Facing criticism for failing to reduce water leaks in the city despite undertaking the ambitious 24X7 water supply project that includes plugging the leakages, civic body Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to undertake the survey of housing societies to check the condition of their underground water tanks and recommend repairs if needed.
The Maharashtra state water resources department has stated that 260 litres of water is daily consumed per capita in the city as against the 140 litres. However, the PMC said that 40 per cent of the water in the city is lost in leaks.
Last week, Maharashtra’s Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil who is also the guardian minister of Pune convened a meeting of officers of PMC and state water resources department and elected representatives to take a decision on water management till next monsoon.
The department has pulled up the PMC for drawing more water from various dams than the actual allocation to meet the requirements of the population. The state water resource department has allocated 14.61 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) for the PMC for the year despite the civic body’s demand to increase its quota citing the expansion of the city and increased population of the city.
The PMC has been consuming just over 22 TMC water for the past two years, and its consumption is expected to increase further.
“There is a loss of 40 per cent of water in the city due to leakages. The PMC is implementing a 24X7 equitable water supply project for the city to reduce leaks. It includes laying new pipelines, metering of water consumption and it would help check leakages,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar during his presentation last week.
Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, has demanded the resignation of the civic body chief if the authorities failed to effectively address the issue of water leaks.
“The PMC administration is giving the same response to the current guardian minister as they did to me when I was the guardian minister,” he said.
However, minister Patil came to the rescue of the civic body saying that the problem would be solved in two years once the water supply project is completed. There was no need to seek resignation for it.
Later, municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar said that the PMC would be taking up various steps to reduce water leakages. “The civic administration would undertake a survey of housing societies and if leaks are spotted then the housing societies would be given a direction to undertake repair with immediate effect,” he said.
This will be in addition to the implementation of 24X7 water supply water which includes the laying of a new water pipeline across the city and metering of water at each stage to ascertain consumption and leakages.