Morbe Dam is a historic project for Navi Mumbai but so is the corruption in the Rs. 210 Crores Kalamboli to Digha Pipeline work being executed by Pratibha Industries. It has not been 10 days, and two reports of pipe bursts have already exposed the poor quality work being done by the contractor. When NMTV editorial team got together to study the project, we realized, a saga on corruption, mis management and sub standard work could be written about the project. Two worst fears of residents came true – one Pratibha Industries pipeline burst on two different occasions and the second, water supply went back to being erratic despite water from Morbe till Vashi. And now take a look at this. Water leakage in pipelines has resulted in water stagnation and now pipelines are submerged in this contaminated filthy water. With this being the scenario in 10 days of the grand Morbe water inauguration, any commoner knows what is in store in the future. At NMMC, the city engineer not surprisingly only has reasons. Let’s turn the pages back into time and take a look at the reports we aired voicing concern on the corruption and poor quality work that surrounded the project from day 1. MARCH 2006 The Kalamboli to Digha pipeline work proposal was brought to the Standing Committee. Chairman Dr. Jayaji Nath presided the meet that rejected the tender bids of companies like Larsen and Toubro to approve the bid of Pratibha Industries. MARCH 2006 The only time when opposition corporators made noise on the project and demanding discussions before escalating the price of the project from the estimated Rs. 168 Crores to Rs. 210.95193 Crores. APRIL 2006 Ironically, Pratibha Industries, does not qualify for another Rs. 40 Crore in the Thane Belapur Project. JUNE 2006 Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar arrives in the city to perform the bhumi pujan of the project. FEBRUARY 2007 Navi Mumbai News airs an exclusive report on how rejected pipelines were being used by Pratibha Industries. APRIL 2007 Kalamboli Digha Pipeline Work took its first victim – Executive Engineer V D Khadilkar Resigned JUNE 2007 We aired a report on the negligence of NMMC Engineering Dept. and Pratibha Industries at Parsik Hills that could result in a landslide. JUNE 26, 2007 Navi Mumbai News predictions came true as landslide takes place at the site. AUGUST 2007 We aired a report on how Pratibha Industries was openly using rusted pipelines. SEPTEMBER 2007 Experts voiced concerns to NMTV News about the risks and faulty construction of the reservoir on Parsik Hills. OCTOBER 2007 Complaints of unorganized work continue in the project begin with haphazardly dug up roads and no sign boards. The gravity of the matter being in facts that MSEDC filed a criminal complaint against the contractor. Thousands of MTNL lines went dead at Vashi. And shortage of LPG cylinders was reported due to them being used illegally by the contractor. And after facing all these inconveniences, when the water supply did begin till Vashi, pipe bursts and acute water crisis now haunt citizens. This weekend the water crisis was worse than ever. Experts say that worse is in store. And despite the misery of citizens, not a single corporator raises the issue in NMMC. The opposition plays hands in gloves with the ruling front. Sources from the contractors office claim that heavy palm greasing of officials and corporators have forced the coporators to remain silent as Crores of tax payer’s money is being drained with Pratibha pipelines. In the next elections, the present house will have to answer a lot of questions. Meanwhile if you are a citizen of Navi Mumbai and dream of 24 X 7 water supply, be prepared that it might just always be that – a dream. With Rajeev Mishra, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
October 7, 2006
November 2, 2008