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Will lock engineer in a room with me if water woes not resolved: Goa minister

Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS) The Tourism Minister of Goa, Manohar Ajgaonkar, threatened on Tuesday that if water supply continues to go awry, he would lock himself up with the government engineer responsible for the same in the latter's office until the issue is resolved in his Assembly constituency of Pernem in North Goa.

"If the problem persists, I have the capacity to get the work done from the officers. I will not lag behind. I have worked at the grassroots. I have risen from the streets," Ajgaonkar told reporters here.

"I will go and sleep in his (engineer's) office from tomorrow and tell him not to come back to work until he completes the work. I will lock him up in a room with me and warn him that I will not let him out until the work is completed," Ajgaonkar said.

The Tourism Minister, who is an MLA from the Pernem Assembly constituency in North Goa, said that government officials and engineers are playing truant over the supply of water from the Chandel water treatment plant in his own constituency to the villages in the area.

"The project is in Chandel, there is water there. It is their (engineers') responsibility to ensure that the water is supplied. Why does it not reach (the homes)? Are there pressure-related issues? It is their responsibility to resolve them," Ajgaonkar said.

"There is water but it is not reaching (the people). That means who is lazy? the officers," the Tourism Minister added.

This is not the first time that Ajgaonkar has commented on lack of adequate water supply in his assembly constituency.

On October 1, Ajgaonkar tore into Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in the latter's presence at a government function in Pernem over the water supply issue, accusing Sawant of being silent despite harassment by PWD engineers and officials.