While issues of water supply in the city remains a topic of debate, a
recent report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has
revealed that the city is faced with the problem of excessive water
supply and generation of large volume of sewage water.
states that around 931.2 MLD (million litres per day) sewage water is
generated in the city, which is 23% more the quantity estimated by the
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Based on the estimates of the water
supplied, it is revealed that 64% of sewage water remains untreated. The
report also states that 25% of the population is not covered by the
findings have been mentioned in the report titled 'Excreta Matter: 7th
citizen's report on the state of India's environment', published by the
CSE, a Delhi-based NGO working on environmental issues. The report was
released in the city by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil at a workshop on
'Water-sewage challenges that Pune faces' last week. The survey divulges
details about the water-waste profiles of 71 Indian cities, including
The report states that 15 TMC, which is the projected need
of water, is lifted from the Khadakwasla dam, as against supply of 12.5
TMC by the irrigation department. The city's population has increased
from 3.1 million in 2005 to 3.7 million in 2011. Thus, the demand of
water has increased from 605 MLD to 1,164 MLD. There are 4,500 tubewells
which have been counted, the report states.
The report points out serious water quality issues in rivers. The report has also made recommendations on sewage planning.
Jacob, programme director, Water, CSE, said Pune has mismanaged its
water and sewage, and has landed in the current mess. "The situation is
extremely serious since water supply is erratic, leading to rapid
groundwater exploitation and depletion. The poor management of sewage
and waste water has compounded the problem by increasing groundwater
pollution as well as pollution of local rivers," Jacob said.
report has made recommendations to prioritise public investments
differently, plan to cut costs of water supply, invest in local water
systems, reduce water demand, spend on sewage, not on water, cut costs
on sewage systems, plan to recycle and reuse every drop.
Lal Seth, deputy programme manager, water, CSE, said the report has been
received favourably by the government of India, especially the planning
commission and the Union ministry of urban development. "Sunita Narain,
director general, CSE, will have a meeting with the urban ministry
shortly and we hope to find this report included in the urban reform
agenda of Maharashtra," he said.