After repeatedly informing the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) about the Pawna River being choked bywater hyacinth, which is giving rise to fears that the mosquito population is increasing in the area, and still getting no response, a Ganesh Mandal displayed a banner thanking corporators and the civic administration for a job well done.
The Jyotiba Mitra Mandal’s ‘sarcastic’ banner has been up over the Pimpri flyover since a week and thanks the concerned authorities for removing water hyacinth from the river though nothing really has been done in this regard. However, this has failed to galvanise the municipality into action. The Executive Engineer of the Environment Department of the PCMC said that the tender procedure for de-weeding the river is still in process.
Explaining the reason behind the banner, mandal chairman, Rajendra Nanaware said, “We have been left with no other option but to send them (administration and corporators) a message to show them they have failed to do their duty.” He added that he had used the same method in Kalewadi, when the PCMC Road Department had widened a road by three metres more that specified in the original development. The plan showed that the road should have been nine metres, by the department had widened it to 12 metres.
“That time, the sarcastic banner worked successfully and the Road Department had to stop the road-widening. Therefore I decide to use the same approach after realising that the administration was bothered about the growing weed issue in the Pavana River. The matter is of serious concern, as not only is the weed degrading the quality of water, but the river has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This is evident as a number of people in Kalewadi are falling ill,” Nanaware said.
He said that he had put up two banners, but one was removed by the Health Department of the PCMC, while the other has been on display since a week, but still no action has been taken to de-weed the river.
Reacting on the issue, Shiv Sena corporator Seema Sawle, who has repeatedly raised the issue in the PCMC General Body Meetings, said that the civic administration is not bothered about the Pawna, but are concerned mainly about the Indrayani and Mula rivers, which supply water to Pimpri-Chinchwad residents.
“Every year, the municipal corporation announces a major amount of budget for removal of weeds. However, the civic administration has not followed up on whether the rivers are being cleaned,” Sawle said.
She added that the de-weeding task, which is undertaken by the civic administration, works only temporarily. She added that she has requested PCMC Commissioner Dr Srikar Pardeshi to take help from technocrats in finding a solution to the hyacinth problem. NCP corporator Kailas Thopte, in whose ward the river area lies, said that he would raise the issue in the next GB meeting on February 20.
“In every GB meeting, I raise the weed issue in the river. However, the administration skirts the issue stating that the tender process is lengthy and manpower is lacking,” said Thopte. When contacted, Executive Engineer of the PCMC Environment Department, Sanjay Kulkarni, said that the tendering process is going on as the weeds are to be removed manually.