Can’t provide free water to Sonshi locals, govt tells HC
The Times of India || Updated 04 March 2019
PANAJI: The directorate of mines and geology has stated that it will not be economically viable or practically advisable to provide water free of cost to mining affected villagers of Sonshi. Instead, it has proposed that meter charges be waived for those in the village who state they cannot afford to pay it.
The money will be reimbursed to the public works department (PWD) by the district mineral foundation, it has proposed.
“Drinking water is a limited resource and the same is already heavily subsidised for the Goan public. Hence, it will not be economically viable or practically advisable to provide water free of cost as whenever anything is provided free, it is not valued and there is a chance of wastage,” deputy director of mines Neha Panvelkar informed the high court in response to demands by Goa Foundation and Sonshi residents to release water free of charge since they are mining affected persons.
PWD stated that pipelines/distribution network for drinking water in Sonshi had been laid and that the residents of Sonshi have to apply for water connection before the same can be released to the households.
Advocate Norma Alvares representing Goa Foundation told the division bench of the high court that despite efforts of the government, 70 wells continue to run in the mining affected village. When wells in other areas are filled with water during the monsoon, those in Sonshi just have a meter of water, she said. She said the wells aren’t recharging because perhaps the water is accumulating in the mining pits as mining companies dug below the water table level.