Days after the Bombay High Court asked the state government to reconsider releasing water for the third ‘shahi snan (holy dip)’ on September, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said Wednesday the water released from Gangapur dam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela had not exceeded even the 500 million cubic mark.
“I don’t know from where this statistics of 2 TMC (thousand million cubic) and 3 TMC have emerged,” said Mahajan, who is overseeing the Kumbh preparations.
He added, “At the beginning of the Kumbh Mela, we had planned to release less than 1 TMC water for the shahi snans. So far, we have managed to maintain the parameters drawn by the cabinet. We are sensitive to the drought situation in the state. We have also ensured that the religious sentiments of the people are not hurt and traditional rituals are not affected.”
Mahajan said there was no question of excess water usage. “Till now, we have used only 500 million cubic water at the end of two shahi snans.”
He also dismissed the argument that dam water used for shani snan was causing shortage of drinking water in the
“Ahead of the September 18 shahi snan, the state government will require adequate water, which is already sourced. We will not require more than half a TMC to complete the ritual,” said Mahajan.
Responding to a public interest litigation, the HC has urged the state government to restrict the use of water drawn from the dam in Nashik district. Mahajan said the government had made submissions to the court stating facts and figures.