A high alert was sounded in parts of Pune after incessant rain forced the irrigation department to release water from an overflowing Khadakwasla dam on Wednesday. Officials have not ruled out the possibility of more water being released.
Normal life in the city was affected due to continuous, but moderate, showers through the day. Water-logging and damaged roads resulted in massive traffic jams, and attendance in schools and offices fell considerably as Puneites preferred to stay in their houses.
No major incident was reported till late in the evening.
Catchment area of four dams in the Khadakwasla chain — Panshet, Varasgaon, Khadakwasla and Temghar — received heavy rainfall on Tuesday night; water increased by more than three thousand million cubic feet (TMC) in a single day.
Water level in the Khadakwasla dam increased 66% to 86% by 6 am on Wednesday, and reached 99% in two hours. Continuous addition of water in dam forced irrigation officials to discharge water from the dam, said Khadakwasla executive engineer Pandurang Shelar.
The discharge of water was gradual to give people time to evacuate — from 16,000 cusec at 10am to 31,450 cusec at 4 pm.
Areas along the river bank were put on alert by the Pune Municipal Corporation and police. The civic machinery too sounded an alert for the disaster management cell, and police sealed entry points to the river. However, four cars and a few two-wheelers were found stuck in the river bed in the evening.
The submersible Bhide Bridge was under water by Wednesday noon, and a few residential complexes were inundated on Sinhgad road.
Heavy rains also affected rail and road connectivity, and trains and buses ran two hours behind schedule. Two landslides were reported in the city — at Malshej ghat and Varandh ghat in Bhor tehsil.