In a strategic move based on population, Pune city’s water supply to be cut down

Activist blamed the conspiracy of BJP and officials to get citizens’ nod for the inflated estimated cost of the 24x7 water project

pune Updated: Nov 11, 2017 14:33 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,water supply,pmc
The irrigation department has ordered to cut the Pune city’s water supply from existing 11.50 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) to 8.19 TMC per annum.(HT File Photo)

The irrigation department has ordered to cut the Pune city’s water supply from existing 11.50 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) to 8.19 TMC per annum. The order was given by the irrigation department’s chief engineer of Pune district.

Vitthal Jarad, farmer from Undwadi village of Baramati Taluka, had filed the complaint with irrigation department and demanded to give water to the Pune city, as per the population ratio. While hearing the farmer’s complaint, the chief engineer TN Munde ordered to cut the city’s water supply.

The municipal administration confirmed with Hindustan Times about the order received from the irrigation department to cut the city’s water supply from 11.5 TMC to 8.19 TMC from this year.

Civic activist Vivek Velankar, while speaking to HT said, “It is a conspiracy by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the civic administration. They have come up with this order at a time when the people have started negative discussions over the 24x7 water supply scheme. This conspiracy has been planned to make the citizens mindset positive towards the water scheme and avoid the negativity on the estimated cost of the project.”

Velankar said that if the irrigation department is accepting the criteria of population for distributing the water, it is also a norm fixed by the state government to give water for 12 months to only five per cent agriculture area and not the whole agricultural land. Even farmers were instructed to use micro irrigation. Did the irrigation department consider this while issuing the order?

The order itself also mentioned that though the PMC had approved 11.50 TMC water supply, PMC is lifting 13.5 TMC water. It means the PMC is lifting more than what is permitted.

The municipal administration, off the record, said that if the irrigation department gives only 8.19 TMC water for the city, it is difficult to provide water daily. The PMC will have to provide water on alternate days to the citizens.

The irrigation department also instructed the PMC to start using the Katraj and Pashan lake water for drinking purpose.

Opposition party leader Chetan Tupe and Congress leader Arvind Shinde raised this issue in the general body meeting and asked the administration to clarify it. As the water department head VJ Kulkarni and municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar, both were not present for the general body meeting, the administration only assured to give details very soon.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 22:43 IST