PORVORIM: Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte and residents of Porvorim on Wednesday gave seven days ultimatum to the Public Works Department (PWD) to provide regular water supply in the constituency.

Khaunte along with hundreds of residents mostly women marched with empty vessels to the PWD Division XVII office,  Porvorim and staged sit-in protest demanding to resolve water problems faced by the residents.

While the protestors, a mix of men and women, marched towards the PWD office, they were physically pushed back by Porvorim PI Ninad Deulkar and a constable. After the skirmish, the PWD chief engineer assured the protestors to solve the water shortage within next seven days.

Khaunte pointed out that an influential tanker mafia was the reason behind artificial shortage of water to Porvorim constituency. He said that he had been buying water to the people of the constituency, personally.

He said that the PWD tankers which were supplying water to the people stopped doing so from November 10, citing some SOP issued by the government.

The MLA alleged that the water has been smuggled to starred hotels leaving residents in dire straits.

“People are struggling here as they had to go without potable water on Diwali Day,” Khaunte said.

Khaunte said that PWD assistant engineer and junior engineer have been non-responsive to the requests of fixing the water issue, despite several representations made by local representatives.

Khaunte said that while taps run dry, there is wastage of water at few points due to breakage of the pipeline. “The lower rung staff complaint that there is no vehicle provided to them by the department and they insist that we should carry them to the spot,” he said.

Khaunte said that he had also approached PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar last week, seeking his attention towards the issue, but has not received any response.

According to Khaunte, residents of Porvorim were suppose to receive 16 MLD water even as 120 MLD water was pumped from Assonora and Amthane dams. He said he had requested PWD to stop releasing new water connections and alleged that the Porvorim BJP Mandal is asking the assistant engineer to release new connections. He also alleged that all junior engineers have been transferred except the lone assistant engineer.

The MLA said that PWD was busy disconnecting the connections of the people on the pretext of non-payment of water bills.

Khaunte said that PWD chief engineer has assured him to resolve the water problems within next seven days, failing which all the local representatives will lock the PWD office at Porvorim.

Meanwhile, Khaunte has said that they will continue protests outside the Chief Minister’s residence and SP North office demanding action against the Porvorim PI and the constable, who pushed women in the crowd.

He said that the visuals of policemen pushing the women from the group would be made viral to ensure that the protesting women gets the justice.