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Higher rainfall in city this year,but water cuts still on

Heavy rainfall in the recent few days has been enough to turn the fortunes for the drinking water supply in city. It is another matter that it has not quite happened.

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune |
July 23, 2009 4:02:50 am

Heavy rainfall in the recent few days has been enough to turn the fortunes for the drinking water supply in city. It is another matter that it has not quite happened. This year,the city has five TMC more water than what it had during the corresponding period last year.

On Wednesday evening,the four dams supplying water to the city had 13.14 TMC,2.76 TMC up from Monday evening when it was only 10.38 TMC. Against this,the storage on this date last year was only 8.22 TMC.

Even though the monsoon started off on a slower pace this year,the percentage of rainfall received this year from June 1 has exceeded the last year’s level till Wednesday,at least by 20 per cent. Khadakwasla has received more rainfall this year from June 1 at 374 mm,as compared to July 22 last year when it was only 117 mm.

“The reservoir storage has exceeded last year’s level. Last year,at this point of time the storage levels were 29.64 per cent,this year it is already 46.42 per cent,” said Avinash Surve,superintending engineer,Khadakwasla Irrigation Division.

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The department is categoric that it has supplied the entire quantum of water required for the city because of good rains. The discharge from the Khadakwasla irrigation canal continues to be at 1,100 cusecs,while the discharge from the dam’s spillway gates was 9,846 cusecs on the day.

“Till such time we are able to release water through the Khadakwasla irrigation canal,we will be able to supply the entire quantum of water required by the city. If the city is still facing shortage,then the reason is the PMC’s distribution system,” said Surve.

The release from the canals is completely dependent on the rains. At present,the irrigation department supplies water to the city via pipeline (60 per cent) and canal (40 per cent). The water supplied through the canal is at the rate of 1,100 cusecs. The water for the city is drawn at 300 cusecs by the PMC.

“We had stopped the canal supply when we implemented the cut. However,now we have been able to keep the canal supply going because of good rains,” said Shivaji Bolbhat,executive engineer,Khadakwasla Irrigation Division.

Irrigation officials said the city requires approximately 0.05 TMC daily. Last year,at this time there was a 20 per cent cut. Although the reservoir storage is higher this year,officially there is a 40 per cent cut. But the PMC officials say that the water cut is down to 20 per cent owing to supply from the irrigation department.

“The water cut is down to 15-20 per cent. We are getting sufficient supply of water from the irrigation department. But we are also aiming equal distribution of water throughout the city,which is why we are enforcing a level of water cut. At present,we are using only a few,almost negligible,tankers for the city,” said Pramod Nirbhavane,PMC development engineer (water supply).

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