A week before its usual time, Khadakwasla dam reached its optimum storage capacity on Monday, resulting in the release of a total of 14,000 cusecs of water until 5 pm. It was the first time this season that water from any dam, supplying drinking water to Pune city, was released.
Due to the incessant rains in Pune district and adjoining areas over the past three days, most reservoirs have filled up faster than usual. Within nine hours since 8.30 am on Monday, rainfall reported in the city was 38mm, making Pune the third wettest city in Maharashtra after Mahabaleshwar (117 mm) and Parbhani (46 mm).
“Khadakwasla dam was 100 per cent full on Monday morning. This year, water in reservoir touched its full capacity nearly a week in advance than its usual time. Since Monday morning, we released about 14,000 cusecs of water at regular intervals. If rainfall persists in similar manner, there will be further release in the coming days,” Rajkumar Kshirsa-gar, sectional incharge of Khadak-wasla dam, told The Indian Express.
Observers at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, have attributed it to be part of larger ongoing rainfall activity over Madhya Maharashtra and Konkan, which gained momentum after July 13.
“An active sheer zone formed due to the two systems — a cyclonic circulation over south Gujarat and a low pressure system over the Odisha coast — has enhanced rainfall over central India. Rainfall activity will continue for another three to four days,” said A K Srivastava, head, climate monitoring and analysis group, IMD.
Moreover, the current spell of rains has also been a boon for Marathwada and Vidarbha areas and the present rainfall trend is most likely to continue, noted the senior meteorologist.
On the day, except Nandurbar, all other districts in Maharashtra reported either normal or above normal rains for the season. Nearly 40 per cent area had received 50 per cent excess rainfall for the season, so far. Some of the districts include Washim (67 per cent), Nanded (50 per cent), Yavatmal (41 per cent), Osmanabad (39 per cent) and Gadchiroli (36 per cent).
The Met department has forecast formation of yet another system, around July 19, originating in the Bay of Bengal. With the system likely to move landwards towards central India regions, more rains are on cards for the region.