PUNE: Finally, the PMC has decided to take police protection to complete the long pending Bhama-Askhed water pipeline project. The civic body has has requested Pimpri-Chinchwad police to provide police personnel to restart work at Bhama-Askhed dam to complete jackwell work as villagers are demanding a halt to the work.
VG Kulkarni, Chief Superintendent of Water Supply Department of PMC said, “On Tuesday, the District Collector had called a meeting of villagers, PMC officials and local legislator of Shiv Sena Suresh Gorhe. The villagers are not ready to cooperate. They want their land which the State government has taken for the dam. They don’t want any cash compensation. Therefore, we don’t have any choice but to take the help of the police to restart work. We cannot delay the project for long.”
Pravin Gedam, Superintendent of Water Supply Department of PMC, is handling the project said, “I met the police commissioner and demanded police protection to start work. The police have assured protection and they will arrest people if they prevent us from starting the work.”
According to PMC officials, villagers are demanding land in Khed taluka which was taken during construction of the dam. There are around 1,800 villagers whose 2,500 hectares of land was acquired. Now, these villagers want land as compensation and that too only in Khed taluka and not anywhere in Pune district.
Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner RK Padmanabhan said, “We are issuing notices to some people asking them to desist from obstructing the government work. The law will take its course if they create any law and order problem.”
Due to the agitation of villagers, the project work was affected. Now, the cost has reached Rs 600 crore. The original project cost was Rs 380 crore. The project is expected to meet the needs of 14.5 lakh people in eastern Pune city. PMC planned the project in 2014 with a deadline of July 2017 which has revised to July 2018 due to protests of local farmers.
The project will solve water problem of Nagar Road, Vishrantwadi, Sangamwadi, Yerawada, Lohegaon, Dhanori, Kalyani Nagar, Wadgaon Sheri and Kharadi.