Updated: September 6, 2021 7:34:54 am
Pavana dam, considered the lifeline of Pimpri-Chinchwad, on Sunday reached 100 per cent of its storage capacity. However, civic officials said, the industrial city with a population of 27 lakh residents will continue to get water supply on alternate days as it does not have the necessary system in place to ensure equitable distribution across the city.
The inability of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to provide daily water supply to residents is primarily being attributed to the delay in implementation of the ambitious Rs 244-crore Amrut Water Supply Scheme, besides delay in getting additional water from other projects. “Though the dam is full, we will continue with alternate-day water supply. We can consider the old supply system once our ongoing projects are completed,” said PCMC executive engineer Pravin Ladkat.
The Amrut scheme, work on which began in 2016, has been delayed by three years. The new deadline for completion of the project is December 2021.
“We could not complete the project within the two-year deadline due to various reasons. The project has got extension twice. We lost at least 7-8 months due to Covid restrictions,” Ladkat said.
As on August-end, the project was 85 per cent complete.
“We aim to overhaul the supply system to ensure equitable distribution of water. This involves replacing old pipelines, stopping leakages and ending the practice of illegal water connections,” said Ladkat.
On reasons for the project falling behind, officials said there were various hurdles such as delay in acquiring land for setting up of water tanks, and delay on part of the civic body in setting up development plan (DP) roads. “We cannot lay water pipelines until the DP roads project is carried out,” Ladkat said.
Another problem the water supply department encountered was illegal water connections and reluctance of residents to connect their lines to that of PCMC. “Yet another problem was acquiring land for setting up of water tanks. This involved a lengthy process. Besides, seeking permission from petrol, oil and gas companies also took time. During monsoon, digging work is not allowed. And in the last two years, the work has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions,” an official said.
For the project, the PCMC was supposed to get 33.33 per cent funds from Central government and 16.67 per cent from state government while contributing 50 per cent of the share from its own funds.
“Any increase in water quota will depend on Bhama Askhed and Andra dam project works. Once the pipeline laying work from these dams is completed, Pimpri-Chinchwad can expect increase in their quota of water,” said Ladkat.
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