More than one lakh residents of Wadgaon Sheri, Viman Nagar and Ramwadi were in for a shock on Friday as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) failed to restore water supply for the second straight day after Thursday due to repair work at the Bhama-Askhed Dam water pipeline.
While the civic body has been implementing one-day water cuts in the city every Thursday since May 18 as a measure to conserve water, given the low levels in dams, area residents were left irritated and inconvenienced when the water cut continued well into the next day on Friday. As it is, the impact of the one-day water cuts is being felt over the following two to three days, especially in areas located at the tail end of the PMC water supply. With the PMC failing to restore water supply on the second consecutive day on Friday, residents of these areas turned to WhatsApp for updates only to be misinformed by certain groups spreading rumours that there would be no water supply for the next two days.
Sneha Kamble, a resident of Karan Ashiyana Society, shared her disappointment saying, “I woke up at 6 am as my child goes to school at 7.30 am. On Thursday, there was no water so I expected water Friday morning. Normally, there is water by 7 am but on Friday, there was no sign of water even at 7.30 am. I checked the society WhatsApp group only to find that there would be no water on Friday. It was a shock for me and I had to send my child to school without bathing.”
Manoj Janavale, a resident of Ramnagar area in Wadgaon Sheri, said, “As it is, we have irregular water supply on weekends due to the Thursday water cuts. Now, the Friday water cut has disrupted our entire schedule. I had to purchase water for drinking purposes.”
Prashant Rankhanbe, a resident of Maharashtra Housing Society, shared his ordeal saying, “The PMC supplied water Wednesday morning after which we haven’t had any water. We stored the water knowing that there would be no supply on Thursday but we were unaware that there would be no water on Friday as well. So, we exhausted our stored water. When we approached the PMC officials, they initially said that the water supply would be restored Friday afternoon but later said it would be restored not before late evening. We had to purchase water for drinking purposes.”
Shweta Mahesh Galande, former corporator of Viman Nagar, said, “People have been calling me since Friday morning to arrange water tankers for their societies. It’s a strange situation where people have been without water for the past two days. Societies should store water in their tanks.”
Meanwhile, Indrabhan Randive, superintendent engineer, PMC water supply department, said, “On Thursday, we conducted repair work to fix a raw water leakage at Bhama-Askhed. But while welding, we discovered another leak a few kilometres away from the repaired spot. Consequently, we took the decision to repair the newly identified breach which would take over six hours to complete. After that, the water supply would be restored late evening.”
“In the meantime, we supplied water to some parts of Viman Nagar from the Holkar water pumping station and to certain areas of Wadgaon Sheri from the Kharadi area. Additionally, we provided water tankers as per the demands of the residential societies,” Randive said.
The long-delayed project to supply water from the Bhama-Askhed Dam to the eastern parts of the city through a closed pipeline was finally completed in December 2020 and the PMC began supplying water from the dam in January 2021. The move was prompted by the increasing population in the eastern parts of the city including Yerawada, Kharadi, Ramwadi, Wadgaon Sheri and Chandannagar for which the PMC had planned to procure water from the Bhama-Askhed Dam, located approximately 40 kilometres away from the PMC jurisdiction.