Pune: 11 NGOs Send Legal Notice To PMC, PCMC, PMRDA For Failing To Address Water Crisis

Pune: 11 NGOs Send Legal Notice To PMC, PCMC, PMRDA For Failing To Address Water Crisis

Urban areas under PMC, PCMC, and PMRDA are facing acute water scarcity. In some regions, the supply has plummeted to less than 20 liters per capita per day, significantly below the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' recommended benchmark of 135 liters

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 03:35 PM IST
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Due to the dire state of water supply, residents are forced to rely on private tanker operators | Anand Chaini

11 Pune-based NGOs have issued a legal notice to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), and Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) threatening to file a Contempt of Court Petition. This action comes as these civic bodies have failed to constitute special committees to address the water issues confronting residents, as directed by the Bombay High Court.

During an April 10 hearing, the Bombay High Court mandated the formation of special committees for PMC, PCMC, and PMRDA, explicitly to handle residents' complaints regarding water scarcity. The committees were to comprise essential officials like the municipal commissioner, divisional commissioner, chief city engineer, and the member secretary of the District Legal Services Authority.

Advocate Satya Muley, representing the NGOs, sent a notice in June seeking information on the formation of these special committees. However, none of the entities responded to this inquiry. Muley stated, "It is evident that PMC, PCMC, and PMRDA have not established such committees. Subsequently, a fresh legal notice was issued on Wednesday. If we do not receive the necessary information about the formation of the special committees, we will proceed with filing a Contempt of Court Petition against the respective officials who should be part of this committee," conveyed Muley in a press release.

Water is a basic necessity of life: Advocate Muley

Urban areas under PMC, PCMC, and PMRDA are facing acute water scarcity. In some regions, the supply has plummeted to less than 20 liters per capita per day, significantly below the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' recommended benchmark of 135 liters. Localities like Baner, Balewadi, Wagholi, Hinjawadi, among others, are severely affected, compelling residents to heavily rely on private tanker operators.

Advocate Muley, speaking on behalf of the petitioners, drew attention to the dire state of water supply and strongly advocated for a pause in granting permissions for new constructions by PMC, PCMC, PMRDA, and the Pune Zilla Parishad until they resolve the existing water crisis. He stressed the constitutional responsibility these authorities bear towards providing adequate water to Pune district's existing residents.

"Water is a basic necessity of life, and the current state of water supply situation in urban areas of entire Pune district is pathetic. The PMC, PCMC, PMRDA, and the Pune Zilla Parishad should stop giving permissions for new constructions if they are not able to provide water to the existing residents of Pune district. When a problem exists and is known, then in such a case these authorities do not have the right to make the problem bigger. Before giving any fresh permission to any new construction, these authorities must attack and solve the water scarcity problem on war footing," he said.

Citizens Speak:

We rely solely on private water tankers as we don't receive the corporation's water supply. It's perplexing how building permissions are granted without ensuring basic water availability - Tushar Sarode, Resident of Sukhwani Panorama, Sus

Since 2013, our residential buildings have not received a single drop of water from Gram Panchayat, Zilla Parishad, or PMRDA. We've been spending lakhs every month on private water tankers. Despite over 10 follow-ups to each authority annually, it's disheartening that the government hasn't taken any initiative to address our persistent problems - Amrut Khodke, Chairman of Green Olive Apartment, Hinjawadi

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