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State irrigation department favours daylong water cuts

Officials state it will help save water for a fortnight if implemented once a week till July 15; citizen forums slam PMC

As the water crisis in the city continue to worsen, citizen forums have now openly accused the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for its high-handedness in tackling the issue and suggesting complete water cut, once a week. Even the State Irrigation Department is in favour of having weekly waters cuts.


Have they run dry? A file photo of Khadakwasla dam. One of the
four dams that supplies water to the city


Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM), one of the several citizen forums that has been criticising the PMC over the water crisis, has demanded the water supply department to meticulously plan distribution of water. "Drinking water is a dire need and there should not be any kind of mistakes in further planning.

It is a shame, but PMC should make a one day water closure in a week," remarked Vivek Velankar, president, SNM. Velankar's opinion was seconded by activists from Save Water Forum in Kothrud. "PMC can save much water, if there is a daylong water cut, once a week. If we start doing it every Thursday, then a total of 14 days of water can be saved by July 15.

This has already been conveyed to the PMC Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. Moreover, we must be judicial about distribution of water for agriculture sector as well," said Avinash Surve, superintendent engineer, state irrigation department.

When contacted, Mahesh Pathak, said, "Total water closure in a week is still not required. Some local newspapers have been publishing misleading news. We make a partial closure every Thursday for maintenance and repair works and this has helped us save 15% water.

However, we shall not hesitate to announce a day's cut, if the situation arises. But that kind of situation is yet to arrive. Coincidently, even the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), gives an industrial break for power supply."

"We are yet to take any such decision regarding implementation of a daylong water cut, once a week. It might be taken on Monday. We shall officially announce the citizens if it is made," said V G Kulkarni, development engineer, water supply department, PMC.

Shivaji Bolbhat, executive engineer, state irrigation department, said, "To make excess water available to Pune city, Lavasa Corporation has also shown readiness to release 0.28 Thousand Million Cubic (TMC) water for the same as per its agreement with Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) to Pune city. It has agreed to provide water that it receives from Dasve water reservoir."

7.62 TMC
Total water available in four dams -- Khadakwasala, Panshet, Warasgaon and Temghar -- till yesterday

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