Pune: The southwest monsoon winds have finally hit the coastal state of Kerala, albeit a week late. This means that the Pune city will have to wait for some more time before they experience their first set of showers this years. This delay has raised grave concerns regarding the water supply and the thermal power generation in the city.
The monsoons were expected to arrive in the city and the other western parts of Maharashtra by June 7. However, several parts of the state have not even received the regular pre- monsoon showers, as a result of which, the water levels across the dams are going down.
The power generation is also affecting due to the delayed monsoon. One of the senior officials of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) said, “ Considering the slow progress of the monsoon winds, the use of water from Koyna dam for power generation has been stopped. On Thursday also, parts of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad witnessed load shedding after 11 towers collapsed due to the thunderstorm. If the water of Koyna dam would have been used for power generation, Pune would not have faced load shedding.”
Anticipating a further delay in rains, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) wrote a letter to the state irrigation department to maintain the water levels in Khadakwasla dam until August instead of July.
Responding to the corporation’s request, the irrigation department has stopped the release of water for agricultural purposes.
An official from the irrigation department said, “At present the Khadakwasla dam has 2.5 Thousand Million Cubic (TMC) feet of water available for Pune. Usually the department maintains the water storage up to July 15, as the water level in the dams start increasing with the onset of monsoons. However, this season, there have been no rainfall yet. The dam can fulfill the city’s water requirements for the next two months. Considering the delay in the monsoon, we have stopped the release of water for agriculture purposes.”