AURANGABAD: Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) commissioner DM Mugalikar on Monday opposed re-introduction of Aurangabad City Water Utility Company Limited (ACWUCL), leaving many, including Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire, red faced.
Khaire had requested the civic body to reconsider bringing back the water utility company.
After district guardian minister Ramdas Kadam asked the administration to make its stand clear on the water utility company and its re-introduction in the city, Mugalikar said, “The decision to call off the agreement with the water utility company was an appropriate one.”
BJP MLA Atul Save, who represents Aurangabad east constituency, suggested that the administration should consider an out-of-court settlement with the company but the proposal was turned down by the civic chief as well as Kadam.
AMC had appointed ACWUCL to draw water from Jayakwadi dam and supply it to the city. Besides laying the pipeline, the firm was also asked to take charge of Aurangabads water supply for 20 years but in June 2016 it terminated the water pipeline and water distribution project awarded to ACUWCL.
AMC and the private firm are currently engaged in a legal battle at the apex court following the termination of the water project.
The civic body is also facing flack for allegedly not carrying out any audit of funds worth Rs 190 crore allocated to ACUWCL for installing a parallel pipeline project in the last few years.
The other important issue discussed at the meet was about digging of water trench or water shafts in and around Jalyukt Shivar projects in the district by GSDA.
This shaft is basically a borewell dug into Jalyukt Shivar project so that accumulated water recedes into the ground and improves water table.
Earlier, legislative assembly speaker Haribhau Bagde had raised questions about the feasibility of water shafts each costing about Rs 3 lakh. Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat, who represents Aurangabad west constituency, told TOI, “Water shafts have been dug in my assembly constituency without my consent and knowledge. Likewise, shafts have been dug to the tune of about Rs 4 crore in the district.
Taking cognizance of the allegations, the divisional commissioner ordered a probe into the digging of water shafts in the district.
Aurangabad central MLA Imtiaz Jaleel raised the issue of the civic body receiving Rs seven crore for development of slums inhabited by Dalits but a tender of just Rs 3.5 crore was floated and no work was done. A probe was ordered into the case with instructions to submit a timely report.
Later, district collector Naval Kishore Ram stated that considering the amount of work being carried out in the district, the administration was falling short of about Rs 100 crore. The state has slashed district administration’s fund by Rs 52 crore for the current financial year.