Election code likely to hold up water supply plan

PUNE: The proposed ‘long-term water management plan’ may not get started soon as the all-important meeting to decide on the supply for the city and rural areas will not be conducted on time due to the election code of conduct.

According to civic officials, the regular annual timetable meetings known as canal committee meetings take place in October. Plans till the next monsoon are charted during these meetings when a decision on the amount of water is to be given to the agriculture sector in the rural parts of the city is taken. Authorities also dwell upon the quantity of water reserved for the city’s use.

“The civic body aims to take a long view of water utilization. A quick decision about release will help manage water. Though the chances of water cuts are almost zero this year, we need time for proper scheduling of the water supply timetable. If the meeting would have taken place on time, it could have been helped in the long-term plan,” PMC sources said.

A decision is arrived at around October 15 to 20. This time, a month-long delay is in store. The decision to discharge water to rural areas may have an impact on the voters, which will prevent the authorities from taking a call.
The code of conduct for the zilla parishad and municipal councils elections have been imposed in the state which will go to the polls in November. Restrictions on a decision are in place due to MLC elections. It may be relaxed at the end of November after the election results are announced.
“Normally, we plan till July 15 every year. This time we are contemplating to make arrangement till August 30. If all the stakeholders agree, the new plan can be implemented from 2017,” V G Kulkarni, head of PMC’s water department, told TOI.
The PMC areas get water from four major dams around city including Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar. The total capacity of these four dams is around 29 TMC, of which around 14 to 16 TMC is reserved for the city.

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