PMC explores legal options to challenge HC order on water supply to merged villages

Updated on Apr 27, 2022 09:34 PM IST

PUNE After the Bombay High Court’s directives, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is exploring legal options to challenge the order that asks the civic body to provide water by tankers to residents in 23 merged villages

The Bombay High Court asked the civic body to provide water by tankers to residents in 23 merged villages. (HT FILE PHOTO)
The Bombay High Court asked the civic body to provide water by tankers to residents in 23 merged villages. (HT FILE PHOTO)

PUNE After the Bombay High Court’s directives, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is exploring legal options to challenge the order that asks the civic body to provide water by tankers to residents in 23 merged villages.

Officials from the water department estimate that if the PMC needs to provide water for these newly merged areas, it will require 4,500 water tankers daily which will cost Rs200 crore expenditure annually.

As per PMC officials, the population of these merged areas stand at over eight lakhs.

“We are exploring legal options on court’s order and discussing it with our experts. The population in surrounding areas is over eight lakh and if PMC needs to provide 55 litres per person of water, it would require 4,500 water tankers daily which will cost up to Rs200 crore per annum,” said Aniruddha Pawaskar, PMC water department head.

Earlier this week, the Bombay High Court while hearing the petition filed by former corporator Dilip Vede Patil directed PMC to ensure all 23 merged villages get water through tanker till an alternate arrangement is made

Patil filed the public interest litigation in the High Court seeking to provide free water through tankers to the merge areas, which are facing acute water shortages.

The order by Judges Abhay Ahuja and AA Sayed stated, “We have other matters also wherein some villages in Maharashtra are facing acute problems of supply of water, including potable water. We request the learned advocate general to appear in the matter on behalf of the state government. In the meanwhile, the respondent corporation shall ensure that the subject 23 villages are supplied water by water tankers until the adequate water supply is restored.”

The court has kept the matter for further hearing on May 4.

Another PMC official said, “The PMC does not have 4,500 water tankers. Even if the PMC plans to provide it free through contractors, it would cost Rs200 crore which the civic body cannot bear. Why should PMC take all the responsibility? The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), Zilla Parishad and other agencies should also share the burden.”

According to officials, each tanker has a maximum capacity of 10,000 litres and the daily need per person is 55 litres. This takes the estimate to 4,500 tankers.

These 23 areas were merged around four years ago in the PMC even as the civic body did not have water supply lines laid out properly. The residents have been complaining about the lack of basic amenities in these areas.

Earlier these areas are part of the PMRDA and they were getting water either from gram panchayats or they were managing the water supply on their own.

As these areas got merged into the PMC, the housing societies and elected members pushed the demand that the PMC should provide free water to these areas. PMC officials said that till the water network is fixed, they are unable to provide the water to these residential societies.

Even in the meeting held recently, the civic body mentioned that residents should ask the builders to provide water through tankers which was the practice before the areas got merged.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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