An ambitious project to improve water supply to Mumbai has been stalled by villagers in Thane district who have alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has not given them compensation or jobs after taking their land for the project.
The project has come to a standstill and villagers have planned a mass agitation from March 20. “We will not let a single BMC staff enter the area,” said Vishwanath Patil of Kunbi Sena, an outfit that has been spearheading the agitation.
Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said the administration is currently in talks with the locals to resolve the dispute.
Residents from 82 hamlets in Shahapur taluka in Thane district will have to lose a chunk of their land – their source of livelihood – to BMC’s Rs 380-crore project to phase out the old Tansa pipelines and lay two huge water pipelines to improve drinking water supply to Mumbai.
Locals say so far four pipelines (Tansa (east and west), Modak Sagar and Upper Vaitarna measuring 1,800 mm in diameter run through private land, most of which is agricultural. Now, the BMC is laying two more pipelines that are 2,750 mm in diameter.