclear family. In a joint Hindu community, family means grandfather, grandmother, father and mother and at least two to three children, then the total goes to seven. But in Goa, traditionally, joint family members have more than ten to fifteen members, which could be an injustice,” he said.
Locals also said the Government should consider bringing down skyrocketed prices of petrol, gas, diesel, and other commodities instead of such vague promises.