The demand for an additional 1.25 TMC of water for the city, which was made by the civic body and major political parties, seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The irrigation department is adamant on not letting any extra drop of water to Puneites, claiming that the city is getting more than sufficient watersupply.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Avinash Surve, chief engineer of the irrigation department, said, “As per the state government’s directive, Pune being a metro city should get 150 litres of water per capita each day. According to that, the city is getting 11.5 TMC water every year. This is more than enough water for the population of 59.48 lakh.” Surve also advised that instead of demanding more water, the PMC should ensure equitable distribution among the people.
However, claiming that the city isn’t getting enough water, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak, said that the civic body is enforcing 10 per cent water cut at this moment. “There can be more water cuts if we get less than 1 TMC of water per month,” he said.
In March this year, Pathak had written a letter to the irrigation department stating that the city is required 18.94 TMC of water, as 23 villages had been included in the city jurisdiction. It’s not only the PMC, which had made the demand for additional water supply. Major political parties too have raised the issue with the irrigation department, but to no avail.
Vikas Mathkari, city president of BJP, said, “Pune city requires a minimum of 1.25 TMC of water per month and 16 TMC yearly. We’ll meet Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and bring the issue to his notice.”
Likewise Ajay Shinde, MNS city vice-president, said, “Considering the growing population, the demand of 15 TMC of water is justified. We’ll personally meet Surve and try to sort out the issue.”
While replying on municipal commissioner’s demand of 18.94 TMC of water per year on grounds that 23 villages were included in the city limits, Surve said, “The reason is not at all justified, an we conveyed it to the government that we’ll be unable to provide the asked amount of water.”
‘Wrong to claim more water before 2021’
According to Avinash Surve, 11.5 TMC of water is provided to the city from Khadakwasala dam, while Warje gets 0.1 TMC from Khadakwasala dam. Wagholi, on Ahmadnagar Road, gets 0.35 TMC from Pawana dam. Showing a government notification (issued on June 7), Surve said, “The 11.5 TMC of water that the city gets per year is not earmarked for the present population, but for the one projected in 2021. It is absolutely wrong to claim more than that quantum of water in today’s date.”