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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

Bombay HC says new buildings cannot come up in two Pune localities until water issues are solved

Mumbai city news: You keep on granting occupation certificates and new people come to reside in these areas, but without proper water supply, the court said

mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2017 18:54 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times

No new buildings can come up in Pune’s Baner and Balewadi areas until the civic body solves water problems in these localities, the Bombay high court said on Friday.

A division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice Nitin Jamdar temporarily restrained the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) from allowing new projects or issuing occupancy certificates for completed construction projects.

“You keep on granting occupation certificates and new people come to reside in these areas, but without proper water supply, and the problem (of water scarcity) keeps escalating,” the judges said. The bench noticed the PMC has not been able to regularise water supply to these areas, even though they were included under the corporation more than a decade ago.

The judges were hearing a public interest litigation filed by a 29-year-old businessman, Amol Balwadkar, who said the city of Pune had witnessed rapid growth in recent years and an exponential rise in the population. For this, the limits of the municipal corporation were expanded 15 years ago to include Baner and Balewadi. Balwadkar complained that while the civic body granted permissions to hundreds of new constructions in these localities, even basic facilities, such as ensuring adequate water supply to the residents of these buildings, have not been provided.

There is no main supply line to provide water, and despite representations and agitations, nothing has been done by the corporation, his petition said.

The PIL also pointed out that because of the acute shortage, housing societies were compelled to spend large amounts of money — almost half of their monthly maintenance fees — just to get the water.

Senior advocate Prasad Dani, who represented the PMC however said there was no water scarcity in the areas. Dani said the problem was only maintaining the proper pressure to supply the water and claimed that 213 litres of water per person per day was being supplied to the areas — against a maximum requirement of 180 litres a person a day.

But, these claims failed to impress the judges, who wanted feedback from residents of the locality. If this continues to dispute the claims made by the PMC, the court will appoint a commissioner to get the facts, the judges said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2017 18:54 IST

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