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Pune fails to make the ‘cut’, no water days ahead

Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) water department will propose immediate water cuts or alternate day supply in the city considering low Khadakwasla reservoir water levels

pune Updated: May 01, 2019 09:14 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune Municipal Corporation,PMC,Pune
PMC officials said that the Khadakwasla reservoir has only 6.29 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water as of April 30.(HT Photo)

Water department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will propose immediate water cuts for the city to municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao, as water levels at the Khadakwasla reservoir, which provides water to the city, have reduced drastically.

The water department has put forth two options in its proposal - release only 1,100 million litres per day (MLD) of water for the city or provide water supply on alternate days.

Senior officers from the PMC said that the meeting to discuss water cuts was scheduled for Tuesday, but Rao postponed the meeting to May 2 (Thursday).

PMC officials said that the Khadakwasla reservoir has only 6.29 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water as of April 30.

Water is also supplied from the reservoir to rural areas for drinking purposes and it is expected that 1 TMC of water will be supplied to rural areas in the next two to three days, the officials added. Of the remaining 5.29 TMC of water, 0.5 TMC will vaporise and 0.5 TMC is reserved for the Wari pilgrimage, scheduled to begin in June.

The PMC and the irrigation department, now, need to plan how to use the remaining 4.29 TMC till July 15 (forecast of onset of rains, including delay).

Also, it is not possible to utilise hundred per cent water from the reservoir, said officials and hence, the civic administration has a tricky path to tread on.

There are chances of an increase in water supply demand from rural areas in May and hence, the proposal to implement water cuts has been put forth by the PMC, said officials.

Sources from political circles and civic administration, aware of the water level situation, said that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not want to introduce water cuts without informing the residents. The ruling party was afraid that opposition parties would make water cuts an election issue, said officials.

Administrative sources have accepted that even though the ruling BJP and guardian minister Girish Bapat were informed about the situation of depleting water levels, the political leadership did not introduce water cuts due to the Lok Sabha elections.

On being asked if the decision to reduce water quota for resident was not taken due to the polls, Pune mayor Mukta Tilak, said, “Don’t link water cuts with the Lok Sabha elections. Very soon, we will take a call on water cuts.”

First Published: May 01, 2019 01:48 IST