With the appointment of a chairman for the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, the Bombay high court, on Wednesday, asked the authority to decide on the release of water from the Bhima-Ujani dam to Mohol in Solapur district for drinking purpose within two weeks.
Taking note of the plight of farmers, a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice MS Sanklecha had, on April 9, directed the water resources department to release water into the Bhima-Ujani dam within 24 hours. The directive was issued as the authority was not functional owing to the absence of a chairman and a member.
Government pleader Sandip Shinde informed the bench that a chairman and a member have been appointed for the three-member body and it can decide on the distribution of water. Consequently, the bench granted the petitioner, Mohol Taluka Bahu-Uddeshiya Shetkari Sangh, the liberty to submit a representation to the authority within three days and directed the authority to decide on it within two weeks.
Meanwhile, the four thousand million cubic feet of water released from a distant dam on April 10, in accordance with the court's earlier directive, has not yet reached the Bhima-Ujani dam. Shinde said the process would take 15 more days.
Mahadeo Choudhari, who represented the petitioner's organisation, said that owing to the drought-like situation in Mohol, villagers were forced to migrate to other parts of the state.