WITH Pimpri-Chinchwad reeling under water crisis, the PCMC administration has come under severe criticism from leaders across political parties, including the ruling BJP. Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne and BJP leader Seema Savale have criticised the civic administration and even the BJP for “failing to provide basic amenities” to residents of the industrial city.
Barne — who last week had written a letter to Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, holding him “responsible for the mess” in Pimpri-Chinchwad — on Sunday told The Indian Express that the civic administration has completely failed to “even provide basic amenities” to tax-paying residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad. “The civic administration led by Hardikar is focusing only on smart city projects, but has neglected basic amenities like drinking water and good roads,” he said.
He added that Pimpri-Chinchwad has never faced water crisis like the ongoing one. “This has nothing to do with lack of rain. The Pavana dam is overflowing and the river has ample amount of water. About 20-25 lakh residents have been going through a nightmare for getting their daily stock of water. All this because the administration has failed to ensure equal distribution of water,” he said.
Pointing out that there was 38 per cent leakage in the water supply system, the Sena MP said, “This shows the administration has failed to put a proper system in place.” “Pimpri-Chinchwad was getting water twice a day in the past. Now, people are asking for water once a day and that too, the administration is finding it difficult to provide,” he added.
Barne said the civic administration was following all the wrong policies and practices. “In the name of smart city projects, it (civic administration) is taking projects to developed areas while underdeveloped areas like Kalewadi, Thergaon and Rahatni are being neglected,” he said. Holding the municipal commissioner responsible for the current situation, Barne alleged that the civic chief has lost control over the administration and officials. “Officials do not care for his orders. Nobody seems to take him seriously,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Seema Savale blamed the party leadership, saying it has failed to provide good governance. “The kind of language BJP corporators used in last week’s general body meeting was shameful. They said they would throw officials from the water tanks…Is this the BJP culture?” she said.
Savale added that all this was happening because top BJP leaders like MLAs Laxman Jagtap and Mahesh Landge, House leader Eknath Pawar and Mayor Rahul Jadhav were not able to ensure good governance. “Jagtap and Landge need to wake up before people turn against the BJP. They need to bring in discipline and strong governance. They need to ensure key projects are implemented without hurdles,” she said.
She, however, defended the municipal commissioner. “It is wrong to target the civic chief. Hardikar has been doing a good job… No one can point out even one financial wrongdoing by him,” said Savale, who is the former PCMC standing committee chairperson. On the administration’s failure to provide drinking water to residents, Savale said, “There was an urgent need to look for additional water resources… We need to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the current water crisis and find an effective way out of it,” she said.
Savale also alleged that there was much more to it then meets the eye. “There are some corporators who are putting hurdles in the implementation of the round-the-clock water supply system. And that is why the administration has not been able to push through the plan,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hardikar, who had called it a water emergency last week, said, “It will take at least two years to ease the problem. The city will get around additional water from two nearby dams. The work for laying pipelines will take two years to complete.”