Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporators and workers on Friday gheraoed PMC water chief VG Kulkarni and poured water over him invoking the anger of the PMC administrative staff who have warned of striking work if strong action against them is not taken.
Kulkarni has registered a complaint and police booked around 40 people,though no arrest has been made so far.
PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak denounced the act that took place at PMC building. He told The Indian Express. This is not the solution to any issue. With such acts of vandalism,how do I get my officers to work?
He said that in a bid to bring the MNS workers under control,he was forced to give a four-line letter stating he would talk to the state government to address the water issue.
The agitators entered the building around noon,raised slogans and entered the cabin of the water department chief. They gheraoed him and poured water on him.
A statement by MNS city unit vice-president Ajay Shinde stated,The agitation was in MNS style. Our intention was to get PMC to stop water cuts.
In the press note,they stated that Puneites are paying water tax and should not face water cuts. During elections there was enough water supplied to Indapur and Baramati due to political will of some parties. They should have curtailed water then itself instead of Puneites having to face the water shortage, said the release.
The agitation was carried out by key MNS city members. Assistant police inspector D P Chavan of Shivajunagar police station said,As per the complaint by Kulkarni,we booked Arun Katawade,Ajay Shinde,Bala Shenge,Prakash Dhamdhere and 35 to 40 others under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty) and other sections for rioting.
Phatak told The Indian Express that he is trying his best and talking with the irrigation department. The irrigation department issues guidelines and we have to follow them or else the city will face massive water shortage in summer. It was in joint consultation with the department that the 50 per cent water cut was introduced, he said.
He said supply is presently 900 MLD per day,down from 1,100 MLD. If we were to look at it,then we could say it is 25 per cent water cut and the water given once a day is with maximum pressure, he said. He said such acts would lead to only wastage of work hours. Such pressure tactics will not help resolve any issue, he added.