Pune: Alarmed over the delay in the arrival of monsoon as well as prediction by the India Meteorological Department, Pune Municipal Corporation has requested the state irrigation department to maintain water storage in Khadakwasala dam till August instead of July.
Irrigation department officials said at present Khadakwasala dam is holding 3.08 TMC water while the city requires average 1.25 TMC water every month. “Usually, the irrigation department manages water storage in Khadakwasala dam till mid July. However, considering the possibility of delay in monsoon, we have requested the irrigation department to maintain the water storage till August so that even if monsoon is delayed, Pune will still get water.” V G Kulkarni, head of water department of PMC said.
The water department officials have also urged citizens to avoid wastage. “Unless the city gets good rain in June, the water level in the dams will not increase considerably and citizens will have to wait till next monsoon to get more water in dams. Therefore, the time has come for Punekars to start using water judiciously,” they said.
Activists slam PMC
However, civic activists have slammed civic body for waking up late. Maj Gen (Retd) SCN Jathar, president of Sajag Nagarik Manch said, “This is very irresponsible behaviour by the civic administration. The city had already faced drought like situation couple of years ago and the civic body should have learned its lesson. People have already used up water now and have no option but to hope for good rain.”
Vivek Velankar, president of Sajag Nagarik Manch said, “The civic body is not recycling enough water which can be further released to villages for agriculture purpose and Pune city can then request additional quota of water from the irrigation department. The civic administration should first take steps in starting Sewage treatment plants.” PMC commissioner Vikas Deshmukh said that the corporation had started the process for setting up of STPs which will treat 6.5 TMC water, of which 4.5 TMC can be released for agriculture purpose. The project is expected to start from August, he added.