August 5, 2021 8:15:31 pm
As the city’s boundaries are extended and its population increases, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is going to ask the state government to allow it to draw 5 TMC (one thousand million cubic feet) water from the new source of Mulshi dam.
In a proposal approved in the civic standing committee, the PMC has decided to demand more water to meet the needs of the city population, which has further increased due to the merger of 34 new villages, 11 in 2018 and 23 recently, in city limits. It has demanded that the state Water Resources Department allocate 5 TMC water from Mulshi dam.
The recent merger of 23 villages has increased Pune city’s population by nearly 12 lakh.
“We have given a go-ahead to the civic administration to make a demand to draw 5 TMC water from Mulshi dam…,” said Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the PMC Standing Committee.
The PMC has been providing water to the entire city, including Cantonment area and the villages within 5 km from its boundaries. In the last 10 years, water consumption has increased from 15.79 TMC in 2011-12 to 17.48 TMC in 2019-20 and around 18.5 TMC in 2020-21.
As per the water audit done by PMC and submitted to the state Water Resources Department, the civic body needs 18.58 TMC water to meet the needs of the city. It states that 10.69 TMC water is required to meet the needs of a population of 59.16 lakh, which includes 53.1 lakh permanent population, 2.65 lakh floating population, 2.92 lakh residents of adjoining villages and 45,000 relying on water tankers. Also, 1.39 TMC water is required to meet the demands of industrial, educational and commercial establishments, while 6.5 TMC water, 35 per cent of the total supply, is lost due to leakages.
The PMC has submitted its demand to Maharashtra Water Resource Regulatory Authority Authority (MWRRA) for sanctioning 20.07 TMC in 2021-22 and 23.34 TMC by 2031-32.
However, the overall storage capacity of the four dams upstream of Mutha river – Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar – is 29.15 TMC and the water is supplied for irrigation purposes to Haveli, Daund, Baramati, Purandar and Indapur, along with for industrial purposes in Daund and Indapur, in addition to water for the PMC.
“The MWRRA had directed the PMC to look for an additional source of water considering the need for water is rising above the storage capacity of the four dams upstream of Mutha river. Accordingly, the Division Commissioner directed to conduct a technical feasibility and financial feasibility report for drawing 5 TMC water for the city from Mulshi dam,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar in his proposal.
He said the availability of 5 TMC water from Mulshi dam would provide an additional source to the city, which will ensure sufficient water supply even during drought-like situations.
Currently, the PMC has been allocated a total of 14.48 TMC water for the city by the state government, which includes 11.5 TMC from Khadakwasla dam, 2.64 TMC from Bhama Askhed dam and 0.34 TMC from Pavana river. While the state government had allocated 11.5 TMC water from Khadakwasla dam in 2005, there has been no increase in the water quota for the city since then even though the population has increased considerably.
However, the PMC has been drawing more water than allocated from Khadakwasla dam to meet the basic needs of water for the entire population and has been paying for it at double the rate.
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