Builders in Pune Flout Ban on Drinking Water Usage for Construction

Pune, November 2, 2023: Despite the prohibition on using drinking water for construction due to dwindling water levels in Khadakwasla Dam during the summer, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is facing renewed challenges as the demand for tanker water from the construction sector surges once again.

Following a promising replenishment of Khadakwasla Dam during the rainy season, it appears that the municipal administration may have overlooked the ban on using drinking water for construction. The demand for tanker water at the sewage plant from the construction sector has seen a concerning resurgence.

This year, with only 92 percent water storage in Khadakwasla Dam, compared to the previous year’s 98 percent on the same date, water conservation becomes imperative. The reduced water reserves necessitate careful planning for both drinking water in the city and irrigation in rural areas.

Acknowledging the importance of prudent water use, Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar has directed the Municipal Corporation to exercise caution in utilizing the water reserves, even with no official reduction in water supply.

Anticipating reduced rainfall due to the influence of El Nino, the municipal corporation had initiated water consumption reduction measures. In March, the commissioner instructed the administration to control water usage for construction purposes. An order was issued for the use of treated water from the city’s nine municipal wastewater plants for construction, but builders have apparently overlooked the directive.

The negligence of the construction department has come to light, as junior engineers, sub-engineers, executive engineers, and other officers were reportedly aware of ongoing construction projects where water supply from the municipal sewage plant was not taking place. Despite inspections and strict measures, builders continued to use tanker water for construction, resulting in a significant surge in demand during May and June, with approximately 80 tankers ordered daily.

While the demand has currently decreased to only fifteen to twenty tankers per day, the PMC emphasizes the necessity of conserving water even with increased storage in the dam.

Anirudh Pavaskar, Head of the Water Supply Department at the Municipal Corporation, stated, “Even if there is water storage in the dam, it is necessary to use water sparingly. Builders using drinking water for construction will be controlled.”

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