Civic body to demand add’l water from Irrigation Dept

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The city will receive adequate water supply, assures civic chief Rao.

Pune: The civic administration has admitted that there were water cuts in the city from last week. Now, after criticism from opposition, Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao, speaking in the General body meeting on Tuesday, assured that the city will receive adequate water supply without any cuts. “We will demand additional water quota on the basis of revised city population from the Irrigation Department soon,’’ he said. 

After breaching of right canal wall of Khadakwasla Dam and State Water Resource Ministry’s decision to reduce 200 million litres per day (MLD) water quota of the corporation in the canal meeting, the city is facing irregular water supply. Hence, from last week, political parties are organising agitation on the issue. During the General Body meeting, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporators conducted ‘Handa Morcha.’ After that, not only the opposition but also Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruling party corporators criticised the civic administration for improper planning and lack of coordination with the Irrigation Department. They also alleged that the Irrigation Department stopped water pumps without intimating the civic body.

While talking about the issue, Rao said, “I visited Khadakwasla division on Monday and discussed the issue with officials of the Irrigation Department. “They were claiming our usage has increased from 1,350 MLD to 1,700 MLD. During the discussion, we told them to increase our water quote from 15.50 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) based on revised city population and the Irrigation Department has agreed and we will send a letter after reviewing the population of the city for additional water quota,” he added.

“Besides that, we have decided to complete the closed water pipeline project from Parvati to Pune Cantonment, ensure proper planning of equal water distribution and stop water leakages. Also, we will take 1,350 MLD water and the quota will not reduce,” he added.

Earlier, Deputy Mayor Siddharth Dhende had said residents of eastern Pune will not pay tax if they don’t get regular and adequate water supply in coming days. He said, “The civic body is charging more water tax for implementing 24x7 and regular water supply project from last two years. So, we have the right to get regular water supply. However, we are not receiving water, so we will not pay tax.” “Puneites have not faced such scarcity of water in October even when there is enough water in dams. Hence, this is the failure of 162 corporators who are representing the city. One one hand, we are selected in the Smart City project and on the other side, people are not getting enough drinking water,” said Dhende. 

Arvind Shinde, Congress leader, said, “The Irrigation Department is putting pressure on the corporation and our officials are succumbing to it. It is not good for the city as we are not using extra water. The Irrigation Department is giving false information about water usage. It is not considering increasing population and additional merger of 11 villages in the city limits.”

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