Spectre of water shortage in Pune

Pune: With the district reeling under a heatwave, rural areas of Pune have begun to feel the pinch of water shortage. At present, nine tankers are supplying in around four-five villages.

While the city is not in the grip of a crisis, it has already consumed 11.79 TMCft (thousand million cubic feet), far more than its allotted quota. As the temperatures hover around 41 degrees Celsius, surging evaporation levels pose a threat. The storage capacity of the four water bodies — Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar dams — is 29 TMCft. However, Temghar dam, which is undergoing repair work owing to massive leakage, has been emptied.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has assured citizens that no cuts are in the offing.

The irrigation department, meanwhile, has blamed the PMC for having failed to learn from the past crises. “The city has already consumed 11.79 TMCft and given its consumption pattern, it is set to consume more than 4.5 TMCft water in the next three months, taking the total consumption to around 16.30 TMCft. It is way higher than its allocated quota of 11.50 TMCft till the monsoon,” said an irrigation department official, requesting anonymity.

Activists have expressed concern over the PMC’s lack of contingency planning. “Water diversion to cities has severely affected farmers’ irrigation needs. The PMC is supposed to make provisions to recycle 80% of the water it receives from the four dams, which belongs to the farmers in the first place,” said RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar.

The four dams also cater to the irrigation needs of surrounding areas like Velhe, Haveli, Daund, Indapur, Baramati, and Purandar.

Mr. Kumbhar said since its inception in 1950, the civic body has failed to implement a single project that would make Pune self-sufficient in its water requirements.

The PMC, on its part, said it has taken steps to convince citizens to conserve water, and is confident of tackling any crisis.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 4:22:55 AM |

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