Good spell of rain brings hope to Pune tired of water cuts

Jun 19, 2012, 09:26 IST | Vivek Sabnis

The catchment areas around Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet and Khadakwasala dams, which supply water to the city, witnessed 60 mm rainfall during the spell on Sunday.

Water levels are expected to rise, as the southwest monsoon gets more active over the next 48 hours. Shivaji Bolbhat, executive engineer, Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC), said that that the initial spell of rain is not enough to increase existing level in dams, but the trend indicates another good spell in the region. 

Holding promise: The Khadakwasla dam, one of the four dams that supply water to the city. The onset of the monsoon brought 60 mm of rainfall in the catchment areas of these dams on Sunday. Pic/Sushant Sonone

Stocks adequate
“60 mm rainfall in one spell is a good beginning. Water levels will rise as the monsoon gets more active. We have adequate water stock of 1.46 TMC, which can be used till July 15 for drinking purposes. There may not be any dearth of water due to the active monsoon,” Bolbhat said.

Officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) heaved a sigh of relief as the monsoon, which normally hits the region by June 7, has become active from June 17. V G Kulkarni, executive engineer, water supply, PMC, said, “Good rainfall around the dams has really made a positive change to the existing scenario of water cuts in the city.

Preparing the ground: Environmentalists oversee excavation work at the Khadakwasala dam catchment area with the JCB provided by the Southern Command

We are expecting more water from these dams. If the situation continues, we may relax the present 20 per cent water cut to 15 per cent after amicably deciding with officials of the irrigation department.”  Kulkarni added that due to the present water cut, the city is getting 1,050 MLD of water as against the normal supply of 1,250 MLD every day. “There may be some relaxation in the present water cut if the rainfall continues and another five per cent relaxation may be possible,” he said.   

Environmentalists do their bit to increase dam’s water capacity
Green Thumb Environmental Group (GTEG), Tree Shakti and Kendriya Vidyalaka removed soil from the vicinity of the Khadakwasala dam to increase water storage capacity. “We have removed over 1,500 trucks of soil during the past month, which will ensure more water is stored in the dam. Southern Command had given us JCB machines and trucks. The soil removed from the dam is being used for tree plantation work in Khadakwasala region. So far, we have planted 1,000 trees in the area,” said Lt Col Suresh Patil (Retd), president, GTEG. 

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