Water for Wagholi: Rs 22-cr pipeline project kicks off
The work for laying a dedicated water supply line for Wagholi has started after a follow up of more than two years by local residents. The Rs 22 crore worth 5 million litres per day (MLD) water pipeline project will solve the decade-old water crisis in the area.
HT had highlighted the crisis two years ago, despite paying taxes to the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) the residents of Wagholi were subject to buying water and the residential societies’ total expenditure for water was more than Rs 50 crore annually.
This included the bills of private water tanker owners.
The water crisis issue was taken up with the previous government by the Wagholi Housing Societies Association (WHSA) who presented tabulated data of purchase of water from private water tankers at exorbitant costs. The WHSA pointed out that when residents were paying taxes regularly, then a dedicated water supply line must not be denied to them.
WHSA had even complained to the police department that the citizens were being forced to buy water at a very high cost from private sellers and had demanded that their problem be solved at the earliest.
Despite an approved work order, no progress on the construction was made for eight months. The villagers, elected representatives and residents of housing societies had demonstrated outside the Pune Metropolitan and Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) office seeking an early start of the project. The PMRDA authorities said that 5 MLD water supply scheme would cater to the rising needs of the burgeoning population of the area.
WHSA director Sanjeev Kumar Patil said that the water crisis had created lot of difficulties for the residents of over 200 residential societies in the area.
“The water tanker operators were charging huge sums and each of the society has been bearing an amount ranging between Rs 5 to 6 lakh per month as water bills. The residents thought that when they were paying over Rs 60 lakh as taxes then why was a dedicated water pipeline being denied to them. We took up the issue with the highest level of government and the work was finally sanctioned and now has started,” he said.
Wagholi gram panchayat rural development officer Anil Kumbhar said, “ The PMRDA has sanctioned Rs 22 crore for the water supply line laying project and the work is likely to be completed in the next one and half year time.”
The Wagholi gram panchayat is entrusted with supervisory and executive control exercised by the Pune Metropolitan and Regional Development Authority (PMRDA), the parent body looking after the gram panchayat. The area residents require 2, 70, 00,000 litres per day while the water supplied by panchayat is only 20, 25,000 litres per day.