Kharadi residents join hands to save their stream

Residents of Kharadi might face a water crisis if rainfall this year is sparse, as the fresh water stream that passes through Survey No. 53 via the air force station at Survey Nos. 54, 58, 42 and 41 and merges with the Mutha river has completely dried up because of haphazard concretisation and chanelisation work by the civic body.

Similar haphazard work led to the diminishing of several water sources, including Ram Nadi, Mula Mutha, Dev Nadi, Dhanori and Pashan lake.

Water table down
Residents claim the stream at Kharadi, which is their fresh water source, has been blocked since the past two to three months for reasons unknown to them.

“This steam replenishes the groundwater table of a major part of Kharadi, but water is not filling in the area as the resource is drying up and the natural aquifer is being destroyed by concretisation. We’ll soon be left with no groundwater if there is scanty rainfall in the catchments areas,” said Kharadi resident Arvind Kaushal.

Where’s the water? The nearly dry stream in Kharadi; (right) concretisation of the stream between Survey No 53 and the Mula-Mutha river

Some residents have shot off urgent letters to the PMC’s engineering department and claim that the civic body has considered conducting an environment impact survey with the assistance of a reputed agency before embarking on such a mission.

“There is no water left in bore wells in Kharadi area as the natural method of replenishing the groundwater table is damaged. Earlier, there were a large number of bore wells, which had clean water. The bore wells are now becoming unusable due to the low discharge of water as a result of such activities,” said Deepa Jose, environmental activist and resident of Kharadi.

A survey of the entire length of the stream revealed that greenery has been depleted wherever the stream had been channelised. Sections of the stream that are untouched by the civic body still have a considerable amount of greenery and water.

“Everybody across the country is talking about recharging groundwater and rain harvesting systems, but we are destroying the natural way of recharging groundwater,” Kaushal said.

Restoration plea
Residents and environmentalists have asked the PMC to carry out a survey to identify the fresh water stream and restore it to its original condition in a time-bound manner so that its natural aquifer process of recharging groundwater is well maintained.

“Builders could be demanding for concretisation of the stream, but it is the duty of the PMC to protect the environment and water bodies and ensure they don’t become nullahs,” another resident said.

Vivek Kharwadkar, additional city engineer of PMC expressed surprise when informed about the matter.

“I am not aware of this, but if residents approach us with a complaint we’ll see to it that the water aquifer is restored and remains unaffected especially during monsoon,” Kharwadker said.  

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