The Bombay high court on Thursday expressed anguish over the delay on part of the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority to decide on pleas of farmers from drought-affected areas of Solapur district.
“Why are the experts appointed on the authority? They are expected to decide such urgent matters expeditiously,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha while expressing grief over the fact that the authority has posted the poor farmer’s plea for public hearing on May 21. “By that time, all the farmers would have migrated to other places,” said the visibly upset Chief Justice.
Acting on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a farmer’s body from Mohol tehsil of Solapur district, on April 24, the bench had directed the authority to decide on the plea for releasing water from Bhima-Ujani dam for drinking purpose within two weeks.
On April 9, the bench had directed the Water Resources Department to immediately release water in Bhima Ujani dam within 24 hours so that it can be supplied to the villagers. Accordingly, 2.77 TMC water has been released in the dam, assistant government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani informed the bench on Thursday.
The counsel for the petitioner body, Mahadeo Choudhari then moved a plea complaining that the authority has posted their plea for hearing on May 21 and that the delay in deciding the matter will frustrate the very purpose behind filing of the plea.
The bench has now posted the farmer’s plea for further hearing on Friday with a direction to Vagyani to submit a report about water released for Mohol tehsil.