Pavana Dam Water : Protest by farmers halts water supply to Pimpri Chinchwad

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Agitators caused a disruption in the water supply from Pavana Dam to Pimpri-Chinchwad on Tuesday, May 9 as they demanded proper rehabilitation for those affected by the dam’s construction. 

The agitation caused several hours of water closure in the entire PCMC area. After a promise from civic administration and Guardian minister Chandrakant Patil to conduct a meeting, the protest was called off.

The protestors organized a march and forcefully entered the office of Pavana Water Resources Department officials, expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to address the issue of rehabilitation for the past five decades since the dam’s completion in 1973.

Ravindra Bhegade who joined the agitation said that even after 50 years the majority of the project-affected people are yet to be rehabilitated. He said, “To show dissatisfaction we entered the water department and shut down the water supply.”

During the construction phase, approximately 20 to 25 villages were displaced, resulting in 1,203 people losing their homes. However, only 340 individuals have been rehabilitated so far, leaving 863 still awaiting proper resettlement. Despite a court ruling in favor of the Pavana dam victims, the government has yet to allocate land to the affected farmers.

The protestors have been conducting marches for several years, demanding the rehabilitation of the dam victims, but the government has remained unresponsive. In 2011, farmers from the Pavana dam-affected and Maval talukas had blocked the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which tragically resulted in the death of three farmers due to police firing and numerous injuries. To prevent any recurrence of such incidents, the Pune Rural Police have deployed a significant number of forces in the Pavana area.

Vikram Deshmukh, Tehsildar informed the media that the meeting with the protestors was held. “They have held back the protest after Guardian Minister, Chandrakant Patil promised to hold a meeting in this regard. Before that there will be a meeting held at the collector’s office.”

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