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Pune: Section 144 imposed on Kukadi canal to save drinking water

The government had put 1,534 villages as drought-affected villages from the Nagar district in their assessment post the water scarcity.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune |
Updated: April 22, 2016 12:43:25 am
latur, latur water problem, kukadi canal, kukadi canal project, ahmednagar, solapur district, kukadi river, indian express pune The water supply is mainly for three talukas in Ahmednagar—Shrigonda, Parner, Karjat and Karmala taluka in Solapur district.

WITH ALMOST the entire state reeling under water scarcity, Ahmednagar is the third district after Latur and Parbhani to impose Section 144 around Kukadi canal project, which falls both in Pune and Ahmednagar district.

With water being released under this project for drinking as per rotation from April 16, increasing complaints of water being used for irrigation has forced the district collector to impose Section 144 to ensure that the water being released is used for drinking purposes only.

tank pune

The water supply is mainly for three talukas in Ahmednagar—Shrigonda, Parner, Karjat and Karmala taluka in Solapur district.

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“Water was released to these areas as part of our second rotation from the Kukdi canal to these areas from April 16. There were some complaints from citizens pertaining to water being drawn from the canal for irrigation purposes. With the depleting ground water table and the level of dams in the district only 50 per cent, we are releasing water for drinking purpose only. So we have imposed Section 144 to ensure that water is used only for drinking. The section has been imposed till May 5, till the water is being released,’’said district collector Anil Kawade of Ahmednagar district. About 2.3 TMC was released through the canal.

The prohibitory CrPC section is already in use in districts of parched Marathwada region, which is on the edge of a grave law and order situation, owing to acute water scarcity. The section debars the assembly of more than five people in the areas surrounding the water body.

Presently, the district has a huge demand of tanker water supply with 668 tankers on duty catering to around 10 lakh population spread out in 2,200 hamlets. “All our major dams in the district have only about 50 per cent storage and there is a huge dependency on tankers. Due to less rain and Nagar being in the rainshadow region, the water scarcity has been immense and almost all the reservoirs supplying water to the district has reduced the storage by nearly 50 per cent as compared to last year. Moreover, the depletion of the ground water table too is a cause of concern,’’added the collector.

The government had put 1,534 villages as drought-affected villages from the Nagar district in their assessment post the water scarcity.

Even as water sources are expected to recharge with the Met department giving an “above normal” rainfall in June, the district tanker supply is slated to go up, said the collector.

“In the last five years, we had 725 tankers being used in 2012, with a reasonably good rain in 2013 and 2014, tanker usage was about 350 each and then again last year, the figure touched to 555 and this year, we expect it to go up further in the coming months,’’ said the collector. The district is gearing up to recharge the 494 water sources in the monsoon and repair about 42 regional pipeline schemes.

Water to three districts

There are five dams built on the Kukadi river and its tributaries. The water from four reservoirs Dimbhe, Manikdoh, Wadaj and Pimpalgaon Joge is fed to Yedgaon reservoir through canal and river. The command area of the Kukadi integrated system downstream of Yedgaon extends to three districts spread across Pune, Ahmednagar and Solapur district.

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