The efforts to find the original document of the Panam Water Pact,which was signed by five parties including the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the state government,seem to be turning out to be a futile exercise as the VMC officials have not received any information yet in connection with the availability of the document.
It was in December 2008,when the top VMC officials started a desperate search for the original copy of the pact which,if found,could bestow upon them a waiver of over Rs 359 crore they are required to pay to the state government for drawing water from Panam reservoir.
The contract was signed by the state government,the Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited,the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals,the Indian Oil Corporation and the civic body in 1971 over distribution of water from the Panam reservoir located in Panchmahals and the matters related to its payment.
Sources said that IPCL,GSFC and IOCL do not have the original documents of the deal.
The finding has caused a serious concern among the top VMC officials and they are struggling to find out a way to sort out the problem.
Last month,Minister of Water Supply Nitin Patel had asked the VMC officials to bring the original document of the contract.
The minister had asked us to get the document,which will bring an end to the entire controversy, said a VMC official on the condition of anonymity.
Though we are required to pay Rs 359.54 crore for drawing water from the Panam reservoir,the original bill for water usage is only Rs 135 crore and the remaining amount of Rs 224 crore is interest,” he said.
Municipal Commissioner M K Das,however,said they would continue their search for the document.
It is a question of crores of rupees and we will not like to miss this opportunity. We had approached some organisations to provide us the copy of the pact but we have not heard anything from them, Das said.
According to the earlier deal,the corporation had to pay just the maintenance amount,which was not very high. But with the undoing of the earlier agreement,the department slapped the bill with revised rates.
It includes not only water charges,but also the penalty amount as well as the interest incurred,said VMC sources.