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IAF vs PMC: Deputy mayor ‘negotiates’ drinking water for drainage clearance 

PMC cut the water supply to the Air Force station on Tuesday evening after station authorities blocked a drainage line

pune Updated: Jun 21, 2018 15:14 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
IAF,PMC,war
Deputy mayor Siddharth Dhende (centre) with Indian Air Force station officials at the Air Force station in Lohegaon.(HT Photo)

A facilities conflict, albeit involving something as essential as water, between the India Air Force authorities in Pune and the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) was prevented from escalating into an all-out ‘war’ on Wednesday.

Early reports cite the intervention deputy mayor Siddharth Dhende which resulted in water supply to the Air Force station in Lohegaon being restored. Why did the PMC stop the water supply?

Three days ago, the Lohegaon Air Force station authorities closed sewage line of the civic body that passes through the area. As a result a flood-like situation resulted in parts of Lohegaon.

PMC officials claim they tried to contact the Air Force for this and as were not entertained. Civic officials allege they were not even allowed to enter the station premises. Then, on municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao’s instructions PMC cut the drinking water supply to the station on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday morning, deputy mayor Dhende, along with civic officials, approached the station officers and held a joint meeting. Air Force station chief, Air Commodore K V Surendran Nair, was also present.

Dhende said, “The issue is sort out. The Air Force Station officers allowed the PMC to carry out drainage line works from the IAF premises and PMC will finish it quickly. At the same time, the civic body will restore water supply immediately.”

Dhende said that parts of Lohegaon were earlier under a gram panchayat. It merged with the PMC seven months ago. The Air Force had been taking up the drainage line issue with the Lohegaon gram panchayat since 2016, but as the local body did not have a budget at the time, it was not able to finish the work. As a result, drainage water from Lohegaon is gathering on the Air Force premises.

Dhende said, “PMC convinced the Air Force that this area is just merged within the limits. PMC will close the line in a few days. It is preparing a long-term drainage plan for all 11 villages recently merged.”

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 14:08 IST