Above: Dying rivers, as they leave Pune Photo: Parineeta Dandekar
In May, decision of Pune’s Guardian Minister and head of canal committee of releasing 1 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) water from Khadakwasla Dam to downstream regions of Daund and Indapur saw huge protests from the city’s political parties and civic administration. Ensuring that Pune suffers no further water cut, even when downstream regions face historic drought, seems to have become the Mayor’s crusade. Keeping urban areas insulated and away from a terrible water crisis has its own major equity issues.
Pune is a water surplus city in upper riparian region of Krishna Basin. In a report “Reimagining Pune: Mission Smart City” submitted to Urban Development Department by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), it is admitted that Pune has water availability of 219 lpcd (liters per capita per day). Even so, the city has been much reluctant to share its water with downstream villages. it has seen barely 20% water cuts since last October.
While discussions and debates about drought revolve around sugarcane, industries, rural water use, irrigation management etc, etc., the growing, unjustified footprint of urban areas generally is left scot free and Pune is a classic example if this.
Here, we take a brief look at PMC’s water supply approach with its monomaniacal supply-side focus. While sourcing much more water than allocated from four upstream dams, PMC has been shirking from its responsibility of treating waste water before releasing it for the downstream. PMC has taken the upstream dams for granted and is planning for expansion of water supply system with 24×7 water supply in near future, relying on more water from these dams. Continue reading “Consume more, Pollute more, Pay less, Ask for more Dams: Pune City’s water policy”
In April 2016, the Central Government presented Wetland (Conservation and Management) Draft 2016 for comments which has been vigorously contested by leading experts as deliberate attempt to weaken key steps of Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rule 2010. Various organizations, community groups, NGOs including SANDRP has objected to the dilution of key norms and urged the government to discard Draft 2016 Rules and fully implement the 2010 Rules till new effective wetland protection rules are formed.
Now, highlighting the neglected state of our wetlands, SANDRP again urges the responsible authorities to come forward and take steps to protect a thriving wetland which is facing threats from none other than Government itself.
Naya Bans Wetland The Holambi Kalan and Khera Khurd are among several villages dotting North West Delhi’s agriculturally dominated landscape. Between the Railway Station of these two villages lies a flourishing wetland spread on the either side of the railway track which has intercepted two local storm water drains passing though the area.
Whether the area was originally a wetland or the interception of rain water carried during laying down of railway lines has resulted in accumulation of waste water is unknown. Yayati Bhardwaj a resident of nearby Alipur village recalls his childhood days when he used to frequent the area to have a glimpse of Lotus like flowers blooming in the wetland which now has disappeared. The 32 years old youth raising voice for local environmental issues still remembers his father talking of the marshland on few occasions. So the marshy land may or may not be artificial but over the time it has evolved into a living wetland in concretized capital providing refuge to large numbers of flora and fauna.
Continue reading “An undiscovered wetland thriving under looming threats”