Pune: After taking charge of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Saurabh Rao has kicked off the Bhama-Askhed water supply work. The project work has been standing still from last one month due to the agitation of local farmers over the issue of compensation of project affected people.
Pravin Gedam, Superintendent of Water Supply project of Bhama-Askhed water works of the corporation said, “The work began after almost a month. Around 80 per cent of work of the project has been completed. Jack well work and five-kilometre of lay down water pipeline are yet to be finished.”
On the first day Rao said they filed cases against 119 people who were creating obstacles to project work. He said that during his tenure as District Collector, people had assured him that they will not stop the project work.
The project is being made to provide water to 14.5 lakh population (projected 2014) of the eastern part of the city. Right now, this part of the city is not getting enough and regular drinking water. Therefore, the PMC planned the project in 2014. The deadline for the project was July-2017 which has been revised to July 2018 due to protests of local farmers around the area of Bhama-Askhed dam.
The project is to lay down a total of 42-km pipeline from Bhama-Askhed dam to Pune City. More than 30 per cent work has been completed till date.
The Bhama-Askhed water supply project had faced strong protest from local villagers of Karanj Vihare who stopped work on the project and damaged the machinery in 2015. After the incident, PMC administration decided to stop work till the issue was sorted out. Shiv Sena MLA of Khed constituency Suresh Gore took up the issue of rehabilitation of farmers whose land was acquired by the State government for constructing the dam and developing canal network.