PMC rejects bid to cut drinking water supply

Siddharth Gadkari
Friday, 21 December 2018

The civic body has sent a reply to the State government to increase city’s water quota based on the existing city population (considering the floating population and newly merged villages).

Pune: The Water Resource Department is putting pressure on the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reduce water usage by sending letters. However, according to senior civic officials, as the city requires minimum annual 13.54 TMC feet of water to operate the 24x7 water supply scheme, the Water Resource Department is bound to supply that much water to the city. Hence, Puneites do not have to worry about their water supply.

Since October, there was a disagreement between the PMC and Water Resource Department. Due to insufficient rainfall, a decision was taken in the Canal Committee meeting to reduce Pune city’s water quota from 1,350 MLD (million litre per day) to 1,150 MLD. Following this, Khadakwasla division of Water Resource Department sent a letter and reminded the civic body about the decision of the Canal Committee. They reduced the water quota and the PMC took a decision to supply water five hours once a day and started implementing water schedule before Diwali which is still continuing. 

Now, the Water Resource Department has pointed out the recent verdict of Maharashtra Water Resource Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) about fixing annual water quota of 8.19 thousand million per cubic feet (TMC) based population. The department has warned PMC by sending a letter on Thursday to use water as per MWRRA decision and present the water budget. 

Water leakage and inadequate supply of water is a long pending issue in the city. Hence, the PMC took a decision to implement the 24x7 water supply scheme to provide adequate and uninterrupted water supply to the city with reducing leakage and wastage of water by improving existing water distribution system and providing metered water to the citizens. Now, work will start in the next two months. The cost of the project is around Rs 3,000 crore. 

In the detailed project report (DPR) of the 24x7 scheme, it has clearly mentioned the requirement of minimum 13.54 TMC feet water to implement the scheme. It has considered the population of 2017. The DPR has also projected the water demand in 2022 (15.29 TMC), in 2032 (19.01 TMC), in 2042 (22.03 TMC) and in 2047 (24.51 TMC) based on the projected city population. Hence, Water Resource Department will have to supply water as mentioned in DPR. 

While speaking to Sakal Times, one of the senior officials of PMC, said, ““The 24x7 water supply scheme is an ambitious project of the PMC and the State government submitted a proposal to raise money for the project from bonds. 

Therefore, Water Resource Department has to give water to the city as mentioned in DPR of the 24x7 scheme because, without the mentioned water supply, the scheme cannot be operated in the city. 

While on the other side, for the improvement of water distribution and to minimise water leakages and wastage, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is implementing the scheme in the city. Besides that, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has already taken steps to save and utilise water carefully such as recycling sewage water, lifting water from Khadakwasla dams by closed pipelines. Now, the next step is to improve the water distribution system under the 24x7 scheme. But, it will take some time.””

On the other hand, an official of Khadakwasla division of Water Resource Department indirectly hinted that it is only a warning to the PMC about the water cut. He said, ““Water is an essential part of life. We have to depend on nature for water. We cannot produce water. 

Hence, careful use of water is the only thing which we can do right now. We are making the PMC aware of the importance of water. It is our responsibility to provide water to the city as per availability and requirement of Pune city. But, it is also our duty to warn them to stop excessive use of water. Now, the civic body is taking steps by improving the water system.”

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