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   Home >> Library index >> Water Conservation / Management >> Farewell to Pune water woes? 
Farewell to Pune water woes? 

Pune: A good monsoon and the implementation of an intensive water conservation programme has yielded good results in the Pune revenue division, with the number of water tankers operating in April showing a significant decline as compared to last year. 
As many as 1,413 tankers supplied water to Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur districts on April 12, 2004. However, on the same day this year, the number of tankers has reduced to a mere 70, according to Prabhakar Karandikar, Pune divisional commissioner. 
Karandikar said that out of the 70 tankers in operation, as many as 47 have been pressed into service in Solapur district. Eight tankers are operating in Pune district, five in Satara, six in Sangli and four in Kolhapur. 48 villages and 247 colonies in the division, housing a combined population of 1.39 lakh, are facing water scarcity this summerm, Karandikar said. 
A good monsoon and extensive water conservation projects undertaken under the employment guarantee scheme (EGS) have mitigated the water shortage problem in the division. “We estimate that by June, the number of water tankers required would not go beyond 125,’’ he said. Almost 90 per cent of the EGS allocation was spent on water conservation projects, with priority being given to villages that required tanker supply in the past three years. This year, the administration has identified 695 villages and colonies in Pune, 163 in Sangli and 300 each in Satara and Solapur for special focus to implement water conservation programme. 
“We have also effected convergence of all water conservation schemes like Mahatma Phule water scheme, Jalswarajya, Swajaldhara and Shivkalin Paanipurvatha Yojana and succeeded in mobilising villagers to work for the projects,’’ Karandikar said. Following the success of water conservation in 192 villages of Sangli district, the administration has started water management programme to control the use of water. Gram panchayats will decide the cropping pattern and whether or not to permit new borewells in villages, Karandikar said, adding that this would keep the villages tanker- free. 
The concept of farm ponds has also become extremely popular, with Solapur district excavating 8,000 ponds. Pune, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur together have prepared 5,000 ponds. Karandikar said,” these ponds not only help save crops in times of water scarcity, but also increase the water table,’’. The administration is hoping there will be no need to open cattle camps, since they sap vital resources and even become difficult to manage. “Once we have 60 to 70 per cent rains, we will start a fodder drive, so that every village can grow adequate fodder to meet its needs,’’ he said.