As authorities in Pune try to find ways to tide over the water crisis till the arrival of monsoon, the ongoing Pune Metro project may further stretch the city’s meagre water resources, as it has sought five lakh litres of water every day from the civic body.
The water is needed to operate the airconditioning units of the five proposed underground stations that will be built as part of the Metro network in the city.
The Metro project’s request comes at a time when the tussle over the quota of water drawn by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), between the civic body and the state Irrigation Department, has reached the Bombay High Court. While the PMC has said it needs to draw more water to cater to the increasing population in the city, the regulatory authority has repeatedly asked it to slash the amount.
“We have sought provision of one lakh litres per day to operate the airconditioning system for each of the five proposed underground stations,” said Atul Gadgil, executive engineer of Pune Metro rail and in-charge of the underground railline from Agriculture College to Swargate.
Gadgil said the Metro project hadn’t received a response yet from the authorities concerned. “We will have to explore whether using groundwater is a feasible option if no water is made available by the PMC,” he said.
Gadgil added that work on the underground Metro tunnel was in its final stage of planning, when its design was being finalised and various studies were being conducted. The topological survey and most of the geo-technical survey had been completed, except for the survey in Budhwar Peth which, he said, had faced resistance from residents. “… As expected, the survey revealed that there is hard rock on the proposed underground route. This will make the work easy,” said Gadgil.
The Pune Metro project has also started studying the condition of buildings within 50 metres of the proposed underground Metro line. It was necessary to document details of each dwelling and structure and keep a close watch on them while building the underground line, said Gadgil.
Once the study was completed, these buildings would be graded on whether they were ‘dangerous, moderate or strong’; and accordingly, steps would be taken for their protection and the safety of its occupants during the construction of the underground line, said Gadgil. A total of four tunnel boring machines will be pressed into service for the construction of the underground line, he said. The first TBM will be available in October this year and the work will start in November.
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