Dam levels increase, but respite from water cuts unlikely for Pune
Incessant rains lashed Pune over the past few days raising the water stock in four dams that supply water to the city. However, despite the water stock reaching 3 TMC (thousand million cubic feet), the civic body is unlikely to cancel water cuts in the city.
According to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), water cuts will continue since the Khadakwasla, Panshet, Temghar and Varasgaon dams are yet to reach adequate levels.
The cumulative capacity of all four dams is 26 TMC. Combined water levels of all the four dams supply water to the city - Khadakwasla, Panshet, Temghar and Varasgaon — at 6pm on Monday was 2.98 TMC, according to the water resource department. Last year during the same period, water level in the four dams was 3.48 TMC, according to the department.
The water resource department officials added that incessant rains throughout the day on Monday pushed the stock further, though updated figures will be available on Tuesday morning. The city has been witnessing water cuts since October 2018 due to reduced water stock in the dams as the district received less rainfall last year. During the summer season, many areas in Pune had to rely on water tankers for water supply.
PMC officials said that they will take a review of the situation after a few days.
VG Kulkarni, head of PMC’s water department, said, “Available water stock is not enough to start water cuts. We need heavy rainfall in the catchment area, only, then will the dam levels rise sufficiently. As of now, there is no proposal of cancelling water cuts for the city till July 15.’’
Of the four dams,Temghar received the highest 73mm rainfall in the catchment area followed by 45mm at Varasgaon, 43mm at Panshet and 8mm in the Khadakwasla catchment area.
Temghar received highest 634mm rainfall when compared to the total rainfall in all four catchment areas from June 1 to June 30, followed by 431mm at Panshet, 409mm at Varasgaon and 242mm at Khadakwasla. However, owing to repair work currently underway at Temghar dam, water is not being accumulated there.
This clearly indicates that rainfall in the Khadakwasla catchment area is very low. Recently, the irrigation department released 0.58 TMC of water (from existing water stock) from Khadakwasla dam during the wari procession to meet the water demands of the warkaris.
Sanjeev D Chopade, superintending engineer, Pune irrigation circle, said, “It is good that there is sufficient rainfall in the catchment areas which will help improve water levels in the dams which supply water to the city. We, however, have enough stock to last till July 15.”
Even though catchment areas of all four dams supplying water to Pune received good rainfall, when compared to others, Khadakwasla received the lowest precipitation
Name—live water (%)—live water (TMC)—rainfall till Monday morning—total rainfall from June 1 to June 30
Pune district rainfall up by 111% compared to June avg
Even though the first three weeks of June witnessed a dry spell with no rainfall, the active southwest monsoon during the last three days of the month helped Pune district cross the average rainfall mark of 134mm. By the end of June, Pune district received 111.52 per cent more rainfall than its average, but it was still less than last year.
In June this year, Pune district received 152.60mm rainfall as compared to 185.6mm during the same period last year.
The rainfall data shows that Velhe tehsil in the district received the highest 353.50mm rainfall in the district in June. From June 1 to June 30, Pune received 42.6mm rainfall in 2014; 229.6mm in 2015; 77.8mm in 2016; 289.1mm in 2017 and 185.6mm in
2018. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the overall monsoon season generally starts from June 1, but this year it was delayed by almost 15 days and created an atmosphere of concern among the farmers. However, strong monsoon winds from June 22 along with enough moisture were responsible for heavy downpour over the district.
Anupam Kashyapi of the India Meteorological Department, Pune, said, “Delayed monsoon led to farmers being worried about their crops, but in the second phase, monsoon covered the entire state and as a result of which Pune district received excess rainfall in June.”
Meanwhile, the city also witnessed cases of waterlogging and flooding in certain areas due to non-stop rains.
On Sunday, India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded 3.00mm rainfall in 24 hours till 8:30pm. The weather department has forecast heavy rains on Monday, Tuesday and cautioned commuters to travel safely on highways and expressway.
Heavy rainfall forecast for state
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, on Monday forecast that monsoon in Maharashtra will strengthen and the state will receive light to heavy rainfall from July 2 onwards.
The IMD forecast light to moderate rainfall (15.5mm to 64.5mm) for Pune over the next two days.
Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather department, IMD, said, “There will be heavy rainfall over parts of Konkan and Goa. Monsoon depression is approaching by Tuesday evening via Vidharbha. Along with that,upper air cyclonic circulation over south and north Gujarat,will be responsible for heavy downpour over Maharashtra over the next two days. The east-west shear zone, around 20 degree north, is creating convergence of wing resulting in heavy downpour in Maharashtra. Even after July 2, heavy rainfall warning will not be withdrawn from Maharashtra.”
20 complaints of tree falling reported daily
With the arrival of monsoon in the city, tree falling incidents have increased with at least 20 complaints reported every day.
Pradip Khedkar, acting fire officer, said, “Every year during the monsoon, tree falling incidents increase, but this time the ratio is high. Usually during the first two spells, branch and tree falling incidents are high, but later the number reduces.”
Khedkar said that since the last few days, the fire brigade department received 20 complaints every day and they are trying to address it.
On Monday morning, a tree fell on the footpath near a Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mandal (PMPML) bus stop near West End theatre.
Commuters who were at the bus stop escaped the mishap narrowly, but the branches fell on two-wheelers parked near the footpath.
Fire brigade employees visited the spot and removed the branches and other obstructions.