PMC starts desilting at Dehrang dam
Silt has reduced the storage capacity of the dam from 3,357 MLD to 2,100 MLD, say sources
The desilting work of the Dehrang dam that has been pending for several years was finally taken up earlier this week with support from the people of the region, including officials, contractors and elected representatives.
Panvel Municipal Council (PMC) is the only council in the state to build its own dam, located on the foothills of Matheran. This is the biggest silt-cleaning operation ever undertaken at the dam.
Raigad district collector Sheetal Ugale, PMC president Mangesh Chitale, sub-divisional officer Bharat Shitole, tehsildar Deepak Aakde and other officials played an important role in getting the work started.
The collector has garnered praise from all quarters for conducting a poll to make Wahal alcohol-free and now starting the cleaning, which is crucial for quenching the thirst of Panvel in today’s difficult times.
The city, with a population of around 1.25 lakh, is facing an acute shortage of water. Potable water is supplied to the households on alternate days.
The inadequate rainfall last year has been compounded by the fact that the silt in the Dehrang dam has not been cleared for the past two years leading to further problems in the availability of water. While there is a natural cause for the water shortage, delayed decision-making has hit residents hard.
There are, at present, 11,000 water consumers in the city who need 26mld water daily. Despite Panvel having its own dam, it has to depend on various agencies to fulfill its requirement.
The Dehrang dam is spread over 277 acres. It has a water storage capacity of 3,357mld. However, since it has 3 metres of silt deposited in it, the capacity has been reduced to 2,100 mld.
With the dam virtually exhausting its water this month, Raigad collector Sheetal Ugle, despite no resolution taken by the Panvel Municipal Council, used the Jalyukt Shivar scheme and coordinated with various departments to start the siltclearing work.
Under the scheme, Panvel tehsildar Deepak Aakde got the cooperation of contractors in the Panvel taluka who have deployed 80 dumpers and other such machines.
The silt taken out of the dam will be deposited on PMC’s land above it. Around 5,000 saplings will be planted on it. It will also be distributed among local farmers if they require it.