Mumbai: The plea of a farmer from Sholapur, Prabhakar Deshmukh, was mocked by Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar, but the Bombay High Court agreed to release water into Ujani Dam.
Interviewed by a television channel, Prabhakar sent a message to Ajit Pawar saying, "Ajit Pawar now there is no need to urinate. God has spoken through the High Court. He has blessed us. Now, Ujani dam will have water.”
Earlier, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Tuesday, the court ordered the Maharashtra government to release water into the dam within 24 hours. The dam supplies water to Sholapur, one of the worst drought-hit districts in Maharashtra.
Last week at a rally, Ajit Pawar dismissed the farmer`s two-month-long protest and sarcastically mocked asking, "If leaders should urinate to supply water to the dam.”
Dissatisfied with Pawar`s apology, Prabhakar Deshmukh took his protest to the Chief Minister`s house yesterday. He is however, ecstatic on the Bombay High Court`s order.
The High Court`s order came in response to a PIL filed independently by a Sholapur-based activist, Shankarrao Sathe. The PIL says that the Ujani dam gets water from the Bhima River, which starts from Karjat in the Western Ghats. Between the source of the river and the dam, there are 20-22 smaller dams, most of them in Pune.
However, the PIL adds, in violation of Maharashtra`s water regulatory laws - which state that water should be equally distributed - the smaller dams were not releasing water downstream to the Ujani Dam. In the meanwhile, the court has also asked the government to submit a report on Monday.