Drive to clear encroachments along canal
PB Shelar, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasla Division of Irrigation Department, said, “The canal is the property of the Irrigation Department. However, there are many encroachments in PMC limits and hence, it is difficult to repair it."
PUNE: After repairing the right canal of Khadakwasla dam which had developed a breach near Dandekar Bridge, the Irrigation Department has diverted its attention to removing encroachment alongside the bank of the canal.
There is a 18 kilometre stretch of the canal in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits and a 12 km stretch has been encroached by slums dwellers. The Irrigation Department had not undertaken any encroachment drive till date after the constructions of the canal in 1965.
On September 27, 2018, many parts of Sinhagad Road and areas located near Sane Guruji School to Dattawadi got inundated after a breach in the wall of Mutha right canal. According to the civic body, in a survey, 730 people were affected in the incident and Guardian Minister Girish Bapat had announced an aid of Rs 3 crore for affected families. Also, the Irrigation Department repaired the wall last week.
The canal which was constructed in 1965, is 202 km long and supplies water to the PMC for drinking and irrigation purpose to the rural parts of Pune district. In PMC limits, the canal has been encroached at Vadgaon Budruk, Hingne Khurd, Vitthalwadi, Parvati, Janata Vasahat, Swargate, Salisbury Park, Golibar Maidan, Hadapsar and Phursungi.
After the incident, the PMC pointed a finger at the Irrigation Department as it had not repaired the canal. Now, the Irrigation Department has taken up the issue of encroachment on the banks of the canal. The department claimed that there is a lot of encroachment and hence, it does not have space to repair the canal. Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department can request the civic body to take action against encroachment or it can take action on its own.
While speaking to Sakal Times, PB Shelar, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasla Division of Irrigation Department, said, “The canal is the property of the Irrigation Department. However, there are many encroachments in PMC limits and hence, it is difficult to repair it. Now, we are thinking of undertaking an anti-encroachment drive to remove encroachments so that we can repair the canal and stop any future calamity.”
On the other hand, VG Kulkarni, Chief Superintendent of Water Supply Department of the PMC admitted that the area along the canal bank is encroached and said, “A total of 18 km of the canal is passing through PMC limits and encroachments are there from the Khadakwasla dam. There is six km underground stretch of the canal in Pune cantonment area and only that area has not been encroached. We had conducted an anti-encroachment drive in Hadapsar two years ago, but, it did not solve the problem.”