After three months, work on replacing the old Tansa main water pipelines in Shahapur and Bhiwandi talukas has restarted. Villagers had stalled the municipal corporation's project and demanded jobs against their land on which the pipeline was laid.
After negotiations with the villagers, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said they are scrutinising the applications for jobs of class 4 employees, and qualified candidates will be inducted.
The residents of more than 82 hamlets in Bhiwandi and Shahapur districts, which are led by Kunbi Sena, a local outfit, said that they have given the BMC a two-month period to complete the scrutiny and release the final list of candidates. And only if they found the list fair, will they let the work continue.
“We had asked the BMC to lower the education qualification needed for selection, which they didn't agree to. We will let them bring out the final list and then decide on the further action,” said Vivek Patil of the Kunbi Sena.
But civic officials maintained that work on replacing the pipeline has begun after consensus was achieved with the locals. “The project as re-started. We are in the process of checking the applications that come in for jobs,” said Rajeev Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.
The Hindustan Times had first reported that the project had been stalled following dispute between the BMC and the villagers, who had lost large tracts of agricultural land to the project.
The project of replacing the more than 80-year-old Tansa main pipelines is crucial for Mumbai because it has developed leaks, which leads to water loss and contamination.