The Pavana river overflowed on Wedesday after the Pavana dam released 11,600 cusecs of water and the Mulshi dam released 25,214 cusecs following intermittent rain in the catchment areas of the dam and in Maval, Mulshi and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas.
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has said it will not scrap the water cut it introduced last month despite the current situation.
Starting around 11 am, the irrigation department began releasing 11,600 cusecs of water as Pavana dam started overflowing. “The overflowing water has touched low-lying areas, but has not entered the localities,” said Omprakash Bahiwal, an official of the PCMC’s disaster management unit.
Officials said they have sounded the alert in low-lying areas and are keeping a close watch on the situation as they couldn’t rule out the possibility of water entering some localities late in the evening. Fire brigade chief Kiran Gawade said they have not received any distress call as of when this report was filed. “But we are on guard,” he said.
Meanwhile, PCMC joint city engineer Makrand Nikam said though the Pavana was overflowing, the corporation will not scrap the water cut. “As of now, we have not thought of scrapping the water cut. I don’t think we will do it as the complaints regarding water shortage have almost been resolved. Things are now falling into place,” he said.
Civic activist S D Patil of Rahatni said the PCMC should relax water cuts when the river is full to give residents a breather. “At least temporarily, the PCMC should show some heart by scrapping the water cut. When there is adequate water in the river, why is the PCMC depriving citizens of their daily stock of water ?” he asked.
The Pavana dam has been 100 per cent full for over a month now. The Pavana river’s level, though, had gone down when there was a lull in rain.
Nikam said the PCMC lifts 480 MLD (million litres per day) water from the Pavana river and can’t go beyond that. “Though the river has more water, we cannot lift additional water as we do not have permission from the irrigation department. Nor do we have the necessary system to lift more water than 480 MLD,” he said.
PCMC corporator Geeta Mancharkar said,”In the recent general body meeting, corporators had demanded that PCMC should seek permission to lift more water from the Pavana river. If not throughout the year, at least when it is full during the monsoon,” she said.