Mira-Bhayandar: As the residents of the twin-city eagerly wait for the completion of the Surya Regional Water Supply Scheme, local leaders of the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena are at loggerheads over the issue of the approach road leading to the construction site of an elevated storage tank (ESR) on the hillocks located at Chene village near Kashimira.
Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik has alleged that he received a complaint from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) that the access road to ferry construction material for the mega ESR (having a capacity to store 45 MLD water) was blocked by a private company on the behest of a local BJP leader for the past couple of months.
Upon receiving the complaint which could hamper the speed of the much-needed water supply project, Sarnaik along with his independent counterpart Geeta Jain accompanied by officials from the MMRDA, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and revenue department, inspected the site on Tuesday. “It is highly condemnable, that a political leader who claims himself to be a vikas purush (development man) for his own personal interests is creating obstacles for a project which is aimed at putting a permanent end to the water woes of the twin-city. However, I have arranged an alternative approach road to ensure that the work is completed smoothly.” said Sarnaik.
Allegations are baseless: Narendra Mehta
Responding to the charges, former BJP legislator Narendra Mehta who apparently holds a sway over the private company that owns the land parcel hurled a volley of allegations related to corruption and causing environmental damage against both the legislators. “The allegations are wild and baseless aimed at maligning my image and covering up their own failures. Despite having an alternative road, the company had granted access for the construction work. However, they not only took their own sweet time to complete the work, while damaging the private road but are also denying compensation.” defended Mehta.
“The ground-breaking ceremony of the project was done by the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis but it’s really strange that a politician who claims to be close to him and of his own party is holding the city to ransom by denying access to a small piece of land over the contentious issue of water. We will bring the matter to the knowledge of the chief minister and deputy chief minister.” said Jain.
About the Project:
With Surya Dam at Dhamani village in Jawhar as the source of water, the MMRDA will provide bulk water supply amounting to 403 MLD (million litres per day), which will be divided between Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar in a proportion of 218 MLD and 185 MLD, respectively. Master plan includes laying 176km pipelines, 23 elevated storage reservoirs, 38 feeder mains. Although MMRDA will lift water and channelise it to the doorstep of the twin-city, the MBMC had to shoulder the responsibility of overhauling the entire internal pipework networking system.
Centre’s funding share ₹172.24 crore (33.33%)
State’s share ₹189.50 crore (36.67%)
MBMC ₹155.04 crore (30%)