Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday expressed concern about the deteriorating water level dams supplying water in Pune compared to the previous year.
Pune relies primarily on water from the Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon, and Temghar dams, with some areas receiving supply from the Bhama Askhed dam.
Pawar was replying to a query by reporters on the looming water crisis.
He stated that a meeting of the Canal Advisory Committee would be convened in March to strategise for the upcoming months of April, May, June, and July. The decision-making process will consider factors such as evaporation rates, water usage patterns, and dam water levels during that period. Additionally, the calculation will account for the water needs of Pune residents, especially for drinking purposes.
Pawar highlighted that water reserves are lower than the previous year, a situation not unique to Pune but prevalent across Maharashtra. In response, the directive is to ensure that water availability is sufficient until the end of July next year. The Water Resources Department, led by Deepak Kapoor and his team, is actively planning to implement these directives, Pawar added.
He also shared that the Marathwada faces the most critical water storage situation in its dams, leading to water scarcity in 961 settlements and 366 villages, where 389 tankers are currently supplying water.
Recently, the Water Conservation Department has issued a warning to the Pune Municipal Corporation, urging control over daily water consumption considering the probable water crisis as key water sources like the Khadakwasala dam chain are rapidly depleting.
Last year, in response to a delayed monsoon, the PMC had initially decided on a one-day water cut, but the decision was reversed due to technical challenges and sufficient water availability following rainfall.
Pawar says his candidate will defeat Amol Kolhe in Shirur
Asked about opposition parties taking out rallies in Pune district against the state government, Pawar said a Lok Sabha MP from the NCP had expressed his willingness to step down as a member of the Lower House of Parliament.
"When we gave him a ticket in 2019, he was popular because he played the role of Sambhaji Maharaj (in a TV serial) and was a good orator," he said apparently referring to Amol Kolhe, the Lok Sabha member from Shirur constituency in Pune who supports the NCP camp led by Sharad Pawar.
"I have decided on an alternative to him (in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls), and I can tell you now that my candidate will win the seat for sure," said Ajit Pawar, who along with eight other NCP leaders joined the Eknath Shinde-led state government in July this year.