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12% water cut daily in Pune from tomorrow

Pune Municipal Corporation declares once-a-day supply for all 76 wards in the city from Saturday

With no sign of monsoons, and the Indian Metrological Department’s (IMD) forecast that the situation in the city is expected to remain unchanged till the second week of July, PMC Mayor Chanchala Kodre on Thursday declared 12 per cent daily water cuts in the city.

Khadakwasla dam
Nothing to hold back: Normally, at the end of June, the irrigation department partly opens the floodgates of Khadakwasla dam, which supplies water to Pune. But they have no reason to do so this year. Pic/Mohan Patil

The water cut will be implemented from Saturday, and all 76 wards in the city will get water once a day. Till now, 34 wards receive water twice a day. With the announced cuts, the city is expected to save 150 MLD (million litres daily) water per day, by dropping the daily supply from 1,250 MLD to 1,100 MLD.

The decision on water cuts has been finalised in the PMC at an all-party meeting headed by the mayor. “All party leaders have unanimously given their consent over implementing water cuts. Till August 8, the city will receive a one-time water supply daily,” Kodre said.

She added that out of the four dams, only Khadakwasla and Panshet have live storage - 1.93 TMC together - and with this proposed water cut, the current water storage will fulfill the city’s needs till the first week in August.

Besides water cuts, no alternative plan is ready with the corporation to tackle the situation. The mayor said that PMC will undertake awareness drives to spread the message of using water sparingly. “With the help of self help groups, we are going to start awareness campaigns in slum areas. We will also give instructions to civic school principals to hold meetings with parents and spread the word on water conservation. Besides this, we are going to circulate this message on radio and advertise in theaters in the city,” the mayor said.

PMC water supply department chief V G Kulkarni said, “We will come up with a detailed timetable of which areas receive water supply at what time in the day, and according to it the water cut will be implemented from Saturday.”

There’s still hope
Asked if any plans the PMC had made in 2012 to tackle water scarcity during a like situation at June-end would be replicated this year, Kulkarni said, “We didn’t get the chance to implement the plan then, as the city received good rainfall in the following months.”

The irrigation department officials present at the meeting said that compared to past drought-prone years of 2012 and 2009, the current water storage in dams is a little bit more. In 2012, by June-end the available water stock was 1.21 TMC while in 2009 it was only 0.62 TMC.

“We have already catered to the needs of Daund and Indapur talukas in the district and they currently have water storage which will last till July 31,” an irrigation department official said.

PMC to reign in water tankers

Once the proposed water cut gets implemented in the city, the demand for tankers will also go up. However, the PMC has plans to curb the tanker supply by implementing strict restrictions on private tankers. “There are two types of tankers. One belongs to PMC which provides water free of cost. The others are private owners, who paid fees to the corporation and, with the pass given by PMC, supply water to different parts in the city. Such private tankers will face restrictions soon,” Kulkarni said.

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