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Pune’s water quota stays intact, says water resources minister

Water resources minister Girish Mahajan, during a meeting with Pune civic representative in Mumbai on Friday, revoked the decision and instructed officials to not make any change

pune Updated: Nov 18, 2017 15:21 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
water quota,pune,pmc
The water regulatory authority’s order to cut water quota for Pune was met with surprise when the region has received excess rainfall and the four dams (Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar) that provide water to the city are full.(HT File Photo)

Within a week after the irrigation department ordered to slash Pune’s water quota, water resources minister Girish Mahajan during a meeting with Pune civic representative in Mumbai on Friday revoked the decision and instructed officials to not make any change. In the November 10 order, the primary dispute resolution officer of the water regulatory authority had restricted the city’s water supply quota from 11.5 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) to 8.19 TMC.

Mahajan took the decision despite opposition from irrigation department officials and a few MLAs from Pune district who demanded reduced quota for Pune city. The minister also asked the officials to arrange for another meeting with district guardian minister Girish Bapat to decide on the additional water requirement for Pune district.

The meeting with water resources minister was considered crucial as generally the meeting on water quota used to be called by guardian minister at the district level. The water regulatory authority’s order to cut water quota for Pune was met with surprise when the region has received excess rainfall and the four dams (Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar) that provide water to the city are full.

During the meeting, elected representatives from Pune district, including Rahul Kul, Baburao Pacharne and others had criticised Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for using additional water from the Khadakwasla reservoir. Even the officers from irrigation department targeted the PMC in the meeting and said that the civic administration was not releasing treated water into the canal and not taking any effective step towards water conservation.

PMC officials at the meeting admitted its limitation to manage water supply if the quota is slashed and apprised them about the 24x7 water scheme in the city that will help save water.

Vitthal Jarad, a farmer from Undwadi village of Baramati Taluka, had filed a complaint with the irrigation department and demanded water quota to Pune city as per the population ratio. While hearing the farmer’s complaint, chief engineer TN Munde, who is the primary dispute resolution officer of water regulatory authority, ordered to cut the Pune city’s water supply.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 15:19 IST