Pune's 24 x 7 Water Supply Scheme Update

With water scarcity looming large in the city, the 24x7 water supply project is likely to get a new lease of life. Notwithstanding opposition by the BJP, the ruling NCP is prepared to push the proposal with the help of the Congress. The 24x7 water supply is the only answer to the situation likely to develop with the monsoon playing truant,” said an NCP leader. “Keeping politics aside, all parties need to support the proposal. The civic administration is of the same view.” He added that if the BJP and Shiv Sena continue to oppose the proposal, the NCP would go-ahead with the help of the Congress party.Congress leaders, earlier staunchly opposed to the proposal, have mellowed after the recent affinity between the two parties. MP Suresh Kalmadi and his team had extended an olive branch to the NCP after the ruling party and the BJP drifted apart over allegations and counter-allegations between Gopinath Munde and Ajit Pawar. “We were never opposed to the scheme,” said corporator and city Congress unit chief Abhay Chajjed. “We had objections to the procedure. If the proper procedure is followed, we will support the NCP on the 24x7 water project.” At the general body meeting on Tuesday, Municipal Commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi called for a “comprehensive” plan to tackle water scarcity and a technical way to repair leakages in the distribution network.The scope for the 24x7 water project comprises water audit and leak detection of the entire water supply system, complete metering for water audit study in a phased manner and zonewise investment plans for rehabilitation for reduction in leakages and implementation of 24x7 water supply. The civic administration’s proposal to appoint a consultant for the 24x7 water supply is mired in controversy after civic groups and political leaders objected to the tendering process where various companies have come together to form a consortium and work on the project plan. Allegations were made that the consortium had not purchased the tenders at all but were still allotted them by the civic body. Also, questions were raised regarding the fees paid to the consultant.The proposal was finally shelved and the standing committee decided to call a special meeting to discuss it. Eventually, the proposal became the bane of the Pune pattern with BJP leader Gopinath Munde targeting the scheme at every opportunity.

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