After merger of 23 villages, PMC revises water demand to five times its current need

On June 30, the state government officially merged 23 villages in the PMC, making it the biggest municipal corporation in Maharashtra with an area of 516 sq km. Earlier, the state government had merged 11 villages in the PMC in 2017.

After the merger of 23 new villages in its jurisdiction, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has revised its annual water requirement to 20.07 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), five times its present demand of 14.48 TMC. The additional demand, it has proposed, should be met from the Mulshi dam.

The civic body has also estimated that with growth in population, the annual water demand will increase to 23.34 TMC by 2031-32.

On June 30, the state government officially merged 23 villages in the PMC, making it the biggest municipal corporation in Maharashtra with an area of 516 sq km. Earlier, the state government had merged 11 villages in the PMC in 2017.

According to the 2011 Census, the city population is around 35 lakh but considering its growth in the last 10 years, the civic administration has estimated that the current population is around 45 lakh.

The PMC has been demanding 18.58 TMC of water considering increasing population, but the state government approved only 14.48 TMC for the city. Now, the merger of villages has led to an increased demand and the civic administration has tabled a proposal in the city improvement committee of the PMC to seek an additional 5 TMC of water from Mulshi dam so that the demand can be put before the state government.

The city has been receiving 11.5 TMC water from a chain of four dams – Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar. It recently started receiving 2.64 TMC water from Bhama Askhed and 0.34 TMC from Pavana dams. The state government initiated a study on the mechanics of drawing water for Pune from Mulshi dam.

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“The state government’s decision to merge 23 villages in the city was a welcome step, but it should provide Rs 10,000 crore for undertaking development of civic facilities in newly merged areas. Also, the city needs additional water supply to meet the demands of increased population,” said Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has already directed the state irrigation department to study the plan to draw water from Mulshi dam, which is around 40 km of the city. Presently, the water from Mulshi dam is used for hydroelectric power plants by a private company.

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