Water shortage back to haunt citizens,brace for cut soon

In February last year,the amount of water in the dams was 15.13 TMC.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune | Published: February 27, 2012 2:01 am

Levels in four dams down,BJP leader blames NCP for catering to ‘sugar belt’

With only 11.2 thousand million cubic metre (TMC) of water available in the four major dams that supply water to the city,Puneites are most likely to face a cut from next month. The current quantity of water in these dams is 25 per cent less than what it was in the same period in 2011. In February last year,the amount of water in the dams was 15.13 TMC.

Officials from the irrigation department and the PMC’s water supply department said in the wake of a water shortage,they would soon announce their decision on a cut. “Next week,we will meet the irrigation department officials to decide on water cut. Of the total water available in dams,we will have to work out how much would be supplied for agriculture and how much would be made availabe to the city. Once this is fixed,the water cut schedule will be declared,” said V G Kulkarni,development engineer,water works.

The daily water requirement of the city is 0.04 TMC and 1.25 TMC per month. At present,the Khadakwasla dam 45.72 per cent water of its total capacity,Panshet dam is 55.6 per cent of its capacity,Varasgaon dam 37.9 per cent,while Temghar dam has only 3.43 per cent.

Meanwhile,Opposition leaders have blamed the PMC administration and irrirgation officials for faulty planning and execution. BJP city chief Vikas Mathkari said,“The capacity of these dams has gone down to worrisome levels due to litter and silting. Despite repeated requests,the irrigation department has failed to carry out desilting. Also,there is considerable leakage through canals that supply water for agriculture. In the last few years,despite good rainfall,we still face water shortage.”

Mathkari alleged that the some NCP bigwigs have forced the department to violate the water prioratization to ensure that the ‘sugar fields’ in their area of influence do not dry up. “First priority is drinking water,then agriculture and lastly industries. But the sugar belt gets water even when there is a shortage,” he said.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said the water storage and filtering systems in the city are outdated and need immediate revamp. She emphasised the need to increase the storage capacity of the dams. “The city’s population is fast increasing but the ruling parties have failed to provide adequate infrastructure to meet the growing demand for water,” said Gorhe,adding that though the government claims to have destroyed the water tanker mafia,it is still active and will benefit from the shortage.

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