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Pavana rising: PCMC restores once a day water plan, PMC still undecided

PCMC decided to provide water every alternate day making life difficult for the citizens.

 A fisherman throws his net in a roaring Indrayani river at Alandi. (Source: IE photo by Sandeep Daundkar) A fisherman throws his net in a roaring Indrayani river at Alandi. (Source: IE photo by Sandeep Daundkar)

Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation led by Vikas Deshmukh remains undecided on bringing relief to the citizens from water cut, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation announced that it was scrapping the alternate day water supply plan and restoring once a day water plan. The plan will come into effect from Thursday. Interestingly, the PCMC has directed the irrigation department officials not to release water from the Pavana dam for some more days till it rises to satisfactory level.

The announcement — hailed by water-starved citizens of the industrial town — was made today by Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav who has been personally monitoring the water situation since the rain stayed away for over a month and half. “Pimpri-Chinchwad will get once a day water from tomorrow. We are doing away with the alternate day water plan,” said Jadhav.

The PCMC chief said Pavana dam — which supplies water to Pimpri-Chinchwad — at present has total storage of 35 per cent of its capacity. “If the dam has 40 per cent water storage, we can provide alternate day water throughout the year. If the dam fills up to 65 per cent, we can provide water every day. Since it is raining constantly, we expect the storage level to go up further in the coming days. In view of this, we are with immediate effect from tomorrow restoring the once a day water plan so that further inconvenience to citizens can be avoided ,” he said.

Interestingly, in an unusual move, the PCMC has asked the irrigation officials not to release water from Pavana even for the sake of Pimpri-Chinchwad. “Every day the PCMC  lifts 350 MLD water from the Pavana dam which means the officials have to release this much water every day. However, PCMC has asked the irrigation officials not to release the water till the dam is filled up to its maximum level,” the PCMC chief said.

Jadhav said since water from Pavana dam will not be released, they will used the water currently available in Ravet weir. “Since it is raining constantly in Pimpri-Chinchwad, there is lot of water in Pavana river and Ravet weir. We will supply this water to the town,” he said.

He has also asked the irrigation officials to generate electricity at Pavana dam only for maintenance purpose. “Since electricity generation requires lot of water, we have urged them to generate electricity only for their maintenance to help filling up the Pavana,” he said.

On July 1, the PCMC had taken the decision to provide once a day water instead of twice a day. The decision was taken as the water level in the Pavana had sunk to 16.14 per cent of its total capacity. Further, on July 17 with the dam level sinking to around 13 per cent of its total capacity, PCMC decided to provide water every alternate day making life difficult for the citizens, especially those living in high rise buildings and chawls.

The latest move, the PCMC chief, said will however be reviewed 15 days later. “If the rain suddenly stops, we will have to review the plan. We might introduce the alternate day water plan again.

However, the latest move is being described as a quick thinking by the Jadhav administration. Citizens had to resort to borewell water as drinking water was not available, especially those who living on the third floor and above. “In many chawls, practically all the utensils were being used to store water top be used for the next two days,” said S Rithe, a resident of Bhosari.

“People are sustaining on borewell water for washing and bathing purpose though many are wary of using borewell water because they fear it may cause skin disease. Still they have no option but to use it,” said Deepak Vichare, a resident of Masulkar colony.

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