Miffed over not getting its share of water from Maharashtra's Tillari reservoir immediately, Goa will not let patients from Maharashtra get free medical services from Goa's top government hospital, a BJP leader said here Saturday.
Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said that the step would help to highlight the urgency of the Tillari water supply issue.
"We expect Maharashtra to release water within the next two to three days as per the assurance given by the Maharashtra chief minister (Prithviraj Chavan) to (Goa chief minister) Manohar Parrikar," Tendulkar told IANS.
"If they do not honour that promise we will have no option but to prevent people from Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra from availing free medical treatment offered at the Goa Medical College (GMC)," Tendulkar said.
GMC is the top government medical institution in Goa near Panaji and sees hundreds of patients from northern Karnataka and south Maharashtra.
A couple of weeks ago, Maharashtra cut off water supply from the Tilari dam after displaced residents of Bodade, a village which was submerged in the reservoir of the dam started protesting in the dam's canal demanding jobs and compensation.
Tillari dam is in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtrain on the Tillari River.
The river provides water for three sub-districts in north Goa districts Bicholim, Pernem and Bardez. The latter two are the hub of Goa's tourism.
Construction of the dam began in 1986 following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Goa and Maharashtra governments at an estimated cost of Rs.212 crore.
The MoU stated that Maharashtra would give 73 percent of water from the dam to Goa.
When it was finally commissioned in 2009, the cost of Tillari dam had escalated to Rs.1,612 crore. was to build a dam with giving the latter 73 per cent share of the water in the dammed reservoir.