Pune’s Guardian Minister Girish Bapat said Friday the decision on water supply cut was not taken so far in the hope that there would be good rainfall and water level would increase in dams. “The decision on cutting water supply is timely. We thought of giving more time before taking a decision, hoping there would be rainfall, which it didn’t happen,” Bapat said.
Last month, the PMC administration was prepared to introduce water supply cuts, but the canal committee chaired by the guardian minister deferred the decision.
When pointed out that a 30 per cent supply cut could have been avoided if it was implemented in advance, Bapat said, “I am not fond of delaying decisions. We had to consider agriculture needs in rural areas that get water from canal. So we waited for the last allotment for agriculture to get over or there would have been adverse impact on crops.”
He said many villages were dependent on canals for drinking water, so there was need to ensure they got sufficient water. “Now, there would be no release of water from canal. The water would only be used for drinking purposes,” Bapat said.
Meanwhile, the irrigation department has clarified that it could make only 9.9 TMC water available for PMC for drinking purposes from the available storage in dams supplying water to city. “The irrigation department has been claiming that the PMC was lifting 14.5 TMC water every year from dam. Thus, they have informed us that this year less water will be given to PMC,” said Mayor Dattatraya Dhankawade.
NCP leader Shankar Kemse said the irrigation department’s claim on the quantum of water used by PMC was wrong as it included 35 per cent water loss due to leakages.
Collector Saurabh Rao said the government had not declared scarcity so far as the monsoon was yet to get over.
“If PMC passes a resolution urging collector to initiate action as per section 144 of registering offence against those found involved in illegally drawing water, we can consider it,” he said.