Water scarcity worsens, all hopes on monsoon
The worst fear of Nagpurians has come true. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has decided to stop water supply on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday after the dead stock of Totladam too dried up. This is the first time in the history of Nagpur when water cut has been imposed in the city. Nagpur would now get water supply on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The decision was taken in a meeting held on Monday to review the water availability situation in all the major reservoirs and dams that supply water to the city.
A meeting has also been called on Monday to review the situation. It monsoon becomes active again and rains arrive by Monday, then the water level in Totladoh and other dams is expected to increase. However, if the dry spell continues then the NMC may continue with the water supply cut. NMC sources said, if rains do not arrive in a week then NMC would have no other option left but to supply water on alternate days.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar, standing committee chairperson Pradip Pohane, ruling party leader in the house Sandip Joshi, chairman of water supply committee Pintu Jhalke and officials of NMC were present. After taking stock of water storage level in Totladoh, Gorewada, Navegaon Khairi, it was decided to reschedule water supply from Wednesday. It was decided to supply water for only four days a week. The NMC had apprised Union minister Nitin Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of the grave situation and decision of implementing water cut.
In May too, NMC had proposed to cut water supply considering depleted water level at Totladoh dam. However, guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule was against this decision and at a meeting, he refused to accept this proposal. Due to scanty rains last year, water storage at Totladoh dam was poor. As a result, it dried up much before the expectations of authorities concerned. This forced the NMC to draw water from dead stock of the dam. However, the water available in the dead stock too was sufficient only to quench the thirst of Nagpurians till July 15.
The NMC was drawing 30 MMC water from the dam. NMC was hopeful that monsoon would arrive in the city by June end or in the first week of July and water level in dams would improve. However, this did not happen and barring a few spells of rains, June and first fortnight of July remained dry. This has worsened the situation. NMC is now planning to supply water from whatever stock is left in the Totladoh to the denizens of Nagpur till the onset of monsoon. According to NMC sources if rains do not arrive in a week then NMC would have no other option left but to supply water on alternate days.
In 2018, Gorewada reservoir’s water storage level was at 312.85-metre, this year it is 311.57 metre. Similarly, Navegaon Khairi’s water level had slipped to 318.36-metre from 322.10 in July last year. Totladoh received 394 mm rains in the first month of monsoon while this year it has recorded just 158 mm of rains. Usable water stored in the dam was 136.568 MMC last year. This year it has dried up. Navegaon Khairi had received 536mm rains till July 15. This year, it has recorded just 172-mm rains.
While addressing the media after a marathon meeting over the issue, ruling party leader in the NMC Sandip Joshi said, water availability at Totladoh and Navegaon Khairi has hit the rock-bottom. Hence, water is not reaching Pench 1, 2, 3 with force. Water tanks are not getting filled and NMC is forced to apply water cut. Kanhan River has adequate water and it would be used to quench the thirst of people living in Nehrunagar zone, Lakadganj, Ashinagar zone, and Satranjipura zone. “We are deeply pained to take the decision to apply water cut. This is perhaps the first time in the history of Nagpur when people would be facing such type of water scarcity. Till Sunday, water supply would not be daily but on alternate days. If condition improves by Sunday, the decision would be reconsidered,” Joshi said. Deputy mayor Deepraj Pardikar, Pratod Divya Ghurde, additional commission Ram Joshi, executive engineer of water supply department Shweta Banerjee and others were present.
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