report on water release to ujani dam today

PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation's (PCMC) water supply department will submit a detailed report to municipal commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi on Tuesday on the issue of release of water from Pavana dam to Ujani dam in the drought-hit Solapur district. This was after the state government had asked the PCMC to provide its opinion on the release of water to Ujani dam.

M T Kamble, officiating city engineer and chief of PCMC water supply department, said, "The civic body received an e-mail last Friday from the state government to give its opinion to Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) on or before May 14 about the release of water from Pavana dam to Ujani dam."

"A detailed report will be tabled before municipal commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi tomorrow (Tuesday). He will take a final decision on the opinion, which will be forwarded to the state government," he said.

The e-mail sent by the state government said that the Bombay high court in its order on April 24, 2013, over a PIL had directed that litigants or any person could submit their opinion about the water supply to Solapur district within three weeks, a civic body official said.

"Earlier, the state government had released water from Bhama Askhed and Andra dams to Ujani dam on the directives of the high court," the official said.

"The state government must consider whether all the water released from Pavana dam will reach Ujani dam, which is 200 km away. It must also consider the rate of evaporation due to the intense heat in May as well as the parched land through which the water will pass while on its way to Ujani dam," he said.

"The Pavana dam is the lifeline of Pimpri Chinchwad and other upstream villages and towns. There was a delay in monsoon last year. If the monsoon is delayed this year as well and there is no water left in the Pavana dam after the release, then how will the 17.5 lakh people of Pimpri Chinchwad get drinking water?" he added.

Another civic official said that currently, there is 3 thousand million cubic (TMC) water in Pavana dam, which is 35% of its total capacity. The irrigation department releases water from Pavana dam to cater to needs of downstream villages, towns and cities. It releases 430 million litres per day (mld) for PCMC, 100 mld for Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation (MIDC) and 30 mld for Wagholi rural water supply scheme. The towns of Talegaon and Dehu Road too get their drinking water supply from Pavana dam.

Source - Times Of India (TOI).