Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Reports matter, not numbers: Sawant on team at Mhadei meet

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 11, 2024, 01:56 AM IST

PANAJI
Amidst criticism regarding Goa’s thin representation at the PRAWAH meeting in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant defended the delegation stating the reports submitted are over the number of attendees.

Addressing a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Sawant questioned whether Goa should have sent “clerks or (all) WRD officials” to match Karnataka’s numbers.

“Our three-member team was strong, informative and knowledgeable,” he said responding to criticism by the Opposition about sending three officials as against Karnataka’s 30.

WRD Chief Engineer Pramod Badami and Assistant Engineer Dilip Naik were two of the three senior officials who accompanied the Committee and represented Goa in Bengaluru.

“The PRAWAH meeting was nevertheless scheduled in Bengaluru. We had 3-4 members, and so did Maharashtra. Would it help to send clerk and (all) WRD officials there,” the Chief Minister further questioned.

The Chief Minister stressed that related reports submitted were more important than the number of attendees at the meeting. “How many sat for the meeting is not important but what reports are submitted to the inspecting officials are crucial. Goa has submitted several reports over a period of time just like the other two states. All these are in sealed packs and the report findings are more important,” he added.

Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai criticised the thin attendance by Goa, questioning how three officials could defend Goa in such a hostile environment. “Goa had a team of only three officials as against 30 by Karnataka. How much will they defend Goa in such circumstances? Will you save Mhadei for Goa in such conditions?” he remarked on Tuesday.

Sawant reiterated that Goa has been strongly presenting its case before the Supreme Court, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal and at the administrative level.

Reacting to the protest by activists in Karnataka where the interstate Kadamba bus was stalled, the Chief Minister said that the government had alerted the Centre on the matter.

“I have written to the Centre and also asked the Director General of Police (Jaspal Singh) and Chief Secretary (Puneet Goel) for a report. I have also asked CS to speak to his counterpart in Karnataka. Although the activists did not damage the bus their action was uncalled for,” he stated.

Sawant also said that Goa wanted the PRAWAH inspections in the rains and it happened since Goa showed the violations by Karnataka including diversion of water from Kankumbi.

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