Tourism Minister tears into Goa CM over poor road, water, power scenario

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar tore into Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at a public function over water and power shortage in the Pernem area of North Goa, while also chastising Sawant for the poor quality of roads in the area.

“We have given water from Chandel (in Pernem) to the state. Why doesn’t water from Chandel reach our homes here. How many times should we instruct these officers? Why are they harassing us? You have to ask them that. You have the capacity. Why are you silent against this (injustice). I have raised this issue at least 10 times,” Ajgaonkar said at a government outreach programme held in Pernem sub district on Friday.

“Should I be releasing the water from here (Chandel project) myself? Am I technically qualified? Can I turn the right screws? It is an engineer’s job. I have told them at least 10 times. This time I will not stay quiet, if there is water shortage in Chandel. Why are you harassing us over these basic things? You pay these engineers high salaries, why don’t you put them to work? Why do they harass us?” Ajgaonkar said in his public tirade.

Ajgaonkar said that Pernem was plagued by constant power outages, while urging Sawant to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the area.

The Tourism Minister also criticised a new national highway project passing through Pernem, saying the newly constructed highway has more potholes than roads, which has aggravated his neck problem.

“There are holes all over these roads. We know some hardships have to be faced for development. But how many hardships should we face?” Ajgaonkar said.

“It has been two and a half years that the road work is being carried out. Why have we appointed such a shameless contractor? How much hardship do we face? First of all, I have neck related issues and then these hardships. Ask him (contractor) to hasten the work,” Ajgaonkar said.