Despite the fact that the four dams supplying water to the region together have a mere 1.22 TMC of water, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak is confident that there will be no need to impose any further water cuts until after the second week of July. “We have adequate water stock and can cater to the needs of the city till July 15. Rainfall has begun over the catchment areas of Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet and Khadakwasala dams and we will even use the dead stock of water in these dams,” Pathak said. Shivaji Bolbhat, executive engineer, irrigation department, refused to comment on the availability of dead stock in the dams. “We have never made any account of the dead stock,” Bolbhat said.
Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh stated the region was facing a drought-like situation, prompting Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to call an emergency meeting today to decide the further line of action about water supply to the city and district. Reiterating his stand on not imposing further water cuts, Pathak said, “The PMC is already using water judicially. Water to all gardens owned by the civic body is coming from ground and bore wells. Even PMC vehicle depots and public toilets get ground water.”
He said the rainfall received on the last two Sundays had recharged ground water levels and more rain would help replenish dam water levels. Staking claim to 95 per cent pre-monsoon works completed, Pathak said, “Drainage and storm water lines are clean. Leakages have been spotted at many places and been replaced by new water control valves. Also, cement lines where maximum leakage has been seen, have also been changed.” Deshmukh said Haveli, Purandar, Baramati and Indapur talukas are worst affected by water scarcity. “The rainfall in the four dams near the city isn’t adequate to increase water levels. Currently, 892 tankers are being used to cater to drought-prone areas in the region,” Deshmukh said.
He said a drought-like situation was being seen in all 22 talukas and tankers were catering to a population of 16.32 lakh residing in 713 villages and 4,526 vasties in the region. He said a contingency disaster plan had also been prepared for farmers, as there was less rainfall this month. Deshmukh said the Centre has granted Rs 1,100 crore under the Integrated Water Supply scheme for rural areas for the next five years.
2012 vs 2011
The year-by-year comparison of total available water in the four dams
>> June 25, 2012: 1.22 TMC
>> June 25, 2011: 4.18 TMC