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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Locals blame Maharashtra for Goa floods, minister says it rained on ‘both’ sides

With the flood waters having subsided, Goa’s Water Resources Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said he was in “constant touch” with the Maharashtra minister during the crisis. He further said that before the next monsoon arrives, the two states will have a joint action plan ready to solve the issue.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2019 17:43 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
The Tillari Dam and Irrigation project along Maharashtra’s southern border with Goa was a joint venture between the two governments. The floodgates of the dam were opened after heavy rainfall caused havoc in downstream areas.  (ANI photo)
The Tillari Dam and Irrigation project along Maharashtra’s southern border with Goa was a joint venture between the two governments. The floodgates of the dam were opened after heavy rainfall caused havoc in downstream areas. (ANI photo)
         

After affected locals and the Congress blamed mismanagement of the Tillari dam in southern Maharashtra for the “unprecedented” flooding in the state, the government of Goa has decided to take up the issue with their counterparts in Maharashtra.

With the flood waters having subsided, Goa’s Water Resources Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said he was in “constant touch” with the Maharashtra minister during the crisis. He further said that before the next monsoon arrives, the two states will have a joint action plan ready to solve the issue.

“This is the first time I came across this kind of flooding. Before next monsoon I need to know if this incident happens again how to mitigate, (and) how to solve it. I need to prepare an action plan,” he said.

The Tillari Dam and Irrigation project along Maharashtra’s southern border with Goa was a joint venture between the two governments. The floodgates of the dam were opened after heavy rainfall caused havoc in downstream areas.

According to district administration authorities, around 350 people had to be evacuated from the villages of Sal, Revora, Camurlim. The losses have been pegged at Rs 10 crore by the district administration. There was no loss of life or livestock reported.

Rodrigues, however, stopped short of blaming Maharashtra, and said there was rain on “both sides” and that the flood was on account of “natural” causes rather than man-made ones.

“It rained in the whole belt and that is the real cause. I was in touch with the Maharashtra minister. He had told me that in the event of any disaster they will join relief operations. But it (the flooding) did not happen to that extent. It has subsided now,” Rodrigues said.

The opposition Congress has blamed the lack of coordination between the two states for Goa’s worst flooding in decades.

“Instead of travelling to Russia, [Goa Chief Minister] Sawant should have stayed back to monitor the situation. The two border villages Sal and Ibrampur have been washed away because of lack of coordination between Maharashtra and Goa governments, with regards to the release of water from the Tillari dam,” said GPCC president Girish Chodankar.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, who was accompany the delegation to Russia, backed out because of flooding in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in Western Maharashtra.

“Floods at Ibrampur in Pernem and Sal in Bicholim is due to failure of the State government to coordinate with the Tillari Dam authorities. We demanded full compensation to the affected. The BJP should spend money in the same style as they used during elections,” said Girish Chodankar, who visited the affected areas in North Goa.

“The lethargic and careless attitude of the Government and its agencies in preventing and attending to the hardships of the people of Goa has angered us,” Chodankar added.

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 17:43 IST

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