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Pune city needs to gear up on transport and water infra fronts
Monday, January 30, 2012

Maharashtra government has promoted industrialisation across the city of Pune. The numbers of corporate offices, business processing units, call centers, banking and insurance services have grown significantly. The abandoned industrial sights are converted into residential locations in the region. Township planning and low cost affordable housing is developed for growing population. All these factors resulted into increase in pressure on existing civic infrastructure. Pune local authorities should explore multimodal transport facilities based on need and feasibility of it's for each corridor. To avoid traffic problems, truck terminals, bus terminals and major wholesale markets should be developed on the outskirts of the city, finds Chandrashekhar Modi

Pune infrastructure is increasingly acquiring importance as one of the main infrastructural and industrial support of Maharashtra. Pune is one the most advanced, industrialized, and popular cities in Maharashtra. With a population of 75 lakh, Pune city has a well established primary, secondary, and tertiary sector. Pune's GDP is growing at the rate of around 8 per cent and Pune's per capita GDP is pegged at around Rs 50,000, taking Pune ahead of Hyderabad. Within India, Pune has the least gap between the rich and the poor. Pune's infrastructure has led to the city becoming sixth largest economy of India.


Pune infrastructure is well supported by the automobile and software sectors. Some of the major automobile-related units in Pune are Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Kinetic Engineering and Force Motors Ltd.Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen, Mahindra Navistar to name a few.

Other major companies having industrial units in Pune are Coca Cola, Whirlpool, LG, Bharat Forge, Thermax, Cummins Engines Co, Sandvik Asia, Finolex, Greaves India, Eaton Corporation, Frito Lay. Prominent software giants have chosen the Pune due to its efficient infrastructure and easy availability of skilled, English-speaking manpower. Some of that have a major presence are Infosys, TCS, HSBC Global Technology, IBM, Dell, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Xansa, KPIT Cummins, Neilsoft, Kanbay Software, Accenture, Cognizant, Siemens and I-Flex. Pune industry is undergoing an unprecedented boom, with 1700 companies setting up base there in 2005-06. Software export from Pune is expected to be Rs 9,000 crore in 2006-07.

Water infrastructure

The government of Maharashtra has promoted industrialisation across Pune region. Due to such policy, automobile, engineering, electronic, information technology and biotechnology industries have grown very fast. Such industries have created huge employment opportunities in the region. Therefore immigration of indigent rural labour and qualified professionals from other states took place. Along with the production and manufacturing, the growth of services sector also concurred. The numbers of corporate offices, business processing units, call centers, banking and insurance services have grown significantly. The abandoned industrial sights are converted into residential locations in the region. Township planning and low cost affordable housing is developed for growing population. All these factors resulted into increase in pressure on existing civic infrastructure. In the region, drinking water is not supplied on equitable basis and coverage is low. The reasons are topography, faulty and old pipeline, inadequate distribution system, transmission and distribution losses of water etc. The storage capacity of drinking water is also low. Demand of water in various wards is different. It depends on density of population, industrial and commercial units and institutions. The supply of water is depending on transmission and distribution losses, stock of water, duration and pressure of water etc. If the demand of water is not matching with supply in wards then it results into unequal distribution of drinking water. Some wards get round the clock water whereas some wards hardly get water in the region. Water tariffs are low and it is not regularly paid by the consumers. Drinking water is used for commercial and construction purposes. Water use laws are weak and they are easily violated.

Water provided by the tankers in far flung areas have lower coverage. Such water cannot be stored by the households because it is provided in a lower quantity and poor households do not have storage facilities. Therefore women and children are carrying drinking water from far places. It affects on the children's schooling performance and often results into lower schooling. Women cannot participate in the productive activities because carrying water from far places reduces the time for household chores, leisure and learning etc. Households can not relay on the ground water because it is highly polluted by the industrial units. Drinking such water causes water borne diseases. Reliable drinking water is becoming a scarce commodity in far flung areas of the region.

Pune city is transmuting from big city to mega city. It has already vanquished its peers such as Ahmadabad, Chandigad and Lucknow in terms of civic infrastructure. Now urban infrastructure is required to sustain the growth of city and water supply cannot be ignored. Therefore drinking water must be provided for 24/7 with adequate and equitable basis.

Pune metropolitan region consist of the Pune Municipal Corporation, Pune and Khadki Cantonment, Pimpri Chinchawad Municipal Corporation. Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation have separate sources of drinking water supply. In Pune city, drinking water supply system is very old and it exists since 1750. Pune city received first piped drinking water supply from Katraj via Amboli odha, Shaniwarwada. After this scheme of water supply, the Swargate water work came in existence in the year 1873. Such scheme is planned to treat raw water and supply to Pune city. Such water supply scheme is on Mutha right bank cannel and it is picked up at Swargate. Total water supply was inadequate for rising population. When Pune city reached at the status of Municipal Corporation in the year 1950, a project of 45mld is developed on the Mutha right bank cannel. Such scheme has provided water to the Pune city and Cantonment. Other than two major water supply schemes, Pune city gets drinking water from the Holkar water works. It is constructed in 1919 on Mula River. It supplied 22 mld water to Pune city and Khadki Cantonment. Warje water work is constructed in 1999 which added 23mld drinking water. Such scheme is build on the Khadakwasla dam. The capacity of Khadakwasla dam is 56 million cubic meters.

Wagholi water work is built on the Pavana dam in 2000. It added 23mld drinking water. Such scheme is planned to provide water to the villages on the boundary of Pune city. Due to the merger of the villages in the Pune municipal area, the villages are obliged to provide the drinking water. Total installed capacity of five water supply schemes in Pune Municipal Corporation is 793 mld. For Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), Pavana dam is a major source of drinking water. It is constructed in 1972. Intake works are constructed in the river bed 150 meter upstream of the existing Punawale weir near Ravet village. It is six kilometer away from the city. Around 91 percent of the stored water in the dam is utilized for non-irrigation purposes. Drinking water is mainly supplied to the Talegaon, Dehu Road cantonment and Pimpri Chinchwad town ship. Everyday 350mld (51 per cent) raw water is lifted from Pavana dam and supplied to Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal area. Pavana dam has capacity of 241milion cubic meters.

In Pune Metropolitan Region, demand of drinking water by population is 672mld. It is almost 82 percent of the total demand of drinking water. In Pune city, current population is more than three million and it is expected to cross five million by 2021(PMC, 2006).Similarly in Pimpri Chinchwad, it is estimated to reach 15.07 lakh and 21.05 lakh by 2011 and 2021 respectively (PCMC, 2006). Urbanisation in the region has resulted in more demand of water. Industrial demand of water is only 5 percent (41.14 mld) in the region. Such demand is lower because most of the industrial units are shifting out side of metropolitan area. The commercial units such as hotels, restaurants are increasing. The water demand by the restaurant is 38.24mld. Demand of water by the hotels is 21.67mld.

In the metropolitan area, water demand by the other commercial units such as mall and other entertainment unit is 8.71mld. In Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad two wheelers, cars are more. Potable water is used for the washing cleaning, repairing of cars and two wheelers in the region. The demand of potable water is almost 11mld. Water demand by the health centers is 1.71mld. In the Pune Metropolitan Region, the numbers of educational institutions have grown significantly over the period of time. The water is used for drinking, cleaning, gardening etc. Water demand by the various colleges is 8.46mld.

Drinking water supply distribution systems are separate in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal area. In Pune city, water supply operation is divided into seventeen zones. Each zone has its specified area and service. In some part of the city water is pumped and in some part water is distributed through gravity. It is also depend on the zonal reservoirs. Water is distributed through pipes consist of different diameters. The lowest diameter size of pipe is 80mm and highest diameter is 1600 mm. Total length of the network of pipeline in the city is 647.18 k.m. Total length of the distribution of drinking water pipeline is 2,474 km. It also includes the 24 km transmission line. In Pune city, water supply pipeline is mainly located near the roads. Some roads have more than one pipe line. The reason is that it has been put at different time. Total length of road in Pune city is 1750 km. In Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the distribution network covers length of 722 km. It is 95 percent of the road length. The water supply system in PCMC covers whole developed area including slums. The newly added areas are catered by the tanker supply. Total water storage capacity is 74 mld and it is only 32 percent of installed capacity of the system. Therefore the reservoirs in PCMC are filled up more than two times a day. The water supply is distributed by gravity and pumping zone in the city.

The gravity zone comprises as areas south of the ridge and slopping towards Pawana River. It is served by clear water sumps with total capacity of 20ml. The gravity zone covers west side of Pune Mumbai highway and railway lines like Chinchwad, Gaonthan , Pimpri, Rahatni, Kalewadi, Wakad, Pimple Nilakh , Pimple Gurav, Sanghavi, Thergaon and surrounding areas. There are 24 Elevated Service Reservoirs (ESR's ) in the gravity zone. The Pumping zone comprises areas north of the ridge and slopping towards the Indrayani River. They are subdivided into eight water districts. Each water district is served from the local ESR's. Total ESR's are 15 in pumping zone. It is also depending on the system in that particular ward. The areas covered under pimping zones are Morwadi, Amruteshwar, Masulkar colony, Saint Tukaram Nagar, Kharalwadi, Bhosari, Dighi, Charoli, Wadmukhwadi, Dudhoolgaon, Bokkhel and other areas located on other side of the Pune- Nasik road. In Pune city, water supply operation and maintenance, pumping of water, treatment and distribution is taken care by the Pune Municipal Corporation staff. Due to wider service area and connections, total 1650 persons including technical staff is employed by the Pune Municipal Corporation. Contractors are also involved in the distribution and maintenance at the boundary of the municipal area. In Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal area, water supply and service area is small. Therefore only 50 persons are employed.

In Pune city, quality of drinking water is regularly maintained as per IS 10500, 1991. The laboratory facilities at Parvati and Cantonment water works are well equipped with machinery. The physical, chemical and bacteriological tests of raw water as well as filtered water are carried out in the laboratory on regular basis. Daily 90 samples are collected at different points. It includes overhead and service reservoirs, intermediate connections in distribution network. The major portion is collected from the consumer taps. Water tests are divided as physical, chemical, microbiological examination of water. In daily supply of raw water, there is possibility of the presence of coli form and E coli organism. They may be more than 1800 per 100ml. After treatment of water, they are not present. In the month of August, turbidity in drinking water increases. The efficiency of Parvati water works as turbidity removal is approximately 67 per cent, which is of good quality. In Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal area, two water treatment plants are located in sector 23, Nigdi. Each one has capacity of 114mld. Total capacity matches to the installed capacity. In Pimpri Chinchwad municipal area, water treatment process is of conventional type. It consist of aeration fountain intake channels flash mixer, clariflocculator, rapid sand filters, chlorine contact tank, treated water sump and relevant TW, Pumping machinery. At present, PCMC has three water sumps and one BMR for storage of treated water. Treated water is further distributed to different zones in the city.

There is possibility of water contamination through open drainage system. If there is any complaint of water contamination in both Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, then it is solved within 24 hours by engineers and staff.

Urban planning issues

Physical development and growth are haphazard and uncontrolled. The Development plan needs to be implemented correctly and reserved lands have to be used for specified purposes. The DP should be implemented in a time-bound manner. Given the vastness of the Corporation area, multi-nucleated development of the fringe areas is essential. Small-scale commercial activities catering to the day-to-day needs of the population do automatically get dispersed. However, special efforts need to be made by PMC to attract medium and large commercial centres and offices and avoid their sporadic development leading to ill-organized traffic patterns. Haphazard development, both for residential and industrial purposes, is a problem in the newly added areas. The first Metropolitan Plan had recognised that development was spilling into the peripheral villages and had provided that low-density development with an FSI of 0.5 may be permitted in these villages. But, these areas which were included in the regional plan as No Development Zones got excluded from the purview of the ULC Act as being not developed by virtue of their zoning for agricultural or allied purpose. However, these agricultural plots were purchased with impunity and some gram panchayats willingly gave building permissions to the owners of these plots. As a result, a cluster of illegally constructed buildings without proper layouts arose in these areas. Evaluation of transfer of development rights (TDR) and Accommodation Reservation is necessary. Judicious use of TDR based on the sustenance of the existing infrastructure must be made. Judicious use of TDR should aim at grant of TDR for only those acquisitions which are to be immediately developed by the PMC; correct interpretations of Development Control Rules regarding 'fixed' and 'floating' TDRs must be made and it should be ensured that 'lumping' of TDRs do not result in dense habitation which may overload the infrastructure. Strict enforcement of DC rules must be observed. Unauthorised use of premises should attract severe punishment. Also, non-conforming uses, such as tiny industries, cattle sheds, potteries etc. must be shifted beyond the residential areas in a time-bound manner. As per CPCB norms, the water of the Mula Mutha river is highly polluted and cannot be used for any purpose. Untreated wastes from various domestic areas which are released in the canals get discharged into the river. Khadakvasala lake is polluted by due to gasoline and oils released by washing vehicles as well as litter and organic debris resulting in indiscriminate use of surrounding area for picnics. Sewage effluents mix with water due to their proximity with each other. Several river banks have ghats and crematoriums in their vicinity or on their banks and these further pollute the river. Washing of clothes, animals, etc. in the river releases foam, alkaline and other detergents in the water.

Multimode public transport needed

The public transport facility should focus on availability, comfort and reliability. Ticketing should be rationalised. Pune Urban Agglomerate (PUA) should have at least 2000 buses as against the current fleet of 1000 buses. To encourage public transport and discourage private vehicles, high parking fees can be levied and certain areas declared vehicle free. The city should have dedicated bus lanes (both for existing and new routes); bus stops should be easily accessible.

The way ahead

Pune has a lot to be developed in terms of adequate infrastructure. Pune local authorities should explore multimodal transport facilities based on need and feasibility of it's for each corridor. To avoid traffic problems, truck terminals, bus terminals and major wholesale markets should be developed on the outskirts of the city. Also, a ring road must be developed. All reservation lands proposed in DP should be acquired and developed in a time-bound manner. PMC must have a transparent/market friendly land acquisition policy. Cultural heritage of the city (Tulsi bagh, Laxmi road, Phule markets etc) should be preserved.

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Maharashtra Government, Industrialisation, Pune, Multimodal Transport, Township Planning, Affordable Housing, Civic Infrastructure, GDP, Automobile, Softwrare Sector, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Drinking Water, Pune Municipal Corporation, PCMC, TDR, Pune Urban Agglomerate
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