'Power cuts affecting Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Goa'
Former state RSS chief Subhash Velingkar on Thursday slammed the state government for not ensuring adequate power supply to domestic consumers during the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi, a major Hindu festival in the coastal state.
Velingkar, who now heads a regional political party, Goa Suraksha Manch, said that promises made by the state government to rid the state's roads of potholes before the festival had also come a cropper.
"There have been numerous instances of power interruption all over Goa during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. It is unfortunate that many Goans have had to celebrate the state's biggest festival in darkness," the former state RSS chief said.
Just before Ganesh Chaturthi festivities got underway on September 2, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had convened a meeting with electricity department top officials and had instructed them to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the festival, Velingkar said, adding that the meeting was a "farce".
Heavy rain, flooding and trees uprooted by squalls which accompanied the monsoon showers, had led to unprecedented power interruptions in the state, especially in the rural areas this year.
Velingkar told reporters that the state government had failed to patch the potholes on the state's roads, despite an assurance by Public Works Department Minister Deepak Pauskar in July, that the damaged roads would be repaired before the festival.
Velingkar also urged Sawant to take stock of the rising water levels in Goa's rivers, on account of the heavy rains.
Earlier this month, the sudden release of water from the Tillari dam in neighbouring Maharashtra had resulted in the flooding of two border villages in Goa -- Sal and Ibrahimpur.
The Chief Minister had later said that he would write to his Maharashtra counterpart requesting him for better co-ordination, vis a vis such emergency measures, so that the administration in Goa could take adequate precautionary measures to prevent flooding.
Goa has received rainfall in excess of 130 inches, the highest in the last decade, even as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rain throughout the week. IANS