Amidst good rainfall, water at boiling point

`Wait Till Oct To Decide On Supply Status’
The water politics is simmering in the middle of a good rainfall. While some believe that mayor Prashant Jagtap’s insistence on withdrawing water cuts is short-sighted because Pune has received just 30% of monsoon rains, a section of civic groups want regular supply restored immediately .“The decision to withdraw water cuts needs to be taken only by the middle of October. By then around 80% monsoon will be over and water levels in reservoirs could be assessed. Citizens must not press for withdrawal of cuts…it’s too premature a step,“ said Col S G Dalvi (retd.), district manager (Pune) of The Climate Reality Project. Davli added that the monsoon this year was delayed against predictions. “Reservoir water is also required to be supplied to irrigation and other users. Any decision on water cut withdrawal needs to be a holistic one,“ he added.

BJP leader and district guardian minister Girish Bapat too is opposed to mayor Jagtap’s plan. BJP corporators and leaders in the city came down heavily on Jagtap and accused him of playing politics over water.

City BJP president Yogesh Gogawale said, “The mayor has no right to withdraw water cuts. Also, the decision cannot be taken with a political agenda on mind. Bapat has already announced that water cuts could be withdrawn only after detailed discussions with various stakeholders and after considering future needs of the city .“

BJP leaders in Daund too stepped in arguing that rural Pune has an equal right over the dam water.

The mayor, however, recei ved some support from a section of civic groups in the city . The Sajag Nagrik Manch has said that the mayor’s announcement must be implemented. “Pune’s residents must get their water.District guardian minister must not ignore the demand by citizens. If water could be released from the canal for rural Pune, why the city must not get its share of water?“ asked Vivek Velankar of the Sajag Nagrik Manch.

District collector Saurabh Rao said a meeting will be held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of district guardian minister Girish Bapat to review the situation and decide further course of action on release of water for the city and Kharif crops.

All the stakeholders including the civic body , irrigation department, MLAs from rural parts are likely to participate in Tuesday’s meeting.

Puneites are divided on withdrawal of water cuts . “We have suffered enough and now it’s time to withdraw (the cuts).In the name of drinking water, rural Pune is using water for cane cultivation. There should be no water cuts in Pune,“ said Kailash Kale, an elderly man.

Abhishekh Bhonde, a college student, said that the Pune Municipal Corporation must not be in hurry to withdraw cuts. “Pune city is getting enough water even with alternate day supply . People have learned to live with it. They also understand the importance of saving water. Even if dams are full, there must be restrictions of use of water,“ he said.

Source : TOI