50,000 litres of water for helipad Sharad Pawar didn't use
5 water tankers had emptied their contents over a helipad at MMRDA grounds, so that chopper bearing NCP chief could land without raising dust; with Sharad Pawar skipping the event, water went to waste
While the absence of Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar cast a dampener on the UPA rally held in the city on Sunday, the NCP chief’s last minute decision to skip the event in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) inadvertently led to the waste of massive amounts of a precious commodity that the city can ill afford to misuse water.
mid-day lensman Sayed Sameer Abedi spotted this tanker sprinkling water at the MMRDA grounds on Sunday morning, in anticipation of Pawar’s arrival
mid-day has discovered that a total of 50,000 litres of water brought by five water tankers were poured over a makeshift helipad fashioned at the MMRDA grounds in BKC, so that the chopper carrying the NCP chief could land without kicking up a cloud of dust.
Water was sprayed on the ground at 4.30 am on Sunday morning, and again a few hours before noon. H Jadhav, a tanker supplier, said that contractors organising similar events at the MMRDA grounds in BKC often order for water tankers from different suppliers.
“A cloud of dust is raised whenever a helicopter lands on the ground, and so it is important to spray water prior to landing. For the past two days, the ground was levelled and cleaned, after which the water was poured.”
A single water tanker carries 10,000 litres of water. Various transporters in the city supplied tankers for the event, some of whom even said that they were yet to be paid for their services. Siddhesh Salunke from Siddhesh Water Suppliers in Kurla, said, “The contractor had agreed to pay R800 for a water tanker.
Even though we supplied water tankers for two days, the payment is yet to be made. At the end, we learnt that no helicopter even landed there.” Irfan Sheikh, another contractor, said that the grounds were swept up and cleaned before water was sprayed.
Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Atul Londhe, asked why the NCP chief chose not to land there in spite of the preparations, said, “Yes, the NCP party president was scheduled to arrive at BKC on Sunday. As far as I am aware, there was some technical snag owing to which he did not land at the BKC grounds.”