Goa Energy Minister says Finance Ministry is suspending work

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After “differences of opinion” between Goa CM Pramod Sawant and Minister of Health Vishwajit Rane surfaced in April, State Minister of Energy Nilesh Cabral expressed his anger at the Ministry of Health. Finance – Sawant’s wallet – claiming he was delaying the work of the Electricity Department by returning their files.

One day after saying “I’m going to ask the CM if I should work or sit at home,” Cabral, however, said it was the bureaucracy of the finance department that was getting in the way of the department’s underground wiring project. electricity. of power lines.

“I don’t like to return the ball. I am responsible for the people of Goa. What is happening is that even if the CM wants to do things, things are not pushed because of the bureaucratic angle, ”Cabral told The Indian Express.

On Wednesday, after a cabinet meeting, Sawant said he had not discussed the matter with Cabral. “The Minister of Energy has not spoken to me. I’ll talk to him, ”Sawant said.

Cabral, who had requested a meeting with the CM and officials from the finance department, said Wednesday: “A meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday evening.”

Cabral’s complaint against the CM’s finance ministry comes days after his proposal – Cabral is also law minister – to introduce mandatory prenuptial counseling for couples wishing to register their marriage was rejected by the government led by Sawant after a backlash from the state leadership of the BJP, among others.

On Tuesday, Cabral said finance ministry officials returned files from the energy ministry indicating that the proposal should be returned once the state adopts its full budget. Cabral said: “I am very grateful to have been appointed Minister and I do my job diligently… there are three basic parameters – electricity, water and roads… If I cannot deliver, I should not be part of the political system. . “

Cabral said the state government decided to prioritize underground cabling for 33KV and 11KV power lines, but work was stalled. “I get asked all the time and I continue to ensure that this (the wiring work) gets done. But if the files keep coming back, how will the work progress? “

Cabral said the lack of funds was not a problem since the Center had given to bodies like the Power Finance Commission to provide funds to states for power infrastructure. He said he got a sanction of Rs 1400 crore from them, but they need a government guarantee.

Later on Wednesday, Ports Minister Micheal Lobo said the issue raised by ministers as a priority should be addressed as a matter of priority. “The problem with electric cables raised by Cabral is not his personal problem. It’s for the people. The Covid situation was very difficult but priority work must be carried out. I’m sure the CM will fix that in a day or two, ”Lobo told a local news channel.

Meanwhile, BJP (Organization) National Secretary General BL Santhosh arrived in Goa on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

Two other deaths from Covid-19 were reported late by a private hospital in Margao, the Health Services Directorate said in its Covid-19 bulletin published on Wednesday. The deaths appear to take place between May 5 and May 15. In the past three days, 74 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported late by private hospitals, bringing the cumulative death toll in Goa to 2,877. The cumulative death toll includes the 16 deaths reported on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said private hospitals had received warning notices.

State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar said on Tuesday that it does not appear that hospitals have deliberately withheld the data from the government and that there does not appear to be any malicious intent on their part.

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