While the district irrigation department and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) engage in a tussle over a cracked canal, shopkeepers of Nirmal Commercial Complex on MG Road in Camp are the worst sufferers. The retailers and residents of a nearby housing society have been appealing to the authorities for the last six months to eliminate the water leakage problem. So far, the civic administration has failed them. The district irrigation department stated that the repair work of walls of the canal require stoppage of water supply by PMC. However, the water department says that if this idea is implemented then the entire area will face shortage of water.
“Every night the water enters into the ground floor, and the next day we have to pump it out of our offices, which are located 12 feet below the level of the canal. We are now worried about what the condition of our workplaces would be when the water level in the canal would rise in monsoon,” said Advocate Yashwant Pawar, who runs his firm from the ground floor of the commercial complex.
For Shabbir Kanda, who supplies machinery and tools, the water entering into his office brings financial loss along. “When I come to the office in the morning, I find the machinery almost get partially submerged, causing them to rust,” he said. Kanda added that he has fruitlessly written about the problem several times to the authorities.
“They should at least tell me whom to approach,” said Kanda. When contacted, Cantonment Engineer of district irrigation department Sudesh Kadu said that higher officials of the division had visited the affected area, and discussions are on with PMC officials.
“To repair the cracked wall of the canal, the supply of water on the route has to be turned off. However, after 2003, PMC has never stopped supply on the line to allow any repair work,” said Kadu. He added that the work would be done before arrival of monsoon.
Reacting to this, the head of PMC’s water supply department VG Kulkarni said that the irrigation department had asked them to stop the release of water in the canal for three days. “During such shortage of water, a demand like this will not be welcomed. We had words with the officials of irrigation department on Monday, and we will only stop the release of water when the dams are filled to the brim,” said Kulkarni.