Second Capital Nagpur faces severe water crisis
The General Body meeting of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Wednesday witnessed turmoil when Opposition Leader in NMC Vikas Thakre raised the terrible water situation faced by the citizens during the peak summer and demanded a discussion over the burning issue. His specific target was Orange City Water (OCW) who is responsible for supply of water to Nagpur city. However, Ruling Party Leader Pravin Datke and former Standing Committee Chairman Dayashankar Tiwari obstructed Thakre’s demand and said that General Body meeting should first finish the scheduled business decided for the meeting and after the Question Hour is over, discussion could be held on water issue. The Mayor also supported the Ruling Party Leader and agreed for discussion on water issue after the Question Hour.
Outraged over Mayor sidelining the crucial water issue, the Opposition Corporators under the leadership of Vikas Thakre created a fiery ruckus and resorted to slogan shouting in front of Mayor Anil Sole in order to accept their demand for debate over water issue before the Question Hour. The chaos forced the Mayor adjourn the meeting for five minutes. After the adjournment the Opposition Corporators staged a walkout with displeasure and anger writ large on their faces.
It may be mentioned the Second Capital Nagpur city is feeling the scorching summer heat wave since some days in unusually April month. The citizens, not to mention, are facing severe shortage of water thus adding more torturous time in the summer. The NMC authorities have given a contract to Orange City Water for 25 years to supply water to Nagpur City. The citizens are giving a cry for water and only water since the water supply was privatised.
The Corporators, after getting strong reaction from aggrieved citizens, approach the ruling party and other concerned authorities and try to draw their attention towards the water crisis. However, the ruling party and the authorities after assuring a quick action to resolve the problem turn a Nelson’s eye and forget their assurance for the reasons that this issue is not so beneficial for them.
However, the Opposition Corporators, when the problems sought by them to be resolved get neglected, they raise the issue in General Body meeting for justice. But when they realise that they will not be heard by the ruling party the Corporators create turmoil and sometimes stage a walkout showing their disappointment and also anger. The most disturbing fact noticed is the ruling party with majority number succeeds in suppressing the Opposition voice but fails to rein in the bureaucrats. Vikas Thakre even openly charged that looking to the inefficient ruling party which could not control the NMC officials is either dummy and some other powerful outsider is ruling the NMC. He cited the example such as privatisation of water supply. Another Corporator went a step ahead and asserted that the owner of OCW Lakhani has blessings of senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. That is why nobody in ruling party at NMC dares to take any action against OCW. An Opposition Corporators felt disgusting when the Mayor sidelined the burning water crisis issue. He said that the Mayor should have taken the water issue in agenda first and then other issues could have been discussed. It is unfortunate that a complaint has been lodged against a Corporator.
The OWC sources, in a height of arrogance, said that nobody or in that matter the ruling party, could dare to take action against the company in whatever ways. “The authority to ask any question over our working has been with only Commissioner of NMC and the ‘boss’ (Gadkari). We react in tit-for-tat manner when anyone behaves badly with us”.