Pimpri: Protesting against the civic body’s decision denying release of water for agriculture, project-affected farmers and landless labourers allegedly tried to block water supply from Pavana dam to Pimpri Chinchwad city on Monday morning. However, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) officials said this did not affect the water supply to the city.
When contacted, Executive Engineer of Water Supply Department, Pravin Ladkat said, “The water was released from Pavana dam at 7 am and water supply was smooth. No complaints were received about disruption of water supply in the city. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
The water released in the Pavana river from the dam flows through the river for 20 km before reaching Ravet Pumping Station from where it is lifted and supplied to Pimpri Chinchwad city. So the effect of the agitation may be felt on Tuesday if the water level in the river at Ravet Pumping Station gets depleted.
For many years, project-affected farmers have been demanding cancellation of 16 acres slab for award compensation. Landless labourers’ names need to be included in the list of the beneficiaries, they said.
The work of Pavana dam began in 1965. It was completed in 1973. In 19 villages, 2,394 hectares of land was acquired for this project. Around 1,203 farmers were affected by this project. Out of this 340 project-affected people were allotted land in Maval and Khed talukas. The remaining 863 project-affected farmers as well as hundreds of landless labourers are waiting for rehabilitation for last 50 years.
The pending rehabilitation of farmers is one of the main reasons why farmers are opposing the direct pipeline project from Pavana dam.
Earlier, on August 9, 2011, three agitating farmers died in police firing after they blocked the Expressway. After this incident, the project was put on hold. If this project had started earlier, PCMC could have lifted 1 TMC ft more water as that much water is lost due to leakages and evaporation.