Nitin Yeshwantrao-THANE: Water supply minister Laxman Dhoble and minister of state for tribal development Rajendra Gavit visited the hilly pocket of Mokhada on Wednesday to take stock of the water situation following the untimely death of an adivasi woman who had had to trek for hours in the scorching sun to fetch water from the tankers provided by the state authorities last week.
At the meeting which lasted for over three hours, Dhoble instructed the district administration to identify all piped water supply projects in the tribal talukas. “Quite a few schemes are non-functional due to damages to the pipes or faulty taps etc. The minister has instructed us to identify such projects which need minor repair works and ensure that water supply is restored to the villages,” a senior officials told TOI.
At the meeting which lasted for over three hours, the ministers were informed that private contractors supplying water tankers to the dry and parched talukas in Thane have turned their back on the government contracts due to low rates. “Tenders were floated four times in recent months but still there was no response from the contractors as the prevailing rates were fixed way back in 2009 and there has been no rate revision. The ministers assured that they would take up the issue with the CM for increase in the rates,” the official added.
The ministers were given details of the measures initiated by the administration to deal with water scarcity and drought-like situations in the triabal pockets of Mokhda, Jawahar, Talasari, Shahapur, Vikramgadh. They were informed that the number of tankers provided to the dry pockets here has reduced considerably due to minor irrigation works and creation of small ponds and recharging of wells programme undertaken under the EGS.