Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is busy lauding itself over its one-of-its-kind project in sewage water treatment at Mundhwa in Mutha river, the villagers in the area are up in arms as they claim that the plant is not functioning properly and releasing ‘improperly treated water’ for irrigation purposes, thereby polluting the groundwater in the region.
The Pune Zilla Parishad has pointed out that the PMC project has led to pollution of groundwater and this in turn, is affecting the drinking water procured from the wells in the region. They have now asked the civic body to set up a reverse osmosis (RO) plant in the affected villages for ensuring clean drinking water for the villagers.
In a communication to municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar, Pune Zilla Parishad deputy chief executive officer Satyajit Bade said that the standing committee of Zilla Parishad has passed a resolution on Wednesday urging PMC to setup a RO plant in the villages that are affected due to pollution of ground water due to release of “improperly treated” water into the canal. The resolution is being forwarded to PMC for taking necessary action.”
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According to the Zilla Parishad members, the PMC has started a plant at Mundhwa where the sewage water released into the river is treated and released into the canal for irrigation purpose, but the plant is unable to treat the water completely. “The villages along the canal are affected by the polluted ground water that enters wells, leading to serious health problems. The villagers are suffering due to various water borne diseases,” said Zilla Parishad member Dashrath Kalbhor, adding, “The PMC should setup RO plant in the villages that are along the canal where the water is being released.”
The villages that have got affected are Bhekrainagar, Phursungi, Loni Kalbhor, Kunjirwadi, Sortapwadi and Uruli Kanchan from where the canal passes.
Incidentally, the PMC had constructed the treatment plant at a cost of Rs 100 crore as per the directions of irrigation department. The irrigation department had signed an agreement with the PMC while allowing a quota of 11.5 TMC water to PMC for drinking water supply needs for a year on the condition that the PMC will recycle 6.5 TMC sewage water and release it into the canal for agriculture purposes.
This water will help in irrigation of 20,000 hectare of agriculture land and could be used for irrigation to villages up to Daund.
The PMC constructed a bandh on Mutha river, near Mundhwa, and after treatment at STP the water was lifted by Jackwell and pump house to push through a pipeline of 3.5 km to release it in existing canal.