After reviewing the status of the water crisis, PMC has decided to increase water supply to the city to once each day
Consistent rainfall through the week and increasing political pressure on the administration have compelled Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to roll back its alternate-day water cuts. After a review of current rainfall and water levels on Thursday, local authorities decided to increase the water supply to once each day from today onwards.
The floodgates open: Khadakwasla dam has reached 86.3 per cent of its capacity, enabling the decision to reinstate daily water supply. File pic
“All four dams (Khadakwasla, Varasgaon, Temghar and Panshet) have received good rainfall in their catchment areas, and the collective storage of the dams has gone up to 9.68 TMC (thousand million cubic feet). While the maximum storage capacity of Khadakwasla is 1.97 TMC, the current storage level has reached 1.70 TMC. Hence, in a joint meeting with all the party leaders in PMC, the decision was taken to restart daily water supply,” said Vikas Deshmukh, PMC commissioner.
The city has been reeling under a severe water crisis ever since a 12 per cent water cut was introduced by the PMC on June 28. The whole month of June had passed by without significant rainfall, and the storage level across dams had dipped to 2 TMC. Last year in June, heavy rainfall had pushed the collective storage level to 14 TMC. However, when the first half of July also didn’t receive adequate rainfall, PMC increased the water cut to 35 per cent.
During a general body meeting at PMC on Tuesday, Deshmukh was firm on continuing the current water cut restricting water supply in all 76 wards in the city to alternate days. However, after corporators across all parties raised objections, he clarified that restarting daily water supply would only be possible when the collective storage of the four dams reached 10 TMC. Deshmukh had then assured the corporators that the situation would be reviewed again in a couple of days.
After Thursday’s meeting, Deshmukh said, “If the current rate of rainfall continues, Khadakwasla dam will soon overflow. In such circumstances, we would have no option but to release the water in rivers and canals. Rather than that, we have decided to partially reinstate water supply to the city to end the ongoing scarcity.”
“The city had been receiving 800 MLD (million litres per day) water on alternate days so far, which will increase to 1,150 MLD from Friday,” said V G Kulkarni, head of PMC’s water supply department. There are, however, several riders to the revised water supply.
Despite the rising water levels and the change to daily supply, swimming pools, washing centres and construction works in the city will remain closed. The decision for daily supply itself may well be reversible, warn authorities. Mayor Chanchala Kodre said, “Whether the daily water supply continues or not is totally dependent on the rainfall received over the coming days. After 10 days, another review will assess the situation.”
The percentage of maximum storage that Khadakwasla dam has reached