Ruling out immediate relief from the water cut, Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh on Monday said the civic administration would try to improve the supply as elected representatives in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) threatened to launch agitation against the civic administration’s failure to ensure equitable distribution of water across the city.
Corporators from both ruling and opposition political parties took on the civic administration over improper water supply in the city.
Responding to the three-hour marathon discussion on water supply issue, Deshmukh said water situation is very severe and it is a big task for the civic administration to meet water needs of the citizens.
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“It is not possible to cancel water cut in the present situation but the civic administration would explore the possibility to follow the suggestion of providing less water to citizens every day. The civic administration should be given some time to improve the water supply,” he said adding that there is a chance that areas at the end of the network will not get sufficient water if less amount is pushed in the network.
In normal circumstances, the PMC was supplying total of 1,250 MLD water two times every day which was later cut down to 1,125 MLD for supply once in a day. At present, the PMC is using 840 MLD water every day and supplying water only once in two days.
The municipal commissioner said water supply would depend on the rainfall in next few months as the IMD has predicted an average 15 per cent deficit this year. “This means that there is going to be rainfall in next few days that will increase the water level in dams supplying water to city. The irrigation department has also indicated that there would be good rainfall between July 25 and August 5,” he said adding that water supply would be reviewed when water level in the dam reaches atleast 10 TMC.
PMC Superintendent Engineer V G Kulkarni said the PMC has also recharged the borewells that were non-functional so that citizens can used ground water to meet the shortage. “There are 688 bore-wells of PMC but 604 are functional. The PMC might use 4,950 private bore-wells that are existing in the city,” he added.
The PMC has also put a check on the water tankers to avoid any commercial use by the suppliers, Kulkarni said adding that action is being taken against those misusing water. Leader of opposition and Congress leader in PMC Arvind Shinde said the civic administration should improve the supply within four days or will have to face the heat of corporators. “We are aware of the water shortage situation and not against water cut. However, the citizens should get equitable water supply as some parts of city is getting more supply than others. We won’t mind less supply but it should be everyday,” he said threatening to launch an agitation if the situation does not improve. BJP leader Ganesh Bidkar and Shiv Sena leader Ashok Harnaval said they were aware of the serious water situation but it did not mean that the civic administration should keep the citizens suffer for poor water management by the administration. “The PMC administration should resolve water shortage issue by using of water tankers,” they said.