Deputy CM Ajit Pawar asks committee to submit report on Mulshi dam
Pune district guardian minister and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has instructed the committee, appointed to explore whether Mulshi dam can supply water to Pune district, to submit its at the earliest.
He added that the state government is awaiting the report so that they can decide if water can be drawn from the reservoir for irrigation and drinking purposes for Pune.
The state government is planning to allot Mulshi dam water, currently being used by a private company for power generation, for drinking and irrigation purposes. A committee was constituted by the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to explore the same. On Friday, Pawar during his programme in Pune, asked the committee to submit its report and also asked the private company to go slow on power generation since there is adequate supply of electricity in the state.
Pawar said, “During the previous government, the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had appointed a committee to study the Mulshi dam contract with the private company. Right now, the dam’s water is used for hydro electricity generation. I am following up with the committee and have instructed them to submit the report as early as possible, so that the state government can take a decision on it.” Pawar was speaking during the inauguration of the Bhama Askhed project, which will meet the water requirements of 10 lakh people living in the eastern parts of Pune.
“India currently has surplus energy. The water is needed more for drinking and irrigation purposes. There is always a conflict in Pune district over the issue of water. Despite having Mulshi dam in the district, water is not being used for drinking. We think water from Mulshi dam should get to the Pune city and district,” said Pawar.
Pune district has not been drawing water from the Mulshi dam. The Mulshi dam water is controlled by a private company, which utilises the water for hydroelectricity generation. The hydropower project located in Mulshi was established in 1927.
Pawar said, “I met the officers from the irrigation department and instructed them to submit the report early.”
Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was also present during Friday’s function, said, “We need to treat water as a precious commodity. Pune’s population is increasing and various industries are located in and around Pune city. We need to properly plan the usage of water.”
The officer who is heading this committee was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. Meanwhile, BJP’s state unit president Chandrakant Patil has also appealed to Pawar to sort out Pune city’s water problem permanently given that civic limits will have 23 more villages soon and city’s population will increase by 5 lakh.