After the Pune district court ruled in favour of the irrigation department in a case involving land acquisition for a sewage treatment canal near Mundwa, the department has decided to go ahead with the work and will also be releasing the water for irrigation which had been shut for the last two weeks.
“We were waiting for the order to come through to decide the matter and release water for irrigation purposes,” said irrigation officials. The case was pending, with farmers having claimed that the sewage treatment canal was coming up on their agricultural land and the irrigation department contending that the land belonged to their department and that it was in their ownership for the last 100 years. The court has ruled in our favour, said irrigation department officials.
The department said that of the actual 11.5 TMC of water which is to be released to the Pune Municipal Corporation, the sewage treatment facility has the capacity for the treatment of 7.5 TMC and this water is to be carried through a 300-metre pipeline to the plant.
The construction of this pipeline was stalled by the villagers and now with the court order in favour of the irrigation department, construction on it will be resumed.
Irrigation department officials said that such treated water will help replenish nearly 20,000 hectares of agricultural land in the area.
“We said that the allegations of ownership were baseless as the land ownership remained with the irrigation department and we were digging to ready a 2.97-kilometre long pipeline to take the water for sewage treatment which could be reused for agricultural purposes,” said the official.
Eight farmers from Manjari Budruk had argued against the construction in the district court, stating that it was being conducted on their agricultural land. However, the case was dismissed and the court ruled in favour of the department.
Pune district guardian minister Girish Bapat had said that once the case is cleared, the city residents and farmers will get enough water during the summer without water cuts.
The Mundhwa jackwell project will lift treated water and release it for agricultural purposes. The project was to be completed in March.
Once the project is ready the authorities will not have to release water from dams for agriculture purpose.