With chances of acute water short age and inevitable water cuts this summer, the civic administra tion claims that it does not use drinking water for the construction of cement concrete (CC) roads. However, the water department claims quite the opposite. It is unsure of where the drinking water tankers go at the end of the day.
Rajendra Raut, superintendent of the road department at PMC, said, “We have reduced the development of CC roads as compared to last year due to water shortage. Normally, corporation spends around Rs 500 crore on concretisation of roads. Keeping in mind the situation, we have invested only Rs 200 crore for the work. Also, we have strictly told the contractor to not use drinking water. They are using water out of wells and borewells, exceeding the limit set by PMC. Since, not all developments can come to a halt, we have prioritised CC work and have begun with it.“
He further added that due to compounding processes, the water requirement is less as compared to CC curing systems.
Though the road department is claiming that drinking water is not being used for CC work, the water supply department claims otherwise. It said that it is not the borewell water, but drinking water that is being used for the roads. V G Kulkarni, superintendent of the water supply department, said, “Tanker owners depart with drinking water supply. At the end of the day, we cannot check where it is used. We are helpless in such cases.“
According to PMC’s statistics, for a CC patch of one kilometre, 10,000 litres of water are essential over standard curing time of 21 days. At the moment, there are 50 big and 100 small CC road works being undertaken in the city. One of the senior officials of the road department said, “We are not in favour of starting work on CC roads in this water crisis situation. But, corporators pressure the administration into initiating the work as they pour in ward development funds. We cannot retort negatively in such cases.“
Residents, too, have been instrumental in discontinuing CC road developments in certain areas. One such resident, Satish Chitale of Hanuman Society on Senapati Bapat Road halted the development with the help of society members. He said, “We took up the issue and wrote letters to PMC asking them to put a stop to the work. The letter was instrumental in terminating the work in our society.“
Mukari Algude, local Congress corporator of the Senapati Bapat Road area said, “How could I have allowed the contractor to use drinking water for such work? People registered their opposition for CC work.But, the contractor is using well and bore water for work.“
Source : Pune Mirror