NMC consuming more water than standard norms: MWRRA

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Oct 2017 09:48:28


Special Correspondent,

Asks NMC to submit water budget report by October 15

Directs Chief Auditor to undertake water audit of NMC

In a major jolt to Nagpurians who are used to consume water from Pench project for decades without any restriction, the regulatory body, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA), has strongly recommended to optimise the supply and judicious use of water. The project was essentially constructed to irrigate farm lands at Ramtek, Mouda and Bhandara, but bulk of its water is used to meet demands of Nagpur city.

This order, in effect, will force the civic body to improve its water distribution network and plug leakages on war-footing.
“Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is consuming more water than the standard norms. The civic body should submit its water budget to the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) before October 15, 2017 and also undertake the water audit,” MWRRA directed in a petition filed by former Shiv Sena MLA of Ramtek Adv Ashish Jaiswal.

A bench of K P Bakshi, Chairman and V M Kulkarni, Member (WR Engineering), while passing order recently, issued certain directions in view of water deficit in Pench project, main source of drinking water supplied to the Orange City. As of now, Pench reservoir has only 43 per cent stock, therefore, the MWRRA has directed authorities to use available water more efficiently and judiciously, minimising wastage by all water use sectors.

Jaiswal has filed this case seeking reservation of this scarce water for irrigation purpose by curtailing the use of water from Pench project by the NMC.

The authority, in its far-reaching order, stated that NMC would submit its water budget on the basis of criteria and the conditions lay down in the criteria for distribution of surface water entitlements by River Basin Agencies for Domestic and Industrial Uses (criteria) brought out by the MWRRA in September 2017. NMC shall consider water that
can be made available form alternate surface and ground water sources to arrive at its net water requirement from the Pench Project. NMC shall also consider present population and permitted unaccounted for water for water budgeting.

The bench further stated that VIDC after due scrutiny and ensuring that all possible alternatives have been tapped by the NMC in its water budget shall sanction the entitlement from the Pench Project on the basis of criteria laid down by the Authority. Based on the storage position of reservoirs as on October 15, the VIDC shall grant allocation for domestic and industrial bulk water uses for the year 2017-208 as per criteria.

Irrigation rotation shall be planned within quota of water for agricultural sector in consultation with the project level Water User Association. In doing so, sufficient carry over shall be kept reserved in anticipation of the late outbreak of monsoon in next year. The Authority allowed District Collector to submit say in two weeks. NMC, Collector, and Executive Engineer-Pench shall file their affidavits before the authority by October 23, 2017. Pench Project Authorities shall exercise strict supervisory control to ensure efficient use of water and avoid wastage while water is released for irrigation. The authority has directed NMC to get the water audit done from the Chief Auditor, Water and Irrigation, Aurangabad on priority as Non Revenue Water is abnormally high.

The next hearing will be held on October 25 at 12 noon. Jaiswal urged to grant relief by determining the requirement of water by Nagpur according to population as no water was supplied for standing Kharif crops and no cut is applied to water requirement of local body. He said, the local body did not pay amount of Rs 84.45 crore for the additional reservation, therefore, the reservation is illegal.