AT A time when several parts of the state — such as Marathwada, Vidarbha and western Maharashtra — are reeling under severe water crisis, the Maharashtra government has sent a letter asking all urban local bodies to stop supplying water to swimming pools and prohibit the lavish ritual of rain dance parties this Holi.
Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said the state government has written to all municipal corporations stating that swimming pools should not be supplied with water considering the severe water crisis, and that water tankers should not be provided for revelers and rain dance organisers during Holi.
State government officials said that halting water supply for swimming pools is not a compulsory order, and that the final decision will rest with municipal corporations.
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The municipal corporations of Thane and Pune have already implemented this in some form.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has banned swimming pools and washing centres from operating with water from the corporation’s system, and the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has decided to stop supply to the two corporation-operated swimming pools.
Shiv Sena’s Naresh Mhaske, the standing committee chairman of the TMC, said, “There is an average 30-40 per cent water cut prevalent in all areas that fall under the jurisdiction of TMC. The corporation hasn’t restricted the water supply cut on swimming pools to only public pools, as private pools anyway pay for their own water and most have sophisticated filtration systems that make it possible to re-use water. It is only the two public pools that require fresh water supply.”
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) too has imposed a 15 per cent cut in water supply.
Maharashtra is facing one of its worst water crisis with the Marathwada region being the most severely affected.
Water storage in Marathwada resorvoirs is just about five per cent, as against 20 per cent in early March last year, also a drought year.
The situation is the gravest in Beed and Osmanabad districts, and in Latur city. Groundwater levels across the state have depleted by another one metre, as per a recent state government report.