High voltage drama during meeting on water supply

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Kulkarni said, “The State government allotted 11.5 TMC water for Pune city in 1997 considering the city’s population. But the population of the city is growing and has reached almost 55 lakh. The growing population needs to be considered.” 

Mumbai/Pune: In a meeting with Water Conservation Minister Girish Mahajan at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Monday, MLAs from Pune city demanded no water cut for Pune, while those from rural areas objected to these MLAs’ demand. Public representatives from Pune were divided over the issue of water supply to the city. After a high voltage drama, the meeting ended without any conclusion.
 
MLA from Kothrud Medha Kulkarni, Madhuri Misal, Bhimrao Tapkir, Datta Bharne, Rahul Kul and Vijay Kale attended the meeting with other leaders, including Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, Minister of State Vijay Shivtare and Ajit Pawar. 

MLAs from city area demanded an increase in the water supply of the city, whereas MLAs from rural areas objected to the demand and said that if Pune is getting more water, then rural areas should get one more circulation of water supply through the canal. 

The Irrigation Department has already refused to increase the quota beyond 1,150 million litres per day (MLD) and only one circulation of water supply to the rural area through the canal. MLAs from rural Pune agreed for only one circulation, but if the Pune city is getting more water supply, then they refused to be satisfied with one circulation. 
 
Medha Kulkarni demanded increase of water quota to 16 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet from the Khadakwasla reservoir for the city.

Kulkarni said, “The State government allotted 11.5 TMC water for Pune city in 1997 considering the city’s population. But the population of the city is growing and has reached almost 55 lakh. The growing population needs to be considered.” 

MLA from Khadakwasla Bhimrao Tapkir said, “The Irrigation Department has their own management for water supply during summer but they are alleging that the Pune is consuming more water than what has been agreed upon. We asked them to measure the water supply at the supply end and not at the reservoir. There are many leakages on the supply network.” 

Officials from the Irrigation Department said that the leakages are not their responsibility and the municipal corporation has to fix it. Then only, the department can measure exact 
water supply to the city, they added.
 
Finally, no final decision was taken in the meeting due to allegations levelled by MLAs against each other. Minister Mahajan said that he will convey the final decision after discussion with irrigation officials.

Mundhwa jackwell should be made functional: Shirole
If the problems with Mundhwa jackwell and baby canal are solved on priority, Pune will be able to treat sewage with full capacity and that can be provided for irrigation. Along with this, if the leakages in Temghar dam are repaired, Puneites will not need to face water cuts again, pointed out MP Anil Shirole in the Canal Committee meeting held in Mumbai on Monday. Shirole said problems with the baby canal should be solved on priority and Mundhwa jackwell must be used to its full capacity. ‘‘Obstacles in the baby canal can be removed by using JCB machines and then the repair work should be undertaken to fix leakages. Temghar dam also has problem of leakages which leads to wastage of lot of water. That also should be repaired as early as possible. If this is done, Puneites will not need to face water cuts,’’ he said.

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