Life in Pune, which was thrown out of gear when excessive rainfall led to floodlike situation in parts of the city in the last two days, started to slowly get back to normal on Tuesday when intensity of rain lessened and the catchment area of dams near the city experienced less rain. The Water Resources department also decreased the release of water into Mutha river, which runs through the city, from Khadakwasla, Mulshi and Pavana dams.
Earlier this week, as the water released from the dams into Mutha was increased, roadside roads were submerged and several bridges in the city had to be closed for public.
Delayed water release compounded problem
The flooding in the city could have been avoided if the release of water from the Khadakwasla dam had been started a few days earlier. But since the dam reservoir caters to the needs of the city for the entire year after the monsoon season is over, the authorities were reluctant to release the water till it was filled to capacity. However, there has been no respite in the rains since then, forcing the authorities to continuously release all the water that was coming in.
“The flood situation was serious in the last two days but it improved today as the water started receding. We hope that the situation will improve further on Wednesday, if the amount of water released from dams into rivers decreases,” said Sunil Indurkar, deputy commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Meanwhile, the PMC has provided shelter to nearly 7,000 people from 1,805 families in 24 civic buildings, whose houses were damaged in the heavy rain. The civic body will undertake clean-up of the affected areas before the residents are allowed to shift back, said Indurkar. The civic health department will also carry out sanitisation measures to prevent any epidemic outbreak.
“The civic staff will visit the localities that were inundated due to the floodlike situation and tell the affected people whether it was safe to return home,” said Indurkar. While the civic administration is trying to ensure supply of food and other necessary items, such as blankets and clothes, for those living in the shelters, various social organisations have also been providing grocery items and packed food for them.