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How much water can Pune draw from Khadakwasla dam daily?Irrigation dept shuts down two PMC pumps to set off hectic parleys

Water to the Ahmednagar road and Hadapsar areas in particular was cut to a trickle for a few hours on Wednesday night, while some places got no water at all on Thursday. Irrigation department officials requesting anonymity said the pumps were shut because the PMC was drawing more than its allotted share of water.

pune Updated: Oct 12, 2018 15:21 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,State irrigation department,water supply
Nationalist Congress party corporators and workers demonstrated at Pune Municipal Corporation gate against water cut in Pune (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

East Pune faced a severe water cut on Thursday, as the state irrigation department forced the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) to shut-down at least two of its water pumping motors fixed at a jack well near the Khadakwasla dam on Wednesday afternoon.

The irrigation department were accompanied by a detail of city police.

Water to the Ahmednagar road and Hadapsar areas in particular was cut to a trickle for a few hours on Wednesday night, while some places got no water at all on Thursday.

Irrigation department officials requesting anonymity said the pumps were shut because the PMC was drawing more than its allotted share of water.

Vijay Shivthare, minister of state for irrigation, alleged that the PMC is lifting 1,600 to 1,700 MLD (million litre per day), when its daily quota is 1,100 MLD.

“There is need to use water properly,” Shivatare said.

V J Kulkarni, PMC water department head, said that the irrigation department officials, accompanied by police, visited the PMC jack well on Wednesday afternoon and asked PMC officials to put off two motors, out of three.

Minister for irrigation Girish Mahajan, later on Thursday, instructed the irrigation department to streamline Pune’s water supply, but to allow all pumps to run, lifting water from Khadakwasla dam..

Mayor Mukta Tilak said, “I spoke with irrigation minister Mahajan and he immediately instructed the department to allow PMC to lift 1,350 MLD water from the dam. PMC has written a letter to the irrigation department, stating that considering it is festival time, it would anger residents if water supply is affected. PMC will slowly bring down its water consumption upto 1,150 MLD.”

At a recent canal committee meeting, formed after the canal breach, it was decided to cut PMC’s water supply from 1,350 MLD to 1,100 MLD. At the time, Pune’s guardian minister Girish Bapat assured the city that there would be no water cuts in Pune.

Kulkarni said that as the action was taken all-of-a-sudden, that eastern part of the city did not get water on Wednesday evening or on Thursday.

Kulkarni insists: “PMC is lifting 1,350 MLD from Khadakwasla dam. The PMC does not have the capacity to lift 1600 MLD. Irrigation department officials have figures which show that the PMC is lifting not more than 1,350 MLD of water.”

After the Mutha canal breach two weeks ago, the PMC is now lifting most of its water through a closed water pipeline and bringing it to the Parvati water treatment plant. From Parvati, the PMC is releasing water into an open canal that flows to the Cantonment water treatment plant.

NCP’s Chetan Tupe, an opposition leader in the PMC, queried: “It is wrong to use the police force to cut the city’s water supply. If the dams were full, where did the water go?”

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 14:56 IST