Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has said the city would get water only on alternate days from Monday, deputy chief minister and Pune district guardian minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday announced that this would apply to the entire district.
At a meeting at the Council Hall on Saturday to take stock of the water scarcity in the district, Pawar said all municipal councils, towns, gram panchayats, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal corporation limits will get water supply on alternate days from Monday. With the state not receiving much rainfall even as it is mid-July, the decision had to be taken, he said.
The meeting was attended by Pune Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh, Pune district Collector Saurabh Rao, Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav and chief executive officer of Pune Zilla Parishad Kantilal Umap.
Pawar said the ‘long gap’ in the monsoon has resulted in dam water levels dipping and tough measures had to be taken. “The water storage in dams across the state have reached critical levels. We are witnessing such low stock in dams in the month of July for the first time. Catchment areas of the dams have recorded hardly any rain compared to last year’s rainfall in the same period. Water is still not flowing into reservoirs. There is no alternative but to impose restrictions by introducing alternate day supply to make the remaining water in the dams last longer,” said Pawar.
He further said that the administration has been asked to prepare contingency plans to tackle the situation and maintain water supply in scarcity areas with the help of tankers. The officials in civic bodies and district administration have been instructed to initiate all required steps to enforce alternate day water supply in the district with immediate effect, he said.
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Pawar told officials to give wide publicity to the decision of alternate day water supply among the citizens by conducting meetings in a couple of days. He also urged citizens to use water cautiously and restrict wastage.
He expressed concern over the situation and said that such a long break in monsoon was “never imagined.’’ He said that there was a need for a collective effort to face the water scarcity.
On Friday, the district collector had addressed the meeting to take a situation of water stock in the district and had instructed the officials to take a review of the number of tankers required in the district as well as sowing activities. He had instructed the officials to ready a detailed report in three days time, Pawar said that no water will be released from the dam for any other purpose, other than meeting the drinking water demand, without permission of the district collector and the divsional commissioner in the division and has instructed district collector to monitor the water stock in the dams every day.