Tillari water impasse ends

Goan farmers heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday with an end to over 20-day Tillari water impasse between Goa and Maharashtra.

Goa is all set to get water from the project with the project affected people, who had blocked the channels at Bhedshil in Sindhudurga district of Maharashtra, withdrawing their agitation in response to the promise by Union Minister for Agriculture and NCP leader Sharad Pawar at a meeting held at Dodamarg on Tuesday.

Addressing presspersons here in the evening, Sawantwadi MLA Deepak Kesarkar of NCP said that Mr. Pawar, after speaking to Maharashstra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, promised the agitators of adequate compensation in lieu of their demand for jobs.

Apart from Mr. Pawar and Mr. Kesarkar, Maharashtra government officials attended the meeting to resolve the issue.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had a meeting with Mr. Pawar on Saturday in Goa, also announced in the city on Tuesday that his government would contribute to the compensation being paid to 1,200 affected people living in three villages.

Mr. Parrikar thanked Mr. Pawar and the Maharashtra government for their successful intervention to resolve the issue and said that water would reach Goa’s channels by Wednesday morning.

Mr. Kesarkar said that it had also been agreed that the compensation would now be worked out at the Tillari Irrigation Project Board meeting which would now be held on January 10 instead of January 18.

It had been agreed by the Government of Maharashtra that the three villages would get panchayat status, and accordingly, all facilities for the people.

Mr. Kesarkar thanked the Goa and Maharashtra governments for their positive attitude to work out solutions to the grievances of the agitators.

He said that the agitators were frustrated as only three meetings of the board had been held in the past 23 years.

Agriculture on nearly 4000 hectares of land in several villages of north Goa had been affected by the agitation by farmers.

Tillari irrigation project with over Rs.1,600 crore investment has 23:77 cost-benefit ratio between Maharashtra and Goa. The project is in Sindhudurga district of Maharashtra adjoining Goa border.

The agitators sought jobs which the Goa Government maintained was not a part of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two States in 1989.

Project affected people block water channels

in Maharashtra

They withdraw their agitation following

Sharad Pawar’s intervention