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Pune: Dam levels down, ‘rain dance’ for Holi dropped

With dam levels coming down to as much as 23 per cent of their capacity, the entertainment department of the collectorate will ensure that permissions are not given for events like the “rain dance” during the festival.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published: March 14, 2016 1:19:11 am

PUNE district, where a water cut is in effect due to depleting water levels in the dams, will not have any kind of “rain dance” functions this Holi. As water reserved in the dams is to be used only for drinking purposes as per the district administration’s instructions, the collectorate has urged people to go for a “Dry Holi” this year and will ensure that there are no such functions during Holi.

With dam levels coming down to as much as 23 per cent of their capacity, the entertainment department of the collectorate will ensure that permissions are not given for events like the “rain dance” during the festival.

Additional collector Pradeep Patil said a note would be issued reminding people of District Collector Saurabh Rao’s instructions that dam water will be reserved for drinking purposes.

“Action will be taken against any of the clubs or farmhouses conducting such programmes. We will not be issuing a go-ahead for such programmes,” said Patil. Presently, the district has 52 tankers in operation. Officials said that in summer, the demand for tankers increases and therefore all water reserves have to be preserved for drinking purpose. “People should realise the situation and celebrate a dry Holi,” said Patil.

Meanwhile, a BJP legislator in Mumbai has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner seeking a ban on “rain dance” functions in Mumbai in the metro during Holi. Ameet Satam, in a letter to the BMC, said that the civic body should ban rain dance and even asked the corporation to slap a fine of Rs 50,000 on those who indulge in waste of water.

PMC water department head VG Kulkarni said that any such events will result in a criminal waste of water and “therefore we will ensure that no such wastage is done through a strict vigil”.

Officials added that water was not being released for irrigation too and there are many villages that are getting water once in 15 days. While the city has only supply from four dams – Khadakwasla, Temghar, Panshet and Varasgaon – and the levels are lower than last year, water reserves and groundwater level has depleted by more than 1 metre in 543 villages in the district.

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