Environmentalist Sarang Yadwadkar has claimed that the expert committee’s observations on the environmental impact of the Metro project, especially those on the river flood level, were “grossly flawed”.
The appointment of administrative officers as committee chiefs will likely lead to less political interference in water management decisions. Pune city, especially, has seen a fair share of acrimony between the state Irrigation department and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) over the amount of water drawn by the civic body.
While Pawar’s impressive election campaign has set the stage for NCP’s resurgence in Maharashtra, senior party leaders said that returning to power in Maharashtra is essential for the party to keep its flock together and rebuild.
The Assembly poll results in Baramati, which has the Assembly segments of Daund, Indapur, Baramati, Purandar, Bhor and Khadakwasla, have brought more cheer for NCP. The party won two seats, its ally Congress won two, but the alliance lost two seats to the BJP.
The BJP had seen its fortunes rise in Pune since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when it won all the eight Assembly segments in the city, followed by winning 100 seats in the 2017 civic polls and coming to power in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
NCP chief Chetan Tupe, 48, who defeated sitting BJP legislator Yogesh Tilekar in Hadapsar, is the son of former city MP Vithalrao Tupe. The results were a form of sweet revenge for Tupe, who was defeated by Tilekar in the 2014 Assembly polls in a multi-corner fight.
The results are a significant setback for BJP, which refused to part with a single seat in the city for its ally Shiv Sena, banking on its performance in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, when party leader Girish Bapat won the Pune seat by a record margin of 3.24 lakh votes.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, senior NCP leader Dilip Walse-Patil and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil were the prominent winners, while Vijay Shivtare of the Shiv Sena, Harshvardhan Patil and Bala Bhegde of the BJP were the prominent losers.
According to the district election officer, the estimated voter turnout in urban areas was 48 per cent while it was 66 per cent in rural areas. Even during the Lok Sabha elections, the urban parts of the district recorded 49.84 per cent voter turnout.
Jalyukt Shivar is a model to reduce water crisis in drought-prone areas across the state. While the bureacrat is considered to be close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, he is contesting as an Independent candidate.
The Prime Minister also spoke of his government’s action on Article 370 as a major achievement. “Article 370 was a bottleneck for the last 70 years. We took the decision of abrogating Article 370 to bring in ‘one country, one Constitution’,” Modi said.