Pune city grinds to a halt as heavy rainfall continues
Following heavy rainfall since Tuesday, the dam authorities released 23,000 cusecs of water from the Khadakwasla reservoir. The level of the dam was brought down to 9,000 cusecs on Wednesday evening.pune Updated: Sep 20, 2017 23:49 IST
Incessant rains throughout the day disrupted normal city life on Wednesday with traffic jams during peak hours. The city received 42 mm rainfall from Tuesday 5pm till Wednesday 5 pm. A little later in the day, there was some relief from the rain but people preferred to stay at home in view of messages circulating on social media regarding a cyclone warning. The weather department has dismissed these reports as rumors.
Following heavy rainfall since Tuesday, the dam authorities released 23,000 cusecs of water from the Khadakwasla reservoir. The level of the dam was brought down to 9,000 cusecs on Wednesday evening. The administration said that the entire government machinery has been put on alert in view of the unrelenting rain.
Traffic on several major roads in the city witnessed congestion during peak hours because of waterlogging and potholes. The traffic situation in some parts of the city worsened due to power failure and non-functional traffic signal. “I had a tough time reaching home in the evening due to traffic congestion in most parts of the city. The closed traffic signals escalated the situation,” said Samruddhi Deshpande, a Sahakarnagar resident.
Attendance in schools, colleges, government establishments and offices was affected drastically with majority of the citizens preferring to stay at home throughout the day. Citizens opted to stay at home mainly because of messages on social media which stated that a storm was all set to strike Mumbai. Piyush Pangarkar, an IT employee, said that he stayed at home due to the fear that the storm in Mumbai would bring heavy rain in Pune.
Catchment areas of four dams near Pune received heavy rainfall since the past few days. It forced irrigation officials to discharge 23,000 cusecs of water in the Mutha river. This was the highest water discharge in the current monsoon season. Bhide bridge was submerged throughout the day. An alternate to Karve road, Deccan Gymkhana and other old parts of the city, were closed for vehicular traffic, resulting in traffic chaos at some places.
Water discharge from Khadakwasla dam was 9,000 cusecs at 4 pm. Irrigation officials said that rainfall stopped in the catchment areas and water discharge was unlikely to be increased. Catchment area of the Khadakwasla dam received more rainfall since the past few days as compared to Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar dams. Irrigation officials said that the Khadakwasla dam was got more than 20,000 cusecs of water in the reservoir.
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and district collectorate sounded alert on Tuesday in view of heavy discharge from the Khadakwasla dam. Special arrangements like public address system, ambulance and fire brigade were put into service near low lying areas. Police officials were deployed at all the bridges to monitor traffic situation and manage the crowd.
Life in the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad was also affected. Pavana dam has filled up to its capacity. Irrigation officials decided to discharge 3,000 cusecs of water from the Pavana dam in view of incessant rainfall in the catchment area. Lonavala, alone, received 122 mm rainfall in 24 hours. Residential areas along Pavana river have been put on alert.
As many as 14 dams in the Pune district, situated in the western part of the region, are filled up to their capacity, resulting in water discharge. Irrigation officials have discharged water from the Ujani dam, which is situated on the border of Pune and Solapur district. Villages on the bank of Bhima river in Pune and Solapur district have been put on alert.
Call and alert
Helpline number of the disaster management cell of the Pune Municipal Corporation will be open 24x7. In case of an emergency, contact: 020 25501269, 020 25506800, 020 25506801,020 25506802, 020 25506803, 020 25506804, 020 25501133, 02025501130.
Citizens may also contact police control room on 100 and fire brigade on 101.
Downpour and discharge
Water discharged from Khadakwasla dam- 23,000 cusecs
Rainfall received in Pune city- 42 mm (24 hours)
Dams filled to capacity- 14
Number of trains cancelled- 4