To further his idea of an underground water tunnel from Khadakwasla reservoir to Phursungi,Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday reiterated his proposal to exploit the water canal land to generate transfer of development rights (TDR) and said he would pursue it with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Pawar said ideally Pune should have a separate dam,but with escalating costs,underground canal is a viable option.
He was replying to a question raised by NCP MLC Anil Bhosale in the state legislative council. He said the 17-km underground water tunnel from Khadakwasla reservoir to Phursungi would need Rs 1,000 crore and once ready,the land of the existing canal could be exploited and TDR could be generated worth 3 crore sq ft in the city. This would pave way for new constructions,he added.
However,to save water,Pawar said there was a need to have an underground water tunnel from Khadakwasla reservoir to Phursungi and about 3 TMC water could be saved with this direct tunnel. “The expenses for the same could be generated through the TDR. However,with canal land falling under the category of water body,the Urban Development Department rules stated that this land cannot be used to generate TDR. “If we have to find a way,we need to change the policy and as a special case we need to pursue the same at the Chief Minister’s level,” said Pawar.
He said he had preliminary discussions with the CM. With it being difficult to generate funds completely from the state for this project,TDR is an option as against BoT,said Pawar.
While the deputy CM had advocated for a road along the Mutha canal and the irrigation department had allegedly demanded TDR in lieu of land which is sure to get the irrigation department funds from this land. The city Congress, however,has already announced its opposition to give TDR to the irrigation department in lieu of the proposed Mutha canal road linking Warje to the Agriculture College. Party corporator and state Congress secretary Sanjay Balgude had said the Congress will launch an agitation if the ruling NCP introduces such a proposal.