Pune, 26th December 2023: In response to concerns about potential water shortages in Pune due to lower rainfall this year, Deputy Chief Minister and Guardian Minister of the state, Ajit Pawar, assured the public that efforts are underway to ensure an adequate water supply for the city.
During a media interaction on Monday, Pawar emphasized the need to avoid discussions on water reduction at present to prevent unnecessary worry among Puneites.
Pawar stated, “We will convene a meeting of the canal advisory committee in March, where a decision will be made based on the situation at that time. Discussing it now may lead to immediate breaking news, causing concerns among Punekars. Our goal is to plan water distribution according to the city’s requirements, and we urge everyone not to speculate on this matter at the moment.”
The concern arises from the fact that dams supplying water to Pune are not filled to their full capacity due to insufficient rainfall. As a result, water planning becomes crucial in the coming days to prevent potential disruptions in daily water supply to the city. The fear of a water reduction decision looms, prompting the Water Resources Department to caution the Municipal Corporation about the prudent use of water resources.
Pune’s growing population, including suburban areas, poses a challenge in managing water supply. Despite the Pune Municipal Corporation’s request for 20.90 TMC of water annually to meet the needs of the expanding population, the Irrigation Department sanctioned only 12.82 TMC, with the provision of a fine if exceeded.
Considering a projected population of 72 lakh, the Municipal Corporation had submitted a water budget demand of 20.90 TMC, but the Water Resources Department approved 14.61 TMC for the current water supply. The discrepancy in water allocation has fueled concerns, especially with the department’s warning that water might be cut from January if not used judiciously.
The water budget for the year 2022-23, based on a 2% annual growth assumption, highlighted the need for 20.34 TMC for a population of 69,41,460, factoring in water leakage and floating population. However, the sanctioned water allocation remained at 12.41 TMC.
Looking ahead to 2023-24, a 2% population growth is anticipated, demanding 150 LPCD for Pune’s population of 56,37,785. Additionally, water demands for newly incorporated villages were outlined, emphasizing the ongoing challenges in balancing water supply with the city’s expanding needs.