Pune, July 22 (IANS) Adding to the summer woes of Pune’s citizens, they will, for the next 40 days, get water supplies only on alternate days, leaving them with no other option but to shell out more money to buy water.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) says that a weak monsoon had lowered water levels in the four dams that feed the city, leaving it with no option but to curtail supplies.
‘With just 1.22 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of water left in the four dams – Khadakwasla, Warasgaon, Panshet and Temghar – which supply water to the city, the PMC is left with no other source of water and hence had to curtail supplies,’ Mayor Mohan Singh Rajpal told IANS.
At this time of the year in 2009, the water level was around nine TMC in the four dams.
The mayor pointed out that the ideal water requirement of the city is around eight TMC every year. ‘But we end up using 13 TMC water, most of which is just wasted,’ he said.
Statistics from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) show that Pune has seen 328 mm of rainfall till July 21 as against 395.7 mm of rainfall in July 2009.
Puneiites have already started facing the water woes owing to the cuts.
An IT professional Pravin Aghav, said: ‘One major problem we face is that of drinking water. The schedule of water supply clashes with our office timings. We can’t stay at home to store water. Hence, we end up spending a lot on buying water.’
He also said that the IT companies working in and around Pune will also face the brunt of water cuts.
However, Anant Sardeshmukh, executive director general of Maratha Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Agriculture, had a different take on the issue.
‘It is just Day 1. Moreover, I don’t think the water cuts will affect the industry as most of the IT companies are outside the city,’ he said.
Pune has been facing severe water crisis since past two years. In 2009, a 20 percent water cut was imposed due to the late arrival of the monsoon.
‘Last year, the monsoon arrived 19 days late on June 26. This year, although the monsoon came on time, it has now weakened. However, we are hopeful that the situation will improve as there is a prediction of heavy rainfall in the next seven days,’ A.B. Mazumdar, deputy director general of IMD, told IANS.
As per an estimate, the catchment area of the four dams need 2,000 mm of rainfall through the monsoon.
‘The city sure had an average rainfall, but the catchment area of the four dams have not seen adequate rainfall and hence the crisis,’ Mazumdar said.
‘Last year, we had 20 percent water cut. We were expecting it to get better this year. But weak monsoon has made it even worse,’ said Jogen Patel, an IT professional.