Water in four Pune dams dips to alarming levels
Cumulative stock in Khadakwasla, Panshet, Temghar and Varasgaon — is 3.37 TMC, according to water resource departmentUpdated: Jun 06, 2019, 14:48 IST
Combined water levels of all the four dams in the city — Khadakwasla, Panshet, Temghar and Varasgaon — is 3.37 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) as on Wednesday, according to the water resource department. The fall in the dam water storage levels has worried officials as the cumulative stock of the four dams with a total capacity of 29 TMC stood at its lowest.
Last year during the same period, the water level in the four dams was 4.60 TMC, according to the department.
Sanjeev D Chopade, superintending engineer, Pune irrigation circle, said, “Rainfall deficiency during last monsoon and increasing temperature (quickening the rate of evaporation) in summer were responsible for decreasing the water stocks in the dams.”
“However, we are confident that the available water will be sufficient till July 15, so there is no need to worry,” said, Chopade.
The stock in Panshet dam is down to 16 per cent while Khadakwasla has 40 per cent of its total capacity left.
Also, the irrigation department will release 0.58 TMC of water (from existing water stock) from Khadakwasla dam during the Wari procession by the end of June.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that southwest monsoon will arrive in Maharashtra between June 17 and 21 and at the tip of southern parts of the state, it will arrive by June 12-15.
Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD, said, “Monsoon will arrive in Maharashtra between June 17 and 21. Initially, in June and July, we are expecting less rainfall, but from August onwards we are expecting good rainfall.”
7.53% live water left in dams in Pune division
Only 7.53% live water is left in dams in Pune division, according to the state water resource department, at a time when the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that monsoon is unlikely to hit the state before June 17.
According to the state water resource department, as many as 35 major and medium dams in the state have gone dry with total water stock in at least 1,000 dams across Maharashtra touching 7.6 %, which is the lowest in a decade.
Drought in 20,000 villages across Maharashtra is getting worse by the day as dams are drying up and more people are forced to depend on tankers for drinking water.
According to the state water resource department, there are at least 15 major and medium dams in Maharashtra with live water stock below five per cent.
Marathwada is one of the worst affected regions in the state. Out of the major nine dams in the region, eight are totally dry and on June 4 only 0.69 % live water is left in dams. In the same period last year, the state’s dams had 17.89% live water, while Marathwada region had 14.15% live water.
Marathwada is followed by Nagpur and Nashik region, where only 6.2% live water is left in dams.
Vijaykumar Phad, deputy commissioner (revenue), divisional commissionerate, Aurangabad, said, “We have ordered officials to tap new water resources at the district collectorate level. Along with that, we have also asked to take custody of civic water resources.
To address the drought-like situation, divisional commissionerate has pressed into service 3,359 water tankers for 2,374 villages and 803 hamlets.
As against 1,721 water tankers deployed for the supply of drinking water on June 4, 2018, in 1,705 drought-affected villages across the state, the number presently is 6,443 water tankers across 5,127 villages in Maharashtra. Of these 6,443 water tankers, 3,359 are operational in Marathwada and 1,424 in Nashik division.
The worst-affected districts include Aurangabad, Beed, Osmanabad, Hingoli and Parbhani.
Sharad and Ajit Pawar undertakes tour of drought ridden areas of Baramati
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar have undertaken a tour of drought-ridden areas in Baramati. On Wednesday, the two Pawars visited cattle camps at Khairepadal village.
Sharad Pawar’s daughter, Supriya Sule, is now the four-time sitting member of Parliament from Baramati.
The NCP chief said, “Everyone needs to behave responsibly when the state is reeling under drought”. Pawar was reacting to water resource minister Girish Mahajan’s statement that his department is likely to stop additional water supply to Baramati from the Nira river.
“One has to understand where and when to indulge in politics. Everyone also needs to ensure there is no acrimony between villages and towns,” said Pawar.
Mahajan’s remarks about water supply cut to Baramati triggered sharp reactions from NCP-Congress politicians.
Later, Sharad Pawar also said he will soon meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss drought measures in various parts of Maharashtra.