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Pune’s ICC Towers accused of groundwater seepage; 600 tankers wasted every day, claims resident

Realtor fails to plug issue despite PMC notice after resident files complaint.

pune Updated: Dec 02, 2017 14:51 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
icc towers,international convention centre,pune
The International Convention Centre (ICC) Towers where the groundwater seepage has been left unchecked. (HT Photo)

The JW Marriott hotel on Senapati Bapat road has turned blind eye to notices sent by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for groundwater seepage, resulting in wastage of water as well as depletion of groundwater table in the surrounding areas.

In its notice served on November 23 and October 10, the building and construction department of PMC asked Atul Chordia, who has constructed JW Marriott, to fix the seepage and ensure water does not flow and go waste.

“The water seepage has to be fixed within one month to ensure that there is no wastage of water,” said the notice addressed to Atul Chordia and architect Sameer Walimbe.

Speaking to HT, the complainant Vinay Pai claims that the everyday seepage is close 600 tankers of water wastage, and the building owners have taken to step to plug the issue for the past two years.

Earlier, in a letter to PMC commissioner Kunal Kumar, local corporator Siddharth Shirole raised the issue saying that the problem was brought to PMC ward office two years ago though no action was taken. “It has been brought to my notice by citizens that large quantity of water is flowing through a Model Colony nullah. The source of water is groundwater seepage from International Convention Centre (ICC) towers (JW Marriott is located in the building),” Shirole said, adding that water seepage has resulted into “depletion of groundwater table resulting in borewells running dry”.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a resident Vinay Pai, who filed a complaint with the PMC for seepage, said, “I found a steady stream of water flowing in the nullah close to my house and approached the ward office to file a complaint. The ward officer conduct a survey and found the seepage from ICC tower. Later, I filed a complaint.”

As Pai got no response from the civic body, he approached the Ghole road ward office of PMC to look into the matter. Acting on the complaint, ward officer Ravi Pawar along with Pai carried out a survey and found the leakage sourced to groundwater seepage from ICC towers and JW Marriott hotel premises on Senapati Bapat Road.

Atul Chordia, chairman, Panchshil Realty, told HT that he is travelling and the office had not received any such notification from PMC. “We have not received any notice from PMC. All the permissions and protocols are in place,” he said.

According to Pai, when the underground parking in the basement was constructed, the builders were supposed to plug the groundwater leaks but it seemed they did not do so. “We have proof that PMC did a survey and also issued Chordia the notices to plug the leak. The groundwater that flows every day through the nullah for the past two years is close to 600 tankers. My complaints were not heard until PMC launched the app ‘PMC Care’, and registered my complaint on March 8. The civic engineer conducted a survey and found that the seepage of natural flow of groundwater was linked to the stormwater drainage line. The seepage has resulted in depletion of groundwater table resulting in borewells in the vicinity running dry and lowering the water level in the Model Colony lake,” Pai told HT.

Speaking to HT, corporator Sidddharth Shirole, who was also approached by the complainant, said, “I am aware of the problem and have written to the municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar. The issue has been brought to the notice of zonal commissioner and the building permission department and notices have been issued to the premise owners. Yet, no action has been taken so far. I will once again put forth the problem in front of the commissioner and await their verdict.”

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 21:45 IST