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Pune Infra Watch: PMC hopes state govt would soon allow 5 TMC water from Mulshi Dam

The expansion of the city limits and rising population have pushed the demand for water in Pune. The PMC would undertake the project to draw water from the Mulshi Dam after the state government approves the civic body’s proposal.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is all set to undertake a project to draw water from the Mulshi Dam to overcome the shortage of water in the Baner, and Balewadi areas along with newly-included Bavdhan and Mahalunge villages in the city.

This comes after the PMC commissioned a project to draw water from the Bhama Askhed Dam to meet the increasing demand for water amid Pune’s rising population.

“The proposal of drawing 5 TMC water from Mulshi dam has been submitted to the state government. We are hopeful that it would be approved soon as it is on the priority list of the state government,” said Aniruddha Pawaskar, Chief Engineer and in charge of the civic body’s water supply department.

The state government under the then chief minister Devendra Fadanavis had asked the PMC to submit the proposal of the project to draw water from Mulshi Dam as early as possible. The Mulshi Dam is 40 km from the city and the water drawn from there is only used for power generation. Pune will be the first city to get water from it.

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The PMC mainly draws maximum water from the Panshet, Varasgaon, Temghars, and Khadakwasla dams constructed on the Mutha River. The city also gets water from the Pawna Dam and the project to draw water from Bhama Askhed Dam was commissioned in 2020 to meet the demand of the Nagar Road area.

The expansion of the city limits and rising population have pushed the demand for water in Pune, Pawaskar said adding the PMC would undertake the project to draw water from the Mulshi Dam after the state government approves the civic body’s proposal. “The detailed project report to draw water from Mulshi dam would be prepared after state government approval. The water pipeline will be laid and a water treatment plant would be constructed under the project,” he said.

The state government had approved a quota of 14.48 TMC for the city in 2005 and has not revised it since then despite the PMC’s demand to increase the quota to 18.58 TMC. The PMC is already drawing more water and has been paying extra charges for it to the state water resource department. The state water resource department has been opposing the PMC for drawing more water from the dam.

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In the last 10 years, water consumption has increased from 15.79 TMC in 2011-12 to 17.48 TMC in 2019-20 and around 18.5 TMC in 2020-21.

The PMC has been providing water to the entire city, including to the Cantonment area and the villages within 5 km of its boundaries. As per the water audit done by PMC and submitted to the state water resources department, the civic body needs 18.58 TMC of water to meet the needs of the city.

It has said 10.69 TMC water is required to meet the needs of a population of 59.16 lakh, which includes 53.1 lakh permanent population, 2.65 lakh floating population, 2.92 lakh residents of adjoining villages and 45,000 relying on water tankers. Also, 1.39 TMC of water is required to meet the demands of industrial, educational and commercial establishments, while 6.5 TMC of water, 35 per cent of the total supply, is lost due to leakages.

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The PMC has submitted its demand to Maharashtra Water Resource Regulatory Authority Authority (MWRRA) for sanctioning 20.07 TMC in 2023-24 and 23.34 TMC by 2031-32.

However, the overall storage capacity of the four dams upstream of the Mutha River—Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon, and Temghar—is 29.15 TMC and the water is supplied for irrigation purposes to Haveli, Daund, Baramati, Purandar, and Indapur, along with for industrial purposes in Daund and Indapur, in addition to water for the PMC.

The MWRRA had directed the PMC to look for an additional source of water considering the need for water is rising above the storage capacity of the four dams upstream of the Mutha River.

Currently, the PMC has been allocated 14.48 TMC of water for the city by the state government, which includes 11.5 TMC from the Khadakwasla Dam, 2.64 TMC from the Bhama Askhed Dam, and 0.34 TMC from the Pavana River.

Incidentally, 11 citizen organisations have filed public interest litigation this week in the Bombay High Court requesting it to direct authorities to provide sufficient water supply to every citizen in the city.

First published on: 11-08-2022 at 14:07 IST
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