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Eastern Pune’s citizens’ forum on why Pune needs a stringent water tanker policy in place

The forum has urged the state government to implement the National Water Policy in the city and the Pune Metropolitan Region to enable citizens to have free access to clean and filtered drinking water. The National Water Policy is formulated by the ministry of water resources of the central government to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilisation.

pune Updated: Apr 19, 2018 14:59 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,water tanker mafia,water scarcity
The Wagholi Housing Societies Association, which has been waging a battle against the tanker mafia in its representation to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, has pointed out that water is a free national resource and should be brought under effective public control through PMRDA.(HT PHOTO)

Upset over the exploitation of the common citizenry by the ‘water mafia’ prevalent in the city, the Citizens Forum of Eastern Pune has demanded the creation of a people-centric water tanker policy by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to prevent malpractices in the supply of water.

The forum has urged the state government to implement the National Water Policy in the city and the Pune Metropolitan Region to enable citizens to have free access to clean and filtered drinking water. The National Water Policy is formulated by the ministry of water resources of the central government to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilisation.

The Wagholi Housing Societies Association, which has been waging a battle against the tanker mafia in its representation to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, has pointed out that water is a free national resource and should be brought under effective public control through PMRDA.

“More than one lakh urban dwellers are facing the worst water crisis of the decade and there seems to be no solution to our problems. Water distribution has been neglected and not carried out professionally, which has compounded problems further. The rapid pace of urbanisation, lack of relevant planning and population explosion has exposed the faulty method of building sanctions. It is shocking that civic authorities collect taxes from residents, but has no responsibility in providing them with even basic amenities,” said Nitin Jain, a member of the association.

Nitin Kumar Patil, director of the Wagholi Housing Societies Association, said that water tanker operators, water bodies, dams, water tanks and all natural and artificial water sources need to be brought under the ambit of the public through the government.

“A water tanker policy must be made mandatory and water-related offences must be brought under the purview of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Otherwise, water resources will be completely privatised in the near future,” he said.

Daljeet Goraya, a member of the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) Annexe Citizens’ Watch Group who has petitioned PMC regarding the addition of water tankers under the control of police and PMC, said that there is an urgent need to activate all legal laws safeguarding citizens against water tanker operators.

“Issues like overpricing, rash and negligent driving, creation of a complete list-cum-database on all water tanker operators and their owners and sensitising water tanker drivers regarding the manner in which they are supposed to drive on the road are some of the key issues which we have requested the government to legislate upon. The citizens must be protected and safeguarded against all the excesses which are committed in the name of water and we demand that the government come up with a people-centric water policy soon,” he said.

Pune district guardian minister Girish Bapat also said that he will start a people’s movement for water conservation and will back it up with state funds to make it a success. Bapat was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a desilting project at Wadachi Wadi near Undri-Pisoli, organised by Pune Metropolitan Region Development Autority (PMRDA), on Monday.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 14:56 IST