At a high level meeting held at Panjim on Monday, Maharashtra’s Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare asked his Goa counterpart Philip Neri Rodrigues to employ 630 people from Maharashtra affected by the Tillari Irrigation Development Project – a joint venture of the governments of Maharashtra and Goa.
He suggested that if employment was not possible, the Goa government should offer these persons from Sindhdurg district a one-time settlement as done by the government of Maharashtra.
Referring to the 1990 agreement signed on behalf of Goa by then Chief Minister Churchill Alemao, Sunil Tatkare pointed out that Goa was to receive 73 per cent of the water from the project and was also supposed to pay 73 per cent of the cost of the project besides also taking on the onus of providing employment to the project affected people (PAP).
When the project was launched 20 years back, 11 villages with 1,236 families involving a population of 5,476 were affected of which 869 families were certified to be PAP. The Maharashtra government has provided employment to 204 PAP in where government employment was not possible, the affected people have been given a one-time settlement.
Sunil argued that as a “big brother” Maharashtra has allowed its land to be submerged for a project that would benefit Goa and hence said it was time for Goa to honour its commitments. The Tillari Irrigation Development Project is pegged at Rs 1612 crore.