Panaji, Jul 21: Shiv Sena in Goa has demanded an inquiry into the state government's spending on hearings before Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal since 2012, while alleging that it was "loot of public money".
"Goa government has spent Rs 2.11 crore on fighting the case related to Mahadeyi water dispute before the Tribunal. Of the total amount, Rs 1 crore was paid only to the then Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni," Sena's Goa chief Sudip Tamankar claimed yesterday.
He alleged that the entire exercise was a "legal loot of public money". The amount was spent between September 5, 2012 and November 7, 2015, Tamankar said, and claimed that the information was procured by him under RTI Act.
Asserting that the money spent was "unwarranted", he said when the Mahadeyi water dispute was heard before the Supreme Court from 2007-2012, the government had spent only Rs 10.89 lakh on 28 hearings.
"The government has appointed a panel of 17 lawyers to defend Goa before the water tribunal who are provided expenses like food charges (Rs 9.48 lakh), transportation charges (17.44 lakh) and other expenses as Rs 5.2 lakh," he said.
"When these lawyers are accommodated in Goa Niwas, which is a government premise and has nearly 14 vehicles to transport people, the question is what are these transportation and food charges?" he asked.
Goa is fighting a case in the water tribunal against Karnataka and Maharashtra over diversion of Mahadeyi river water upstream.