Aam Aadmi team from Pune, along with experts visited four dams – Panshet, Varasgaon, Temghar and Pawana and noticed that all of them were in visibly dismal state and posing potential threat to the lives of Pune residents. A committee under Mr Ranade was established to look into the Temghar condition and it took two years to arrive at a report – and immediately a new tender has been floated for repairs.
AAP leader and Irrigation Whistleblower Vijay Pandhare stated that MERI (Nashik) had tested 136 cores from major dams in Maharashtra. 136 crores, weighing 25 kilos, 1 meter diameter and 1 meter height, were tested and more than 50 per cent of the samples were of poor quality. If the required compressive strength is lesser even by 5 per cent it is cause for serious concern but here almost half the samples were of extreme poor quality. This report was sent to the Chitale Committee which failed to take cognizance. In fact Chitale reached a false conclusion that the samples may have been weakened due to vibrations while transporting the cores to MERI, Nashik.
Vijay Pandhare said, “The structure of Temghar dam which is leaking heavily has been weakened permanently. Now its strength cannot be re-established by any technical means. We can only reduce the leakages to some extent. There are at least 8 to 10 such dams in Pune region which are leaking heavily, the reason for this is, negligence during the dam’s construction. The concerned contractors and officers are responsible for this poor quality of work. Past experiences show that leakages are increasing year by year and these leakages leech out the cementing material heavily; as a result the dams are being weakened day by day.”
AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon said, “Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan stated that the indeed the dam has developed cracks and needs repairs. A case has been registered against Progressive Constructions and Srinivas Constructions. The dam is owned by Soma Enterprises Limited, which is not even mentioned in the FIR. On their website, Soma has displayed pictures where they have proudly collected Udyog Ratan from Ajit Pawar for the excellence in execution of the Temghar Masonry Dam. Irrigation Contractor Avinash Bhosale is a shareholder in Soma and has been a former Director. FIR must be filed against Soma Enterprises and cost of repairs be collected from these contractors. An internally reputed firm must be appointed to audit all the dams in Maharashtra.”