Buzz about saving water begins

Experts Urge PMC To Take Steps In Time Of Plenty
Bid goodbye to water cuts, at least till next monsoon, as four dams supplying water to the city are overflowing. Also, dams in the region, including Ujani ­ the biggest reservoir in western Maharashtra, are full to the brim.However, experts said, the euphoria over good monsoon should not drown water conservation efforts. “This is the time for the civic body to take efforts to put its house in order to face water crisis that may arise in the future,“ they said.

“Pune will receive its full quota of water from dams. Unlike last year, there is no need for any water cuts this year around. The civic body is in a position to continue regular water supply till the arrival of monsoon next year,“ said Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) water department head V G Kulkarni. Though the city will not face water crisis, it doesn’t mean that water must be used recklessly , he added.

“For last eleven months, we have faced water crisis which would have escalated if the rains were delayed. It is our responsibility to ensure that every drop of water is used judiciously ,“ he said. PMC had announced water cuts in the first week of September last year as the four city dams were just half-full due to the poor monsoon. In September last year, all four dams had 15.58 TMC of storage that is about 54.40% of their total capacity.After 11 months, the civic body had revoked water cuts in August this year.

The city gets water from Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet and Khadakwasla. “The irrigation department keeps aside 11.5 TMC quota for Pune city .However for last many years, PMC has been lifting 14 TMC water from the reservoirs of the four dams. The city faces water crisis because of distribution losses and water mismanagement. We have requested PMC to complete its pipeline repair works and take steps to reduce wastage of water,“ said an irrigation department official.

Every year, water is reserved in the dams to last till July 15. “However, going by the experiences of the past two years, the civic body must put mechanism in place to reserve extra water, which will come handy in case the monsoon is delayed, experts said. “Dams full to their capacities is a good news. But PMC must realise that this is the time to put its house in order. Whenever there is crisis, the authorities run for temporary solutions.However, now is the time to look for sustainable solutions. The city must take steps to conserve water,“ said Parineeta Dandekar of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP). PMC must focus its attention to complete all Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and plug water leakages, she added.

PMC’s Environment Status Report (ESR) highlights that more than half the city’s water distribution pipelines, installed nearly 40 years ago, are old and rusted and in need of immediate replacement. A study by researchers from the Mumbai-based S K Somaiya College, commissioned by the PMC, states that almost 30-40% of Pune’s drinking water is lost to leakage, pilferage and wastage. Moreover, not all parts of the city receive equal water. The study suggests a drinking water supply management system to resolve the issue of unequal distribution in the city , given the wastage.

Last year during crisis, PMC was banking on Bhama Askhed and Mulshi dams for additional water. But the state was keen to release water from dams in Pune district to Ujani.

Ujani dam gets water from the Bhima river, originating from Karjat. But there are about 22 small and big dams between the river source and the dam.This year, Ujani has a storage of 51.46 TMC that is about 96.05 TMC and hence it will not require release of water from dams in Pune district.


The monsoon has been good this year and the dams that supply water to the city are full.However, Pune Municipal Corporation and the irrigation department must prepare a meticulous plan to ensure that the city does not suffer the same water crises during summer as it did earlier this year. The monsoon’s erratic nature has caused delays in its arrival in the last few years.Hence, water has to be available till the end of July every year. Curbing wastage of water, replacing old rusted pipelines that leak and preventing thefts or diversion to irrigate cash crops like sugarcane must be top priority.Rainwater harvesting and water conservation programmes must be promoted because the city’s population is growing and as of now, there is no other source of water other than the four dams.

Source : TOI



Civic body to share Bhama-Askhed’s water with Alandi

Five MLD will be directed through a pipeline towards district
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to share water with Alandi Municipal Council from the Bhama Askhed dam project. The civic body decided to provide five million litres per day (MLD) unfiltered water through the main pipeline.VG Kulkarni, chief superintendent of PMC’s water supply department, said, “We have decided to provide five MLD of unfiltered water to Alandi from our pipeline, which is passing through their jurisdiction. The proposal has been tabled at the standing committee for approval.“

During an agitation in March, villagers adjacent to the dam demanded water from project. The total cost of the Bhama-Askhed project is nearly Rs 380 crore, of which nearly Rs 110 crore has already been utilised. The dam is located in Khed taluka. The administration had to lay down a 42-kilometre long pipeline from the dam to Pune.The state government had allotted 2.64 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet water to PMC, considering the city’s demand in future.

On October 15 last year, the Bhama-Askhed water supply project had faced strong protests from local villagers of Karanj Vihare, who had stopped the project and damaged machines.They wanted to resolve the long-pending issue of farmers’ rehabilitation due to the construction of the BhamaAshked dam. Following which, Alandi Municipal Council demanded a quota from the project. However, the issue of rehabilitation is still pending with the state government.

The project was initiated for the eastern part of Pune in February 2014.A supply of 200 MLD was provided to this part of the city and also to fulfil the future demands of water consumption. Kharadi, Yerwada, Dhanori, Wadgaonsheri, Kalas and Vidyanagar are the areas that come under the purview, which suffer from water scarcity.


Source : TOI


खडकवासला धरण भरले; पाणी सोडण्यास सुरवात

मंगळवारी रात्री दहा वाजल्यानंतर आज (बुधवार) सकाळी सहा वाजेपर्यंत धरण परिसरात मुसळधार पाऊस झाला असून, धऱणपातळीत मोठी वाढ झाली आहे. खडकवासला धरण 99 टक्के भरले असून, मुठा नदीत पाणी सोडण्यास सुरवात झाली आहे. त्यामुळे, धरणातून दुपारी 12 वाजता सुमारे 18,491 क्‍युसेकने पाणी सोडण्याचा निर्णय खडकवासला पाटबंधारे विभागाने घेतला आहे. सकाळी दहा वाजता पाच दरवाजे एक फुटाने उघडण्यात आले होते. तर सकाळी अकरा वाजता 11 दरवाजे उघडून सुमारे 10 हजार क्‍युुसेकने सोडण्यात येणार आहे. अशी माहिती खडकवासला पाटबंधारे विभागाचे कार्यकारी अभियंता पांडूरंग शेलार व शाखा अभियंता आर. एस. क्षीरसागर यांनी दिली. पानशेत वरसगाव धरणावर 200 मिलिमिटर पर्यंत पाऊस पडल्याने भिंती खालील पडलेला पावसाचे पाणी खडकवासला धरणात जमा होत होते. त्यावेळी सुमारे पहाटे 15 हजाराच्या पुढे येवा खडकवासला धरणात जमा होत होता. रात्री दहा वाजता खडकवासला धरण 66 टक्के भरले होते. सकाळी सहा वाजता 86 टक्के भरले तर आठ वाजता 96 टक्के भरले. खडकवासला धरण 100 टक्के भरल्यावर पाणी सोडण्याचा निर्णय घेण्यात आला आहे. असे ही शेलार यांनी सांगितले. पानशेत वरसगाव परिसराला झोडपले या धरणांच्या परिसरातील गावांना पावसाने रात्रभर झोडपून काढले. रात्री दहा वाजेपर्यंत दोन्ही धरणावर 60 मिमि पाऊस पडला. त्यानंतर, सकाळी सहा वाजेपर्यंत (आठ तासात) 140 मिमि पाऊस पडला. म्हणजे प्रत्येक तासाला किमान 17- 18 मिमि पाऊस पडत होता. काल दिवसभर नेहमी प्रमाणे होता. रात्री पाच ते सात वाजण्याच्या सुमारास पाऊस होता. रात्री आठ ते दहा वाजेपर्यंत पूर्ण पाऊस उघडला होता. रात्री दहानंतर या परिसरात पहाटे पर्यंत मुसळधार पावसाची संततधार सुरु होती. परिणामी शेतात काही तालींची फुटाफुट झाली आहे. अशी माहिती पानेशत जवळील रुळे गावचे रहिवाशी राजू हाळंदे यांनी “इसकाळ‘शी बोलताना दिली. धरणाचे नाव- 24 तासातील पाऊस/1 जून पासूनचा पाऊस/पाणीसाठा टीएमसी/पाणीसाठ्याची टक्केवारी टेमघर- 180/1770/2.00/54.05 पानशेत-201/1316/8.46/79.44 वरसगाव-205/1319/8.36/65.21 खडकवासला-72/487/1.72/86.99 कालव्यातून सोडलेले पाणी- 1155 चार ही धरणातील एकूण पाणीसाठी- 20.54 टीएमसी, 70.46 टक्केवारी

– सकाळ वृत्तसेवा



Rising Mutha sparks water-cut rollback demand

10,000 Cusecs Released From Nearly Full Khadakwasla
There is a fight brewing over water discharge from Khadakwasla reservoir into the Mutha river.Political leaders from the opposition parties, seeking relief from the alternate day supply for the city which has been making do with less water for several months now, want the water to be utilized for the city and the cuts imposed some months ago lifted.

Civic elections are due early next year and any curtailing of basic amenities will reflect poorly on the corporators. “If there is extra water and it is being discharged, citizens should get it according to the quota.The administration should go back to the old system and provide water twice a day ,“ Arvind Shinde, leader of the opposition in PMC, said.

“Citizens have been accommodative of water cuts for almost a year. Now that there is adequate water in the dams, the civic body should withdraw the water cut decision,“ Shiv Sena corporator Prithviraj Sutar said.

But the civic body is firm about keeping the curbs, at least for some time. “The four dams, which provide water to the city , should be full. Only then will we withdraw the water cuts imposed,“ mayor Prashant Jagtap told TOI. Jagtap said the civic body will have to think about long-term management of water.

Good rainfall in the last week and for two days of this week prompted the irrigation department to release water from the Khadakwasla reservoir into the Mutha river. Water was discharged at 2,080 cusec (cubic feet per second) on Tuesday morning, which was increased to 4,260 cusec by the afternoon and was increased to 6,000 cusec in the evening. The discharge was likely to increase to 10,000 cusec by Tuesday night as heavy rainfall in the catchment areas continued.

An irrigation department official said water was released due to an increase in the volume after heavy showers on Monday night and Tuesday morning. The dam had filled to 92% of its capacity by 9.30am.Last year, there was no such release because of deficient rainfall.

“ A decision about increa “A decision about increasing or decreasing the discharge volume will depend on the rainfall. Water will be released at least for a day on Tuesday into the river and not into the Mutha canal,“ P B Shelar, executive engineer of Khadakwasla division, told TOI.

According to irrigation officials, the release of water is necessary for the safety of the dam and for flood routing.

“We release water at an average of around 9,000 to 10,000 cusec. If there is any damage to the dam because of holding the water in the reservoir, then water will flow at over 1.5 lakh cusec speed. It will pose a major threat,“ Atul Kapole, superintending engineer, irrigation department, said.

Flood routing or management of excess water which can cause havoc can be done if there is timely discharge of water. Sudden and heavy discharge can damage property and threaten lives along the banks.

According to Kapole, water release at around 20,000 cusec will not affect core city areas much, but caution is advisable for citizens and the civic body when the water reaches 15,000 cusec.

Warnings have been issued to citizens residing near the river’s banks and information about the discharge was shared with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

The city has had water cuts since September 2015 after the monsoon failed last year. Citizens get water supply twice a day when supply is not rationed, but since water cuts were introduced, water is provided once in two days.

Activists too felt the city should get its share. “Pune’s water will be given to Ujani, but citizens will have to live with water cuts. It is injustice.The administration had given continuous water supply during the Eid and palkhi. The same system should be introduced till the time excess water is being discharged into the river,“ Vivek Velankar, founder of Sajag Nagrik Manch, a citizens’ group, said.

Source : TOI13_07_2016_002_015_011


Water cuts to remain till dams are full: Pune Mayor Prashant Jagtap

The total capacity of the four dams Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temhgar was 29 TMC while 11 TMC of water has been stored in the dams so far.

WHILE TILL a week ago, the city witnessed a spat between Mayor Prashant Jagtap and District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat over the release of water from Khadakwasla dam, the situation seems to have cooled down now with the dam reporting a storage capacity of two TMC due to incessant rains.

Authorities will soon have to release the water into the canal and if need be, through the river. However, till the dams are totally filled up, the water cuts will continue, clarified the Mayor on Monday. “The review meeting to withdraw water cuts would be taken up after a month as the dams have to be filled up completely. I urge the citizens to cooperate with the PMC with the alternate day water supply system till the dams are full,” he added.

The total capacity of the four dams Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temhgar was 29 TMC while 11 TMC of water has been stored in the dams so far.

At the moment, the Khadakwasla dam is 85 per cent filled to its total capacity. “The irrigation department has said that it can store only certain percentage of water and therefore, will have to release the water from the dam,” said Jagtap.

Mayor thanks Rain God

Continuing the practice of his predecessors, Mayor Prashant Jagtap on Monday carried out the “Jal pujan” at Khadakwasla dam to thank the Rain God and collection of water in the dam. “I did jal pujan at the Khadakwasla dam, which had almost filled up to its capacity. This has been the tradition and part of our culture, “ he said.

Source : Indian Express


The water level in Khadakwasla dam has gone down considerably as reflected by this water level indicator Express Photo By Pavan Khengre,28.05.16,Pune.


Flood of trouble

Despite PMC’s assurances, residents in certain areas are already facing major issues with water entering their homes; complaints to the civic body go unheard, they say
With the monsoon having arrived in earnest in Pune, dams have filled up and water troubles may have receded a little. However, flood-prone areas in the city are facing their annual battle against overflowing nullahs, safety walls being washed away, etc.As many as 12 sensitive areas have been identified by the Pune Fire Brigade and Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) disaster management cell that are disturbed by heavy rains and flood-like conditions every monsoon.While the last two days of steady rain already have residents antsy, PMC has now decided to run their Flood Control cell 247 from now on. PMC additional municipal commissioner, Prerna Deshbhratar, said, “We have identified 79 spots in the city where water logging can occur.Along with the PMC main building, our flood control cell will be open round the clock. We have also imparted disaster management training to 1,100 of our staff.“

However, when Mirror visited some of the spots, residents seemed less than confident.


Anand Park in Tingrenagar has a nullah flowing right in the midst of its bungalows and residential societies. The main problem here is that the protection wall built by PMC is not strong or high enough to withstand heavy rain and the subsequent overflow of water. Anuradha Kokate, a homemaker and local resident, said, “Waterlogging is a major issue here every year. Last year, all the parking lots were flooded. Even now, after a few days of rain, we cannot walk on the roads or send our children to school till the water recedes. We have asked PMC repeatedly to clean the nullah and increase the height of the wall. But, nothing has come of it.“

The situation is equally grim in the residential area surrounding the Vishrantwadi Query Lake on Vishrantwadi­Dhanori Road. The Kasturba `B’ wing colony which lies right beside the lake has water entering the houses and buildings every year. Narendra Parkhi, a resident of this colony for the past 30 years, said, “During the monsoon last year, all our furniture, clothes and household items were damaged after water entered the house.We are living in fear that the water level of the lake will rise again. Two days ago, after heavy rain, the water in our parking lot was a foot deep. If the rains continue, the lake will soon overflow and there is no safety wall to control the water. We will have to go and stay with our relatives for a few days.“

Vinod Pawar, a local resident and social activist, said, “We have formed a group of residents living near the nullah and the lake. Cleaning the nullah and building a proper safety wall should have been done much earlier we had given it in writing in all our complaints.“


Well known as a flood-prone area, the slums here are a major obstacle for rescue operations during the rains. The area is just on the bank of the Mula river, with Sangamwadi Bridge on its other side. Though a safety wall has been built, rising water levels see the slums flood during the monsoon. This usually happens when over 30,000 cusecs of water are released from the Khadakwasla dam or if there is heavy rain for a few days.

Local resident Ashok Divte said, “We are completely helpless here. When there is continuous heavy rain, the water levels of the river increases and comes into our houses.As we are slum people, even the PMC does not bother to protect us from this problem.Many residents shift to other slums or go to relatives’ homes during the rainy season.“


These neighbouring areas are also next to the river, making them easy targets for flooding during the monsoon. Also, several construction sites have come up on the flood control line set by PMC. This has led to many housing societies and houses not getting the completion certificate. Every monsoon, waterlogging is a major problem in this area, with the water remaining for several days.

Ballal Joshi, a senior citizen whose house is right next to the river, said, “PMC has set up water level markings on our houses. But, there are no arrangements to protect us. A concrete safety wall needs to be built and the river needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid waterlogging.“

Another resident, Narmada Satav, said, “Some years ago, there was heavy rain and water level had come up to the first floor of our building. We were stuck for two days in our houses. Since then, every monsoon, whenever we feel like water levels may rise, we stock up on essentials. This way, even if we are stuck in our houses for days, we will not go hungry. But, PMC needs to take more responsibility. If they are taking taxes from us, is it not their duty to ensure our safety during emergencies.“


Despite being in the heart of the city, this area, too, comes near the riverbed and is affected every year during the rains. Residents living here are then shifted to nearby schools by the civic administration after an alert is sounded by the irrigation department.PMC has built a safety wall right in front of Pulachi Wadi, next to Bhide Bridge over the river.

This year, too, local residents are preparing to move to other places. Sharnappa Kamble, a local resident, told Mirror, “Three years ago, our house was almost completely flooded and we did not even get time to move our things. Since then, we prepare in advance before the monsoon and shift our furniture and other important items.“ Another resident, Mahesh Kadam, said, “We all want good rain this year as we have been facing water cuts. But, PMC also needs to make proper safety arrangements for the thousands of people living near the riverbed. There are also hawkers near this bridge who need to be moved. The height of the safety wall needs to be increased, too.“

Source : Mirror



Bridge over Mula river to cost PCMC Rs 42 crore

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Monday approved the proposal for constructing a permanent bridge for the benefit of Bopkhel residents on Mula river at an estimated cost of Rs 42 crore.

The bridge, as per civic officials, will be completed in one-and-a-half year. Currently , the 21,000-odd residents of the village have to take a long detour of about 16km to reach Khadki as the CME had dismantled the temporary bridge on the river earlier this month.

The estimated cost of the bridge has more than doubled considering around sixtime increase in its length.At 192-meter in length, the earlier total cost of bridge along with the approach roads measuring 547 meter was at Rs 18 crore.

Rajan Patil, joint city engineer, PCMC said, “The width of the bridge will be 9 meter, including 7.5 meter width for vehicles’ movement and 1.5-meter wide footpath. The civic body has sent the revised plan of the bridge to the state irrigation department as per its suggestion that there must be no abutment of bridge in the blue floodline. We expect the approval of the irrigation department for this revised plan in a week. Thereafter, we will invite bids from the contractors. The actual construction of the bridge will start once the monsoon ends. The construction of the bridge will be completed in one-anda-half-year time after the work order is allotted.“

“The surface level of the bridge will be 0.6 meter above the high flood level as per the state irrigation department norms. The high flood level is the maximum flood level in past 50 years. So the bridge will not get submerged due to floods in the river,“ Patil said.

Local corporator Sanjay Kate said, “The new permanent bridge will provide permanent connectivity to Bopkhel with Khadki.“

Source : TOI