Activists seek scrapping of proposal to provide four FSI along Pune metro routes
The reduction in the daily water quota for the city and a looming water crisis have prompted civic activists to demand the scrapping of a proposal to provide 4 floor space index (FSI) along the Metro corridor in the city.
Activists from the NGOs Parisar, SajagNagrikManch and Pedestrians FIRST have written to the municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao and mayor MuktaTilak.
“Pune is already reeling from a water shortage and 4 FSI will mean more people staying along the Metro corridor and the need for additional water. Where will we get the water from? There is no plan to build new dams. It is dangerous to increase the population in such a way. We cannot make the entire city suffer (just) for the success of the Metro,” VivekVelankar of SajagNagrikManch said.
Velankar added that a water scarcity might drive people away from the city. “Information Technology professionals moved from Bengaluru to Pune due to an abundance of water. If there is no water here, they will move elsewhere. Industries will start moving out. Water is not infinite and such densification and increase in population is dangerous,” he said.
“The present population of Pune is about 40 lakh and the minimum requirement of water is 1,350 MLD. PMC has been asking for additional water, considering the increasing population and addition of new villages, but the (state water regulator) has rejected the application and directed the PMC to lift only 635 MLD of water. Water shortage is now likely to be a regular affair for the city,” the activists wrote in the letter.
Pune is reeling under a water crisis following depleted water levels in four dams, where the stock is 5 TMC less than last year’s storage. While the PMC needs 1,350 MLD to meet the city’s daily requirements, it has been instructed by the irrigation department to lift only 1,150 MLD, considering a possible crisis in the summer. To this end, the civic body has introduced a revised schedule to restrict water use. Corporators too have sought restrictions on road concreting, while demands have been made to curb the use of drinking water at construction sites.
The activists wrote in the letter that if up to 4 FSI is provided within 500m on both sides of the Metro corridors, about 100 sqkm of additional built-up area would be available for construction, which would put a serious strain on the resource. “PMC is unable to provide the minimum water needed to the existing population. With the population bound to rise as the city expands in the normal course, PMC would find it more and more difficult to cater to the city’s growing need. Granting 4 FSI would enormously add to the burden,” the letter read, adding, “We urge the PMC to immediately scrap the proposal,” the letter read.
“The proposal has not been approved by the state urban development department yet,” mayorMuktaTilak told media.