PIMPRI: On the sixth anniversary of the firing on the agitating farmers in Maval, BJP MLA from Maval Bala Bhegde said that the agitation against the direct pipeline project will yield results, if the government decided to scrap the entire project.
This stance of the BJP MLA can put the party leadership in Pimpri Chinchwad in a fix. There is growing demand in the city to complete the project as the city needs it to meet its growing need for water.
The pipeline project was planned in 2007 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for drawing water from the Pavana Dam directly to the city. Besides getting 1 TMC ft more water every year, the cost of purifying water is likely to reduce significantly. Therefore, the political leadership at that time was insisting on the project.
The political situation at that time was not conducive for completing the project as BJP MLA Bhegde representing the farmers from Maval claimed that reducing water flow from river would adversely affect agriculture in Maval taluka. Bhegde was leading the farmers’ stir. After the police firing took place in 2011, the State government was forced to put this project on hold even after 70 per cent work of the project was completed.
After the 2017 civic polls, the situation changed as both areas are represented by the BJP. If the BJP continues to take the stand that the entire project needs to be scrapped, it has to answer the opposition or face public anger. Due to urbanisation upstream, the quality of water has been deteriorating due to the pollution load.
For ending the deadlock that persists for the past six years, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has made a plan to take several measures to reduce losses to farmers. Kin of three victims in the firing were given jobs in the PCMC. But the government failed to persuade the farmers even after three years in office. On the other hand, due to the growing population of the city existing water supply lines are not adequate to meet increasing demand. The area in the Indrayani basin is deprived of adequate water supply. The PCMC has asked developers to submit an undertaking that water supply will be taken care of by developers. In the absence of adequate water supply, builders are providing contaminated ground water to residents and putting their lives at risk.