PANAJI: Residents of the state capital and its outlying areas are bracing for more than 48 hours of water scarcity after a landslide washed away two key pipelines which supply water from the Opa reservoir in Ponda sub district to North Goa, including Panaji, it was announced on Saturday.
The landslide occurred late on Friday due to a sustained spell of massive rainfall in the state over the last two weeks. The opposition has slammed the state government for not making adequate efforts to provide alternative arrangements to the residents of Panaji and nearby areas.
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Public Works Development Minister Deepak Pauskar said that two six-metre pipes, which form the main arteries of water supply to North Goa, had faced a massive rupture, following the collapse of the retaining wall after the landslide last night.
"We promise to restart water supply to Panaji by Monday (August 19). We are working and repairing the two pipes on an urgent basis. Until then, we will ensure that tankers will provide water to the areas without water in Tiswadi and Ponda (sub district)," he said.
The Congress also slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for hosting an "ideology" workshop here for its 27 MLAs, even as the city is facing severe water scarcity.
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"Imagine, the state capital being without water for 48 hours. The government has not even promised credible alternative solutions. Even the water tanker supply, which the government had promised, is not regular on the first day itself. The government needs to fix responsibility for this massive lapse and take action," state Congress chief Girish Chodankar said.
At a press conference, he said: "What is the sense of having an ideology session for MLAs, in a city where there is no water available for Panaji's residents? There is no water for children to drink in the state capital, what ideology is the BJP talking about? The ruling party's MLAs should have been with the people who are facing hardship today."
"BJP governments have been promising 24x7 water supply for years now. And yet Panaji does not get even two hours of water. And now the collapse of pipelines has deprived them of any water at all," Chodankar added.
The two-day workshop organised by the BJP is being held in a starred hotel, where its MLAs are being explained the party's ideology and good governance principles.
BJP leaders like Nalin Kohli and national General Secretary Muralidhar Rao have also addressed the BJP MLAs on several other issues including the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir.
"Our party's MLAs are being briefed about the values and ideology which the BJP holds dear. The legislators are also being informed about various schemes and programmes initiated by the BJP governments in various states as well as at the Centre," state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar said.
Those attending the workshop also include the 10 MLAs who split the Congress party last month to join the ruling BJP.
Congress spokesperson Trajano D'Mello however sarcastically said that holding a workshop on ideology was futile as far as the BJP is concerned.
"The ideology they will learn is that democracy is no longer the guiding principle of the nation. This is the only thing the BJP is capable of passing on as its ideology today, as we have seen from their actions of late," D'Mello said.