Bhushi dam, a popular tourist destination in Lonavala, has begun to overflow following incessant rain in the tourist town. The dam, which is owned by the central railways and caters to the railways, is the first to reach its brim in Maharashtra where delay in monsoon has affected all the dams taking the water levels to historical lows.
Since the Bhushi dam has begun overflowing, revellers who had shied away from Lonavala in June and first week of July, have begun to flood the town. The weekends, especially, witnesses, heavy rush with revellers swelling beyond 10,000. During weekends, Lonavala witnesses heavy traffic jams with police is finding it difficult to tackling the tourists. The dam, built for the Grand Indian Peninsular Railway network, about 150 years ago, is quite popular among Puneites and Mumbaikars. The dam was a source of water to power steam engines in central India during British raj.
The Pavana dam, located close to Lonavala, has also shown some rise in its water level following continuous rain in the area. “There has been continuous rain in the catchment area. The dam level taht had sunk to 12 per cent of its capacity has now risen to 13.4 per cent,” said Balu Kalekar, executive engineer, irrigation department. The Pavana dam is the lifeline of 18 lakh residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad. Since the dam level had sunk to a historical low, PCMC first decided to provide water once a day and then on alternate days from Thursday. PCMC official said only after the dam capacity goes beyond 30 per cent of its capacity, there would be a change in the water timings. “We expect by the end of the month, there would be appreciable rise in dam-level. In the past few years, July-end has witnessed good rains in Pune and Mumbai,” said a civic official. Meanwhile, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad witnessed constant rains throughout the day on Wednesday. Pools of water were seen at several places.