Pune: Sewage Contamination Threatens Khadakwasla Dam; Authorities Yet To Take Action

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Khadakwasla, 23rd September 2023: An inspection led by Pune Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Chavan has revealed that sewage from nearby urban settlements and villages is contaminating the reservoir of Khadakwasla Dam, a crucial water supply source for Pune.

Inspection Findings

The inspection found that sewage water from villages in Haveli and Velhe talukas is mixing with the water of Khadakwasla Dam. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has ordered immediate action to address the pollution issue. Chavan conducted further inspections in the villages of Gorhe Budruk, Khanapur, Vardade, Sonapur, and the Panshet area. He stated that a report will be sent to the government for immediate remedial measures.

Proposed Solutions Ignored

The Water Resources Department has proposed laying 12 to 15 kilometers of sewage channels on both sides of the reservoir and setting up a sewage treatment center. However, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) have not yet acted on these recommendations.

Urbanization and Pollution

Rapid urbanization around the Khadakwasla Dam area has led to inadequate wastewater facilities, resulting in direct sewage mixing with the dam’s water. Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Pune Department, HV Gunale, emphasized the need for a network of sewage channels and a treatment plant to curb the increasing water pollution.

Funding and Jurisdiction Issues

A significant portion of the dam’s reservoir falls under the jurisdiction of PMRDA, while some parts are under the Pune Municipal Corporation. Both bodies have been recommended to provide funds for implementing schemes to prevent water pollution. However, neither has taken the initiative to allocate funds.

Public Concern

The contamination poses a significant risk to the water quality in the dam, leading to increasing public complaints and concerns about water safety.