Efforts on for early release of Tillari water, says Parrikar
The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that his efforts to seek release of water from Tillari irrigation project with the authorities concerned in Maharashtra could bear results soon and that he was hopeful of an interim solution to the vexed issue in near future.
Addressing a press conference in presence of North Goa Member of Parliament, Mr Shripad Naik, the Chief Minister said the solution was in sight and that the water from the Tillari project was expected to be released within next two days and it could reach Goa in about five to six days.
The Chief Minister also stated that he took up the issue of stoppage of water by the Maharashtra authorities with the Nationalist Congress Party chief and Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, earlier in day along with Mr Naik and sought his help in resolving the issue amicably.
Mr Parrikar said the state government was sympathetic to the cause of the farmers — be it in Goa or in Maharashtra — and wanted an early solution but the solution could not be arrived at through blackmailing tactics. He said that Maharashtra authorities were likely to meet agitating people and resolve the issue to their satisfaction.
Stating that the government has already initiated steps to restart water supply through alternate measure and a 40 horsepower additional pump was being installed on River Sal to draw water that would be released in canal supplying Tillari water. He also said that as a long-term measure a plan was being prepared to overcome such crisis.
He said that a solution to the problem of the agitators could be found at the meeting of the Tillari Water Development Board but the solution would be arrived taking into consideration various issues pertaining to other dams in Maharashtra and Goa, even as he said that if need be some additional amount could be spent on the project, which has so far cost the state Rs 1,067 crore.
Referring to his forceful opposition to transfer of water from Mhadei basin (a water deficit basin) at the National Development Council and National Water Resources Council by the Karnataka government, the Chief Minister said that he also told the meetings that there was need for quick redressal of the issues between the states.
He said that he demanded setting up of continuous tribunal to adjudicate matters relating to dispute between states, which should hear matters on day to day basis, and give their verdict in six months to a year. The problems get aggravated because of delay in giving justice to the disputing states.
Mr Parrikar said that only in cases of surplus water that the water could be transferred from one basin to another and in case of deficient water basin the transfer could be allowed only if both the states agree to the transfer. He, however, said that Goa would not have any objection if the water from Mhadei basin was used within the basin for agriculture purpose.
Responding to a query on the statement made by the Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao on Thursday about the Church not being involved on the issue of medium of instruction, he said that he respected the wisdom of the Archbishop and would take cognizance of his statement.
“Ours is an inclusive policy on the issue and we will take all concerned in confidence,” he added. [NT]