Already facing difficulties because of irregular water supply by the PMC, residents of some parts of the city now have to run from pillar to post for water tankers as these have been pulled out of service by their owners for fear of being targeted by a Congress corporator.
Chatuhshrungi, Pashan, Aundh, Law College Road and Prabhat Road residents are facing major problems to get water tankers since Saturday, as suppliers are refusing to go to pumping stations after Datta Bahirat, a Congress corporator from Gokhalenagar, allegedly assaulted Santosh Pawar, a water supplier from Chatuhshrungi Pumping Station, and also damaged some water tankers which were waiting to be refilled at the station.
“Upon calling the ward office at Karve Road on June 22 to enquire about a water tanker, the official said that booking was full and I should try the next day,” said Ganesh Shelar, who owns an office at Law College Road. Shelar added that when he called up the next day, he was informed that no tankers would be available as the pumping station was closed. “I got to know later that the water supplier had been beaten up by the local corporator and the pumping station was closed indefinitely,” Shelar said.
He said that ultimately the residents were the ones who had to suffer because of disputes between the local representative and PMC officials as they were not getting water tankers for the past three days. Pawar said that the contractors who supply water tankers were not ready to provide their vehicles, as they feared the local politician would damage them the way Bahirat had done on June 22.
“We have only five tankers which we have to send to adjoining areas of Chatuhshrungi. These politicians always demand tankers and Bahirat wanted all five tankers in his area from where he has been elected. When we sent only one tanker, he assaulted me and damaged the tankers. Now, not a single tanker comes to Chatuhshrungi Pumping Station to refill and therefore we are unable to provide tankers to the residents,” Pawar said.
Aundh resident Rohini Nagwankar called the Chatuhshrungi Water Purification Centre for a water tanker on Saturday. “They told me that they would send a tanker, but it didn’t come. They avoided my call when I contacted them again,” Nagwankar said. Pravin Yele, junior engineer at Chatuhshrungi Water Purification Centre, said that efforts were on to ensure tankers were made available to the people. “The decisions will soon be taken in this regard,” Yele said. Efforts to contact Bahirat for comment proved futile.