After an embarrassing order by Bombay High Court (HC) to replenish the Ujjani dam within 24 hours,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan asked officials Wednesday to expedite the process of water release to the reservoir.
Accordingly, the irrigation department released water from the Bhama Askhed and Andhra dams in Pune district late Wednesday night. Around 4 TMC of water released from the dams is expected to reach Ujjani,200 km away,Saturday.
The decision came after the ministry of water resources headed by Sunil Tatkare and CMO held discussions with legal experts on issues that need to reflect in an affidavit to be filed in HC Monday.
A senior officer in CMO said,We have already given consent to release water to the dam. The government cannot take any other stand when it comes to releasing water to the low-lying dam.
The HC order of Tuesday has come at a time when farmer Prabhakar Deshmukh is fasting at Azad Maidan in Mumbai for the last 55 days demanding release of water to the dam.
He is the same farmer who was rediculed by deputy CM Ajit Pawar at a function in Indapur Saturday.
What can I do if there is no water in the dam? Should I urinate? Pawar said.
Cabinet ministers representing NCP admitted,The court order is not good for our image.
A senior officer in the water resources department said,It is going to be difficult to provide sustained water to the dam. In the absence of rain,it will be very expensive to ensure sustained water supply.
In the peak of summer,local leaders also fear water-sharing fights between districts.
The HC order came on a petition by Mohol Taluka Bahu Uddeshiya Shetkari and Shankarrao Sathe alleging unequal distribution of water. The water level in the dam that caters to the drought-affected Solapur district was minus 30,the petitioners claimed.