| Pune |
September 17, 2020 10:58:29 am
NINE years after work on Pavana pipeline came to a standstill after three protesting farmers were killed in a police firing, there is a glimmer of hope for water-starved residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad as the Chief Minister’s Office has indicated to intervene to resolve the dispute between the industrial city and Maval farmers.
“Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is keen to resolve the issue of the long-pending Pavana pipeline project. The Shiv Sena has held discussions over it with him,” Shiv Sena MP and party’s national spokesperson Sanjay Raut told The Indian Express.
Raut said Thackeray will soon convene a meeting with all stakeholders. “Be it Maval farmers or officials and leaders from Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval, the CM is keen to… find an acceptable solution to the dispute through discussions,” Raut said, adding that Sena would again discuss the matter with the CM.
Meanwhile, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation also seems keen to restart the project, with the civic administration exploring the possibility of appointing contractors and consultants for the Rs 400 crore project. “We are making efforts to restart the project. We are exploring the possibility of appointing contractors and consultants,” Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
The initiative aims at meeting the water needs of 25 lakh residents, who are struggling to get their quota even when the Pavana dam is overflowing.
The civic administration has inquired with the contractor and consultant who were working on the project before it was stalled. “There were some disputes with the contractor regarding the work done and payment to be made. We are trying to resolve the issue. Since the contractor and the consultant had been working on the project and are aware of tasks ahead, we might reappoint them,” Hardikar said.
The PCMC chief said they have already sent letters to the state government to start the project. “…So far we have not received any response,” he said.
PCMC Executive Engineer Ramdas Tambe said the project was stalled by then CM Prithviraj Chavan after three farmers, who were protesting against the laying of pipeline through Maval, were killed in police firing in 2011.
The project involves laying a 35-km pipeline from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Pavana dam and lifting water through a closed pipeline.
Tambe said the issue had gone before the Bombay High Court, who sent it to the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA). “After hearing both sides, the MWRRA, in January 2018, ruled that PCMC can lift water from Pavana river for four months in monsoon while it can take water through closed pipeline for nine months. Since then, we have been waiting for the green signal from the Chief Minister’s Office,” he said, adding that lifting water directly from Pavana dam will save transportation losses.
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