Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured to find an answer to the long-pending issue of rehabilitation of the project-affected persons (PAP) of the Barvi dam in Badlapur.
Fadnavis met Murbad MLA Kisan Kathore on his visit to the district on Friday who apprised him of the need to resolve the issue on priority.
The Chief Minister said he would convene a meeting of Commissioners and Mayors of the civic bodies and the senior officials of departments concerned in this regard.
The height of the Barvi dam was increased from 38.10 metres to 66.50 metres in 1999. The proposed move to raise this further to 72 m hit a roadblock due to opposition from villagers.
Around 750 residents of the six villages around the dam would be displaced in accordance with the plan. They have pressed for their demand of a government job to one member of each family, besides monetary compensation.
Kathore said that each of the beneficiary civic bodies can give employment to the affected families. Some of them could be employed by the MIDC and other government departments. This needs to be sorted out on priority basis, he added.
State Industries Minister Subhash Desai, too, visited the dam site on Friday and chaired a meeting with some of the project-affected villagers, Ambernath MLA Dr Balaji Kinikar, and MIDC CEO Bhushan Gagrani. He assured to take up the matter with the Chief Minister.
The dam, which was constructed in 1972, supplies water to Thane and surrounding areas. The storage capacity of the dam, which originally stood at 122.58 MCM and was later increased to 174 MCM, is to be raised to 347 MCM, Kathore said.
Kathore informed the Chief Minister that the dam would fulfill the drinking water requirement of the civic corporations of Thane, Bhiwandi, Mira-Bhayander, Ulhasnagar, Navi Mumbai, etc.
These cities are already facing water cuts and the water shortage issue is sure to escalate if the problem is not solved at the earliest, he said.