The decision by the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) to release 10 TMC water from Pune’s dams to Ujani in Solapur district has been set aside till December 14. In a hearing on Thursday, the Bombay High Court set aside the MWRRA order of October 26 and is all set to hear both parties on
District authorities said that with this order, they can wait till December 14 to release water to Ujani Dam. “Presently, there is only 13.5 TMC in Pune dams and as Solapur has deadstock of 53 TMC, the district has been made to give water to the dam. They have been using the deadstock for the last ten years and so they can use it this year as well,” said officials. The MWRRA had issued the orders under the equitable distribution of water in the area. Pune district authorities have pointed out that they have less than 50 per cent storage and giving water to Solapur would further reduce it.
Irrigation officials have said that they were issued the orders at the end of October and were asked to give water during Diwali. This was contended by the Pune district authorities and they managed to stop the release of water awaiting final orders from the Bombay HC. The officials said that with the present order they can wait for the final order on December 14 which will decide whether they should release water to Solapur or not.
Meanwhile, District Collector Saurabh Rao had urged the state water resources secretary to reconsider the decision of releasing water from Pune dams to Ujani. The collector had stated that there was enough deadstock in the Ujani Dam and there was no urgent need to release the water from Pune dams as water requirement in Pune is higher than Solapur.
The directive of MWRRA was a consequence of a petition filed by MLA Bharat Bhalke from the district asking for provision of enough water to Ujani to meet the water requirements in the district. The directive ordered Bhama Askhed to release 4 TMC, Chaskaman to release 3 TMC, Andra to release 2 TMC and Mulshi Dam to release 1 TMC to Ujani Dam.