Tensions Mount Over Pune’s Request for 23.34 TMC Water Quota

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Pune, 10th July 2024: Amidst the inclusion of 34 new villages within Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits and increasing urbanization, Pune city is pressing for an annual allocation of 23.34 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic Feet) of water from the dam. To achieve this, PMC is actively pursuing the matter with the Maharashtra State Government.

The Maharashtra State Government holds the authority to approve the increased water quota from the dam, but this issue has been neglected for the past decade, with only promises made to the people of Pune. Despite changes in government over the last ten years, no elected administration in Maharashtra has made a definitive decision on this matter.

Tensions have risen during Canal Advisory Committee meetings between the Water Resources Department and PMC representatives. Rural leaders advocate for agricultural needs, while urban representatives stress the importance of securing drinking water for Pune, leading to debates over the increased water quota.

PMC has formally requested an augmented water quota, submitting proposals and meeting minutes to the Maharashtra Government. However, the lack of follow-up after these meetings has resulted in unresolved issues and no decisive action at the state level.

The Water Resources Department has outlined criteria and procedures for approving water usage from the dam for drinking and non-irrigation industrial purposes. They anticipate an annual increase in water allocation based on Pune city’s growing population. This decision has sparked concerns about whether the city will indeed receive additional water.

PMC’s water consumption is on the rise. During Canal Advisory Committee meetings, the Water Resources Department has accused PMC of exceeding sanctioned water quotas and lacking accurate population data.

According to regulations, PMC should be allocated 155 liters per person per day. However, the Water Resources Department claims that PMC is drawing water at a rate of 270 liters per person per day.

PMC has demanded a reserve of 23.34 TMC of water to accommodate the newly included 34 villages. However, the Water Resources Department has approved a consumption of 12.82 TMC of water for the year 2023-24 based on Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority parameters.

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The Water Resources Department estimates that PMC withdraws approximately 17 TMC of water annually, leading to fines for exceeding standard allocations. Hence, PMC faces increased payments to the Water Resources Department.