WITH ONLY 43 TMC of water in Pune district dams as against 67 TMC in Ujani dam, Pune district collector has asked the water secretary to reconsider the directive of the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) to release 10 TMC of water from Pune dams into Ujani, in Solapur district.
As per the directive, the water is to be released from Mulshi, Bhama Askhed, Chaskaman and Andra dams
“The water situation of the Pune dams is grim and in this state, releasing water to Ujani will only reduce the stock further. Moreover, the water stock in Pune dams is lesser than Ujani, while the requirement for Pune is higher than that of Solapur,”said Pune District Collector Saurabh Rao in his letter to the water secretary.
He has further requested that if at all, the water is to be released, it should be done after the festive season.
After Diwali, a meeting should be convened between the irrigation department and the guardian minister to discuss the severity of the issue, he said.
The move of releasing water to Ujani was opposed by the farmers as well the local leaders as they said that the water will be released for irrigation, while in Pune district, there is heavy shortage even for consumption. MLAs Baburao Pachare and Suresh Gore had taken up the issue and had even stated that they are filing a petition in the High Court to contend the matter.
The decision regarding the water release was given by the MWRRA in the last week of October. Irrigation officials had justified that the MWRRA had done as per the equitable distribution of water but local leaders had opposed the move, saying that the requirement in Solapur was only 1.5 TMC.
The directive of MWRRA was a consequence of a petition filed by MLA Bharat Bhalke from the district asking for provision of enough water to Ujani to meet the water requirements in the district. The directive ordered Bhama Askhed to release 4 TMC, Chaskaman to release 3 TMC, Andra 2 TMC and Mulshi 1 TMC.
The present stock is 16 TMC for Mulshi, 6.6 TMC for Chaskaman, 6.6 TMC for Bhama Askhed and 2.82 TMC for Andra, according to the irrigation department. Irrigation officials, on their part, said that they are following the directives and can only stop the water release to Ujani if they get a notice from the court or from the government.