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Construction work on at UoP despite PMC ban

The PMC had last week issued a directive banning construction activity in the city until the revival of monsoon.

Construction work is in full swing at the University of Pune (UoP) campus despite a blanket ban by the civic administration on carrying out such activities in the wake of ongoing water crisis due to a weak monsoon.

A visit to the university campus on Friday revealed that construction work was under way at at least three major project sites, requiring adequate supply of water. A tanker was seen supplying water to a construction site near Board of College and University Development (BCUD) office, while usage of water was also spotted at the construction of a multi-storeyed building near Joshi Gate of the university. The third project is related to the installation of a statue near the main entrance of the varsity.

When accosted, the on-site supervisors and in-charge of these construction works evaded queries on violation of civic orders. Some of them maintained that ‘minimal’ use of water was taking place on their side to finish necessary works.

The PMC had last week issued a directive banning construction activity in the city until the revival of monsoon. The orders were issued so as to ensure that use of water sources, borewells and water tankers do not get wasted for construction and the entire thrust of water supply remain focused on drinking only to avoid a crisis situation.

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Deepak Tupekar, a senior official from Public Works Department (PWD) who is on deputation with estate department of university for supervision of some of the major projects, said, “We cannot ask contractors in writing to halt work as they would have to accomplish it in a time-bound manner as per terms and conditions of the contract. If we do so, it would have adverse impact on project estimate.

Therefore, we have issued oral instructions to them asking for minimal use of water for carrying out activities that need to be finished at any cost. In the wake of ongoing water crisis, we have asked contractors not to go ahead with major construction activities such as laying of concrete slabs that require excess water,” he said. PMC’s water department head V G Kulkarni said he would take stock of the situation at the construction works at the university of Pune.

“We can understood minor construction activities such as digging and centering being on at construction sites to engage the labour. Even some construction work also need mandatory curing to keep strength intact. However, no major construction activities should be undertaken by engineers and supervisors that would require water,” he said.

First published on: 26-07-2014 at 03:27 IST
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