Pune's citizens have courageously tackled the drought situation and have contributed significantly in increasing water storage capacity by undertaking desilting of a large number of ponds, tanks and water bodies, said Maharashtra Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan on June 2. More than 22,486 works related to desilting and strengthening of water sources have been completed in the Pune division, which will help store about 8.54 tmc of additional water, said the Chief Minister.
He said this in Pune following a review meeting of the Pune division on water scarcity, attended by the top brass of the revenue department in the division. Chavan said that the State government has spent Rs 885 crore in the division for supplying drinking water and providing fodder for cattle.
The division would need another Rs 186 crore till the end of June, he said. "Never before have the works been undertaken on such as a vast canvas, with citizens' participation. Citizens have stepped forward to tackle drought. Their contribution in desilting of ponds and tanks has helped in completing the work sooner and increased storage capacity, said Chavan. He said that desilting of 5,492 ponds has been completed, while that of another 4,800 were under way and expected to be complete by the end of the month.
About 284 lakh cubic meter silt was extracted from ponds, which will now help to store about 8.54 tmc water in four districts of the Pune division. Chavan said that the government has initiated all necessary steps to tackle the scarcity of water and fodder. Water tankers have been deployed to meet drinking water requirements, while work has commenced under the Employment Guarantee Scheme to provide income to citizens in drought-hit areas. This has helped restrict migration, Chavan said.