Water crisis looms: Pre-summer heat unleashes tanker reign
Even as the water department of Pune municipal corporation has assured that there would be no water cuts, residents living in the western part of the city are facing problems. With the temperature soaring day-by-day, the problems are only mounting.
Residents in Aundh, Baner, Sus, Pashan and Balewadi have no option, but to rely on water tankers for their regular water supply.
Residents of Aundh said that they have never faced such acute water shortage in the last three decades. “For the past one month, DP road and ITI road have been facing severe water problem. We are forced to rely on tankers,” said Shekhar Vighne, resident, Surya Park, Vidya Vilas Colony.
He said that they call the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) almost everyday and when that option is ruled out, they call the private tankers which costs them ₹1,000 for 10,000 litres of water.
Societies in Anand Park and Gulmohar park, in Aundh, are also feeling the heat.
Sachin Bendre, resident of Ashiyana Park, Aundh said that they call for two tankers per week while a PMC tanker is called for once a week for drinking purposes.
“Apart from the cost of ₹600 that we are paying for the PMC tanker, we have to pay ₹ 100 to ₹200 to the driver, as well. We pay ₹800 for every private tanker with 10,000 litres of water.” While societies are battling water scarcity in Aundh, there are societies on Baner Pashan link road which have not been getting water through PMC pipelines due to low pressure.
“Ever since we shifted here, we have been living on water supplied by water tankers. Low pressure of water is a major cause of concern for the residents here. We have complained to the authorities concerned and even to the local corporaters but nothing has changed,” said Rajendra Chuttar, president, Baner Pashan Link Road Welfare Trust.
According to the data shared by the residents. the societies in the western part of the city pay between ₹800 and ₹2,000 depending upon the area and the distance the tanker has to travel.
Felicita society on the Baner Pashan link road is using tanker water. “We need 100 to 140 tankers per month and that number has actually gone up in the past few months. We pay ₹500 to ₹650 per tanker,” said Raman Ramachandran, chairman, Felicita.
Avinash Sharma, a residence of Sanjeevani Sangam Phase II, Sus road said that they have been totally dependent on tankers ever since the handing over of the society. “We have been buying water for the last three years and in all seasons. One tanker of 10,000 litres cost ₹650 and we need 70 tankers per month,” she said.
On the issue, Vijay Kumbhar, RTI Activist, said, “ I have been receiving few complaints regarding poor water supply in Baner, Balewadi and Ambegaon. While the cost of 10,000 litres from a PMC water tanker was ₹300 in 2018, it is ₹600 now. There is a political clout working in the tanker industry.”
VG Kulkarni, chief, water supply department PMC said, “We have adequate water supply but there is an increase in the intake of water by 20 percent because of the temperature. We have even limited the daily supply to 1,350 litres per day to the city and we are sending free tankers only to those areas where there is less water or no water at all.”
Light at the end of tunnel for Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation
Though the residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad are battling water scarcity issues, officials are taking steps to fight the crisis.
In a meeting held with the residents of Wakad recently, PCMC presented facts about water supply. According to data, in 2007, the water requirement in Wakad was 7 to 8 millions of litres per day (MLD), but only 4.5 MLD was supplied. In 2019, when water requirement has gone up to 17 MLD, only 13 MLD is being supplied.
Illegal water tapping in the slums also seen as major reason for the water crisis.
Ramdas Tambe, executive engineer, water supply department, PCMC said, “ We have only 37 % water in Pavana dam. So we have implemented one-day water cut per week. PCMC has seen an increase of 4,596 flats in two years. We have acquired 0.75 acres of land in Pradhikaran to build 25-lakh-litre water tank and a 5 lakh litre pump well. The work on both the projects is going to begin soon. Hence we appeal to residents to bear with us.”