PMC refuses to restart daily water supply

Citing acute water shortage in the city, Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh refused to give in to the clamour from corporators asking for the civic body to go back to the daily water supply schedule

Refusing to bow to pressure from loud legislators demanding an increase in water supply, the Pune Municipal Corporation stood its ground and said it would not revert to the daily water supply system till lake levels were at healthy levels. at the PMC’s all-party corporators’ meet, legislators demanded that the civic body restart the daily water supply – all 76 wards in the city have shifted to water supply on alternate days for two hours since last Monday.

PMC’s general body meeting
Corporators at the PMC’s general body meeting yesterday demanded daily water supply.

Each corporator restricted himself to his own ward, rather than trying to collectively arrive at a solution, and called for an increase in water supply in his own ward. PMC’s leader of opposition Arvind Shinde brought up the issue in yesterday’s general body meeting by highlighting how his ward, and in general, peth areas are not receiving adequate water supply. BJP corporator Ganesh Bidkar, who represents Kasba Peth, also echoed Shinde’s sentiments.

“Rather than continuing with alternate days’ water supply, the corporation should ensure regular water supply once a day. If the city is currently receiving total 800 MLD (million litres per day) water on alternate days, the PMC can give half of this quantity on a daily basis,” Bidkar said.

Corporators across party lines — Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS — were firm on their demand for daily water supply and refused to listen to clarifications from PMC’s water supply department chief V G Kulkarni.

Deshmukh had to step in to make them aware about the gravity of the situation. He said, “Till 5 pm today, the total water stored in all the four dams has reached to 6 TMC (thousand million cubic feet), which is only 20.57% of total capacity. Last year, on the same day, the stored water was 19.40 TMC – which was 66 % of capacity.”

“So, the city is already facing a deficit of 13.5 TMC. Even though Mumbai is receiving good rainfall, it is facing 20% water cut. Same is the case with the adjacent Pimpri Chinchwad. So, to restart daily water supply, we have to wait for some time,” Deshmukh stated. When asked when that would happen, Deshmukh said it was possible only when water stored crossed the 10 TMC mark.

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