The water release from Khadakwasla continued till late evening. People living along the riverbank were told to move out to safer places.
The irrigation department issued constant warnings and updates throughout the day to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), police and the revenue department about the release of water to help them tackle the flood-like situation. An official in the irrigation department said the water release was outcome of a sharp increase in the water stock in Khadakwasla.
Many people came to the banks of Mutha to see the swelling river. “After a long time, the river is in a spate. We did not see this much water in Mutha for almost two years, This means we have enough water in stock and we won’t have to rely on tankers this year,“ said an excited Rajeev Bhosale, a resident of Sinhagad Road.
The Khadakwasla dam’s storage was 63% on Tuesday evening. It increased to 87% on Wednesday morning, registering a rise of almost 22% in 12 hours. As water was still flowing into the dam, the department decided to initiate release as a precautionary measure. “We release water if the storage in any dam touches 90% mark to make some space for inflow of accumulated rainwater. The Khadakwasla dam’s catchments were receiving intense showers on Wednesday and the water-level was going up, compelling us to increase the speed of the discharge,“ the official said.
The irrigation department released water at such a high speed for the first time this monsoon. Water was released from Khadakwasla at the rate of about 10,000 cusecs a couple of weeks ago when the dam storage climbed up to 90%. Though the release of water into river was stopped immediately , the department continued to discharge water into the Mutha for villages in Daund and Indapur. Water released into the river on Wednesday would travel flow to Bhima river and reach the Ujani dam.
Besides Khadakwasla, catchments of the other three dams supplying water to the city experienced intense rainfall. Panshet and Varasgaon recorded over 200mm rainfall each between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Temghar received 170mm rain in the same period. The dams recorded another 100mm rainfall thereafter on Wednesday.
The collective storage in the dams reached 22.28 TMC (76.42% of total capacity) by Wednesday evening, registering an increase of 3.78 TMC in a day. Mulshi dam’s stock was at 86% while the storage in Pavana, supplying water to Pimpri Chinchwad, climbed to 74% on Wednesday evening.
Consistent rain all through the day boosted water stock in all major dams around Pune on Wednesday . Two dams -Gunjawani and Vadi vale -reached the 100% mark. The storage in other major dams, including Chaskaman, Kasarsai and Vir, climbed above 90% mark on Wednesday evening. Of the 25 dams in Bhima basin, water was released from eight after the storage reached above 90%.
The water level in dams across the state has been increasing over the past few days. Marathwada’s dams were 10% of capacity earlier this week -about 3% higher than the water level at this time last year. In June, the water levels in the drought-struck region had plummeted to an all-time low of 0.4%.
Last year, the dams catering to the city did not have enough stock because of poor monsoon. The Pune Municipal Corporation implemented alternate day water supply last September.
Source : TOI