Enough stock in dams, no fresh water cuts likely in city

Several parts of the state, which is grappling with the worst drought in decades, are facing acute water scarcity but Pune city is sitting comfortable with enough water in its dams to last until monsoon, if it's not delayed.

With summer already setting in, the city is yet to face any water crisis, and the irrigation department has not issued any directive for water cuts over an above the existing 10%.

The four dams that supply water to the city, Khadakwasla, Temghar, Varasgaon and Panshet, have 13.56 TMC, about 46% storage as against 12.34 TMC at this time of last year (42%).

"In the present situation we are comfortable and have not instructed PMC to introduce any water cut,'' said BB Lohar, executive engineer of Khadakwasla irrigation division.

Deputy Chief Minister and Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar had asked all concerned to exercise caution while using water in the city and take measures to meet the water needs in rural areas of the district, but there has been no announcement of a fresh water cut. Irrigation officials maintain Khadakwasla division had sufficient water to last until July 15.

The final call will be taken at a review meeting, at the end of the month of the beginning of next month. Officials stated that as of now there would be no further cuts.

PMC Commissioner Mahesh Pathak said they have no directions regarding water cut so far. "We are continuing with the existing water cut in the city as there has been no directions from the irrigation department,'' said Pathak.

Irrigation officials maintain that 1.25 TMC is consumed every month and this has been about the same in the last few months and there should be water to last until July 15. "We have not given any fresh instructions for water cuts as the yearly usage allotted to them (PMC) is 11.5 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) and they should be able to manage with it and not exceed it,'' added the official.

On the existing 10% water cut, the civic body said it would continue it because the PMC had already used 3.75 TMC of the 11.5 TMC allotted to it, and that the irrigation department had itself asked it to deduct the 3.75 TMC from the overall quota used since June.

"In the present scenario, we would have to continue the existing water cut, unless more water is provided for supply," said Pathak.

With the city lifting about 1,050 MLD every day, the daily consumption is around 1.25 TMC. The Khadakwasla canal committee, which met recently, had instructed the civic body to prepare a revised plan on improving water supply and asked it to lift less water. At present, the annual quota of 11.5 TMC water is approved for the city but the PMC actually lifts about 14.5 to 15 TMC.

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