Panaji, Oct 2 (IANS) Even as Goa continues to reel under multiple power failures, an ongoing tussle between the state power department and other state government agencies over non-payment of dues has forced Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to intervene.
Sawant on Wednesday directed Power Minister Nilesh Cabral to restore power to a market maintained by the Corporation of the City of Panaji, after power department officials on Tuesday snapped electrical supply to the market, a facility which owes around Rs 5 crore in power bill arrears.
The power department has also threatened to cut power supply to the Public Works Department-run Opa water filtration plant, which supplies water to large parts of North Goa district if it does not pay dues to the tune of Rs 30 crore.
“The overall outstanding dues owed to the department are about Rs 323 crore. We are only following procedure by first issuing notice and then taking follow up action,” Cabral said.
Last month, Cabral’s department had snapped the electricity connection at a local police station for defaulting dues, before the Chief Minister’s Office was forced to intervene and renew the power connection to the police station.
On Tuesday, on the request of the Panaji municipal corporation’s mayor Uday Madkaikar, Sawant instructed the Power Department to renew electrical supply to the market.
According to Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, the chaos caused by the over-enthusiastic power department officials was impairing smooth functioning of government departments dealing directly with the people.
“The government is insensitive and unprofessional attitude in handling the power situation in Goa. The power department should be sensitive enough to understand that such actions eventually create hardships to common man for no fault of theirs,” Kamat said.