In a reflection of the economic slowdown being witnessed by the sector, industries in Pune district have registered a dip in the usage of water annually supplied to it. Documents accessed by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, shows the industries did not fully utilise their water quota during the financial year 2012-13.
In Pune district, Pavana and Khadakwasla dams supply water for industrial purposes, other than meeting the drinking water requirement. While Pavana dam supplies water to industries in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Khadakwasla meets the requirement for the industrial zones of Shirur, Ranjangaon and other parts of the district.
In the beginning of the year, the industries place their water demand, which helps the irrigation department earmark reserves for industrial usage. The water tax for industrial use is higher than that charged for drinking water.
Records show a total of 31.19 million litres per day (MLD) water was earmarked for industrial usage from the Pavana dam for 2012-13. Of this, only 29.89 MLD was used. From Khadakwasla, however, the entire quota of 35.11 MLD water earmarked for industrial usage was utilised. Irrigation officers said they had earned Rs 68-crore revenue from industrial houses in 2012-13.
This year’s Pavana figures are startling compared to that of the year 2010-11. The industrial quota of both Pavana and Khadakwasla dams was fully utilised that year. Industrial slowdown during 2009-10 too had seen a large amount of earmarked industrial water remaining unutilised. Of the 18.02 MLD water, only 12.38 MLD was used in the Khadakwasla region, while only 17.05 MLD of the 23.8 MLD water earmarked for Pavana region was used.
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According to irrigation officials, they receive more than 150 applications from various industries in the Khadakwasla and Pavana regions on an average. “This year, we have seen a dip of around 10 per cent in the number of applications,” said an official.
Director General of the Mahratta Chambers of Commerce Industries and Agriculture Anant Sardeshpande said the above trend was in tandem with the general slowdown seen in the industrial sectors of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
“The local body tax and turnover in Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal areas too have seen a dip. The above data is also an indication about the drop in production in those areas,” he said.