After locals of villages in Shahapur, who have stalled the civic body’s Tansa pipeline replacement project, threatened to launch an agitation from March 20, the Thane collector called for a meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting was held to hear out the locals and by means of discussion end the deadlock between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and residents of 82 hamlets.
Civic officials who attended the meeting asked for more time from the group of locals led by Kunbi Sena,a local outfit, saying the additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota will meet them soon and that the BMC was scrutinising job applications given by locals. “We had organised the meeting so that both parties could talk and sort out the issue. At the meeting, BMC officials asked for more time to resolve the issue,” said Abasaheb Jarhad, Thane collector.
Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota in-charge of water supply projects said BMC officials who attended the meeting said the collector had asked locals to co-operate and to let the work continue. “The verification of the applications submitted by the locals for jobs under the project-affected and the general category are being verified and once the process is complete we can tell them how many meet the criterion,” Jalota said.
Upset with the BMC for not keeping its promise of giving jobs to locals whose private land, mostly agricultural, had been acquired by the BMC to lay two new huge 2,750 mm water mains, replacing the two old 1,800 mm Tansa main and the new Middle Vaitarna line on which the work is almost complete, locals have stalled work and threatened to not let any civic official in the control posts from March 20.
The Tansa line replacement is a Rs 380-crore project and once completed will help reduce the leaks and the number of pipeline bursts happening due to the age of these lines.
“The BMC has been dilly-dallying on the issue over the last five years. After being promised jobs in 2008, they are yet to do anything on that front. This time we won’t budge,” said Vishwanath Patil, chief of Kunbi Sena.