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Request for no water cut ahead of eclipse refused

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Residents would face difficulties in performing ablutions, BJP corporator said

A BJP corporator’s request to the Pune Municipal Corporation urging the civic body to postpone its weekly water cut on grounds that citizens in her ward would need to perform rituals after the solar eclipse on December 26 has drawn strong condemnation from the anti-superstition outfit — the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS).

Manjushri Khardekar on Wednesday said she would give a written request to Mayor Murlidhar Mohol in this regard.

Customs and rituals

“The eclipse coincides with the maintenance. Residents in my ward have complained of difficulties they would face as they need to perform ablutions and clean houses after the eclipse,” said Ms. Khardekar, remarking that the residents were particular about the customs.

The PMC implements water cuts in several parts of the city every Thursday for carrying out essential maintenance and pipeline repair work.

Earlier, Ms. Khardekar’s husband and BJP leader Sandeep Khardekar too had written to the PMC authorities requesting them to postpone the water cut due to Hindu traditions.

However, the civic body officials have rejected the request saying religious beliefs could not be the basis for halting repair work needed for better channelling of potable water.

Condemning the superstition behind the corporator’s request, Hamid Dabholkar of the MANS said it was unfortunate that elected representatives were indulging in such demands instead of actively quelling them.

‘Bizarre request’

“We learn all about eclipses in school and know that the ridiculous beliefs propagated by Hindu tradition about not eating or drinking allegedly ‘contaminated’ water during the eclipse are mere myths. Unfortunately, these superstitions still run riot despite scientific awareness campaigns. Instead of ensuring water to citizens of her ward by permitting the civic authorities to carry out repair, the corporator is bizarrely urging a postponement,” said Dr. Dabholkar.

The BJP is heading the 162-member PMC with an absolute majority.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 7:00:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/request-for-no-water-cut-ahead-of-eclipse-denied/article30397423.ece

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