As the BJP units in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval continue to disagree over the Maval pipeline project, Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne has said he will make serious efforts to find an effective solution to the issue. “A solution will be found in the coming days,” Barne told The Indian Express.
Barne’s initiative comes at a time when residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad have been facing inadequate water supply.
The Sena MP said he will convene a meeting of all MLAs from Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, Labour Minister Bala Bhegade and other officials to find a solution to the stalled project, estimated to cost Rs 400 crore.
One of the solutions to the issue, said Barne, was to construct Kolhapur-type weirs in Shivne or Urse. “Instead of drawing water from Pavana dam, building weirs in Shivne or Urse could be one of the solutions,” he said.
Bhegade, the BJP MLA from Maval, had recently told The Indian Express that local farmers from Maval will not allow the pipeline project to go ahead. According to Bhegade, if the project was implemented, it would ruin the economy of Maval region.
The BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, however, said it expected Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene. “The project is a must for Pimpri-Chinchwad’s future water needs. It will be implemented,” said general secretary Sarang Kamtekar.
The project has been stalled since August 9, 2011 after three protesting farmers were killed in police firing. The farmers, led by Bharatiya Kisan Sabha and Bhegade, had demanded that the project be scrapped as it was not in the interest of Maval residents.
The issue has to be resolved amicably, said Barne. “We need to take the farmers and all stakeholders into confidence. The issue can’t be decided unilaterally,” he said.
When contacted, BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Laxman Jagtap said, “Barne as MP should take the initiative in this regard…It has become a sentimental issue. We are in favour of a solution which is agreeable to all stakeholders.”
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said if the closed project was implemented, it would help get Pimpri-Chinchwad additional 1 one thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water. “Besides, the quality of water will certainly be far better than what comes down 35 km from Pavana dam,” he said. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) draws 480 MLD (millions of litres per day) water from Ravet weir before supplying it to the industrial city.
Barne said the meeting will be held within a few days. “The issue is not about elections. It’s about getting adequate quantity of drinking water and thinking long term,” he said.
The civic administration has been under fire as it has not been able to supply sufficient amount of water to Pimpri-Chinchwad. Despite an overflowing Pavana river and a Pavana dam filled to capacity, the PCMC has been struggling to ensure adequate water supply to local residents. From Monday, the civic body has decided to introduce ‘once a week’ cuts to save water and tide over any future crisis.