At 4.7 TMC, the current stock is 2 TMC more than that recorded at June-end last year. In spite of the higher storage, civic officials ruled out rolling back once-a-week water closure and said a decision would be taken after the collective storage in the four dams reached a “comfortable level”.
“We will keep monitoring rainfall and dam levels for the next two weeks, based on which a call on water cuts will be taken,” a senior civic official said.
The collective storage in the four dams increased by 0.50 TMC in the last five days. “Fairly good spells have continued in the catchment areas of the four dams over the last one week. But there is still a need for judicious use of water at least for the next one month amid possible impact of El Nino on the July rainfall,” an official of the irrigation department said.
The official said the Met department has forecast less rain during July this year. “We, therefore, do not want to take any chances. Priority is to store maximum water in the reservoirs,” the official said.
Last year, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had imposed alternate day water cuts in the entire city, following scanty June rainfall. The storage in the four dams had dropped to 2 TMC then.
An official from the PMC’s water supply department said, “This year, PMC imposed once-a-week water closure in the city in May itself to save water. About 0.5 TMC water has been saved during the weekly closure so far. We are going to continue with the Thursday water closure. We hope that the administration will not have to explore the options of introducing more cuts in case of scant rain in the catchments in July.”
The PMC has already directed developers to utilize treated water for construction activities. Besides, steps have been taken to repair leakages to avoid wastage of water. Aniruddha Pawaskar, head of the PMC’s water supply department, said, “There is no immediate plan to suspend the once-a-week water closure. We are monitoring the situation. We are also in touch with the irrigation department and the Met department.”
In Kolhapur district, the catchment of Patgaon dam received 113mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, while Kumbhi dam in Gagan Bawda tehsil received 95mm rainfall, followed by Kasari dam in Shahuwadi tehsil (51mm), Ghatprabha dam in Chandgad tehsil (45mm) and Radhanagari dam in Radhanagari tehsil (39mm).