Politics leading to water problem in east Pune

ST Correspondent
Friday, 12 October 2018

Due to lack of coordination between Khadakwasla division of the Irrigation Department and politics between BJP and Shiv Sena, more than five lakh residents of the eastern part of the city are facing water shortage. 

Pune: Due to lack of coordination between Khadakwasla division of the Irrigation Department and politics between BJP and Shiv Sena, more than five lakh residents of the eastern part of the city are facing water shortage. 

The eastern part of the city is not getting enough and regular drinking water for more than a decade. This covers the area of Nagar Road, Kalas, Sangamwadi, Yerawada, Lohegaon, Dhanori, Kalyani Nagar, Wadgaon Sheri, Kharadi and Hadapsar. 

Now, the Khadakwasla Division of Irrigation Department has stopped water supply to the PMC for taking more water from the dam. Because of this, Pune cantonment water treatment plant of the PMC did not get sufficient water on Wednesday and affected the entire eastern part of the city. 

This happened due to lack of coordination between the Khadakwasla division of Irrigation Department and civic officials. Khadakwasla division officials are alleging that the PMC is taking more water from the dam then the prescribed quota of 11.50 Thousand Million Litre Cubic (TMC) feet annually. On the other hand, civic officials are saying that the quota was given based on 2011 census of the city population and that the population has been increased and new 11 villages have merged with the PMC. Hence, city’s water demand has been increased. 
Bapusaheb Patil, a resident of Vishrantwadi, said, “Our areas are getting less water from more than a decade. If anything happens in the water distribution network, we have to face maximum problems. We were hoping that the Bhama-Askhed project will solve our problems but nothing is happening. The project started during NCP-Congress government’s tenure and now, despite BJP-Shiv Sena coalition being in power, we are still facing water problems.” 

Effect on Bhama-Askhed proj 
For solving the water supply problem of the eastern part, the civic body had planned the Bhama-Askhed project in 2014 to get 2.64 TMC from Bhama-Askhed through a closed pipeline which is 40 kilometres from the city. 

The project cost was estimated at Rs 380 crore in 2014 when it was started. However, due to dam-affected farmers’ agitation, the project is at a standstill and the project cost has gone up beyond Rs 500 crore. 
Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Gore is supporting farmers’ demand to seek compensation. Shiv Sena being the ruling party, Gore has taken the lead and stopped the project work.

The coalition government has failed to find a solution. BJP does not want to go against Shiv Sena against the background of forthcoming State Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Hence, the project work has stopped completely.

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