Published on: August 9, 2022 at 19:00 IST
As many as 11 organisations from the city of Pune have petitioned the Bombay High Court to order the respective local governments to immediately provide 135 litres of water per day to each citizen through a pipeline or any other alternative method, stating that doing so is their fundamental duty as civic bodies.
Wagholi Housing Societies Association, Pune District Cooperative Housing societies and Apartments Federation, Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, Pimpri Chinchwad Cooperative Housing Societies Federation Ltd, Baner Pashan Link Road Welfare Trust, Balewadi Residency Cooperative Housing Welfare Federation, Dear Society Welfare Association, Bavdhan Citizens Forum, and Hinjewadi Employees and Residents Trust are among the 11 organisations that have filed a public interest.
According to the petition, residents, housing societies, and apartment buildings are compelled to pay huge sums of money to private vendors in order to obtain water for daily household usage and drinking. In other instances, a single housing society is forced to spend more than Rs 1.5 crore annually on domestic water purchases.
The water tanker mafia is currently strongly controlling urban areas in the Pune district. For daily home use, people are compelled to use unregulated, possibly contaminated, and expensive water. The source and quality of the water supplied by private water tankers are unknown to the public.
Local NGOs and residents’ organisations have met with the relevant local authorities on numerous occasions and have voiced their concerns. However, the situation is still unstable and their efforts have not improved the water supply.
The petition made the point that builders indiscriminately dig borewells and use groundwater without any sort of accountability. Despite having enough of rain over the past three to four years, Pune district residents have been experiencing a serious water deficit.
On the other side, Pune’s urban areas are becoming an unrestrained expansion of the concrete jungle. The petition argued that this raises concerns about the viability of the expansion and development goals of the Pune district and its local authorities.