Guardian Minister Girish Bapat said Friday that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will appeal to the state government against the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA)’s directive that the Irrigation Department should reserve 8.19 TMC water for the city instead of 11.5 TMC.
Bapat also said residents of Pune should be urged to make more judicial use of the water available to the city. His remarks came a day after the MWRRA upheld its earlier directive on allotment of water to the civic body.
“The MWRRA is a government authority and its decision has to be implemented. But the PMC will file an appeal to the state government against the MWRRA directive,” said Bapat.
He added that the MWRRA directive is based on the set norms of water supply. “The city is fortunate that it has five dams that ensure sufficient water to meet the needs of citizens, compared to the worse situation in other parts of Maharashtra,” he said, adding that there was a need to ensure water supply for irrigation as well as livestock for drinking purposes.
The PMC needs to revamp its distribution system as a lot of water is lost due to weaknesses in the system, he said, adding that the PMC was drawing 1,650 MLD water from Khadakwasla dam while it was allowed to draw only 1,150 MLD, according to the Irrigation Department.
He also said opposition parties, who are protesting against the MWRRA directives, should not politicise the water issue. “The water storage availability would not improve by taking to the streets,” he said.
Bapat also said the PMC would be urged to appeal developers to use the minimum amount of water for construction purposes, and that residents should be directed to not use drinking water for washing of vehicles or gardening.
Efforts are being made to identify and develop new water resources to meet the increased demand of water, he said. The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) has kept Rs 15 crore for establishing new water resources to meet the drinking water needs of residents in the metropolitan region.
According to the MWRRA directive, the PMC was eligible for water of 7.84 TMC in 2017. The PMC also supplies water to the Cantonment Board, which has a population of 1.58 lakh, so it is allowed to have a water supply of 8.19 TMC.