History of Pune`S Water supply'[edit | edit source]
Pune being a historical city it also has history of water supply. It is said that the very first water supply scheme for Pune was implemented By Dadoji Kondev (Teacher of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj). Then in year 1750 one of the knight of Nanasaheb peshva, sardar Naro Appaji Tulshibagwale built Katraj lake to arrange for water supply of Pune city. In year 1778 knight sardar Anandrao Raste brought water to Rasta Peth area of Pune city, from Kondhave village which is located 7 miles eastern of Pune city. In year 1790 Sardar Nana Phadnis directed well water from Narhe Ambegaon village located 6 miles southern of Pune city. He directed well water by means of an Earthen Duct, this water was said to be very good & was being collected in tank at Sadashiv Peth area of Pune city. Ruparam Choudhari also brought water by pipe to shukrawar peth & Bhavani Peth area of Pune city. In year 1848 British government constructed a Bund at purnakuti area to supply water to cantonment. Hence it can be easily observed that right from 18 Th century Pune & citizens are very lucky as far as water supply is concerned.
In the years 1870 to 1880 Khadkvasla Dam was built & at the two sides two canals viz. Mutha right canal & Mutha left canal are drawn. From Mutha right canal water from Khadkvasla Dam was used to direct towards swargate water purification plant & after purification it was being supplied to Pune city. Upto year 1968 Swargate water Purification plant played the main role in water supply.
Even today the remains of History can be seen in the form of “Katraj Water Supply Scheme”. Katraj lake is located 10 Km south of Pune city. The source for Katraj Lake was “Ambel Oodha”. Katraj Lake is said to be constructed by Nanasaheb Peshva in year 1750. To obstruct the water at Katraj Lake he constructed a large wall. This large wall is nothing but the main “Katraj Dam”. This historic water supply system, constructed in 1750 i.e. in the era of Balaji Bajirao Peshwa (Nansaheb peshwa), comprises huge ducts and underground tunnels originating from Katraj Lake of the city to the historic Shaniwarwada Fort, the ancient seat of the Peshwas. The historic underground Earthen Duct To supply water for Pune city starts from the wall of Katraj Lake. This duct measures 2 ft. 6in. in breadth & 6 to 7 ft. in height. The duct has doom shaped at siling. In between Katraj to Shaniwarwada there are in all app. 125 openings & the total length of the duct is 5 miles. At that time it is said that this water supply scheme was able to supply 6.5 lakh Gallons (app. 29lakh Lit.) of water per day. This underground water supply system is considered an engineering marvel as it could supply water to practically the whole of Pune then without the need for motors and pipelines, which are used at present.
This Katraj water supply scheme played vital role as Pune was flooded when Panshet tumbled down year 1961. Today considering Pune`S current potable water requirement, water from Katraj lake is deficient & not potable for drinking purpose.