Pune likely to face water cut after Diwali

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given a nasty surprise to Puneites: Despite having adequate water in four dams, the city will face water cut and will get water only once a day post Diwali.

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given a nasty surprise to Puneites: Despite having adequate water in four dams, the city will face water cut and will get water only once a day post Diwali. On one hand, the city will be facing water cut, while on the other hand it is revealed there is more sugarcane plantation in rural parts of Pune district compared to last year. This was revealed during a ‘Canal Committee’ meeting.

On Monday, during the General Body meeting, Pravin Gedam, Superintendent Engineer of PMC’s Water Supply Department declared that they will try to regularise water supply, however, they will implement water cut after Diwali. He was responding to queries raised by corporators.  During a meeting held in Mumbai in the first week of October, it was decided to reduce water supply from Khadakwasla division to Pune city. Following this decision, Khadakwasla division of Irrigation Department wrote a letter to the PMC and suggested a water cut by proper planning of water supply in the city. However, as PMC shared that it would be implementing water cut after Diwali, it continued to lift 1,350 million litres per day (MLD) water from Khadakwasla dam. However, Irrigation Department reduced this supply without prior intimation to the PMC, forcing the civic body to execute the water cut in the city. After facing too much criticism from all political parties including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao assured corporators that water supply will be regularised. However, this assurance has no meaning.

Saurabh Rao had also mentioned that discussion of increased sugarcane plantation in the rural part, implementation of drip irrigation to save water were also discussed in the Canal Committee meeting. 

Shiv Sena corporator Vishal Dhanawade raised an issue of inadequate water supply situation in many parts of the city in the General Body meeting. Following this, BJP corporator Dheeraj Ghate threatened to stop the GB till the issue of water supply is resolved.
Gedam stated, “We are trying to complete closed water supply pipeline project from  Khadakwasla to Cantonment water treatment plant till November. After breaching of canal wall, we are facing the issue of inadequate water supply. We get 1,350 MLD water through the canal. However, as there is leakage while supplying water to  Pune Cantonment water treatment plant, Cantonment area is getting inadequate water and it has adversely affected water supply to areas which are getting water from Pune Cantonment plant.”

Vivek Velankar, a civic activist who had raised the issue of water supplied to sugarcane farming two years ago, said, “The rural part is taking water for agriculture. It is true. Irrigation Department is not denying that but they have forgotten to take treated water from Mundhwa jackwell for farming in rural parts of Pune district. Now, they are taking drinking water of Pune city to agriculture.

Everyone knows that the water goes for sugarcane.”

Ample water in city dams 
The city gets water from four dams - Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar. The total capacity of four dams is 29,000 million litres per day (MLD). At present, there is a total 25 TMC water in four dams. Last year, it was 27.35 TMC water. The city faced a water cut in the summer in 2009 and 2010. The city witnessed water cut from 20 per cent which went up to 50 per cent in 2009 as it was declared a drought year. In 2010, due to lack of water availability, the city again faced 10 to 15 per cent cuts in summer. There was also water cut in 2014 due to inadequate water in reservoirs.

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