Article courtesy of The Times of India | Shared as educational material| May 14, 2015 |
MUMBAI: Much before intense summer sets in, the entire Marathwada region is already facing an acute shortage of drinking water.
Data released by the water resources department shows that on May 10, the total stock of water in 806 large, medium and small dams in Marathwada region stood at 9%. It was 25% on the same day last year .
In other words, the water in the dams is not likely to last for more than three weeks.
Water resources minister Girish Mahajan on Wednesday confirmed that the situation in the entire Marathwada region is alarming.
“It’s a bad situation.We are making all efforts to provide drinking water to people in the affected villages. We have deployed tankers and district collectors have been asked to initiate measures to tackle water shortage,” Mahajan said.
A senior revenue depart ment official said that while on the one hand, Marathwada has recorded a large number of farmers’ suicides owing to the agrarian crisis, on the other there is the fresh problem of finding even drinking water.
“We have initiated measures from our own funds but at the same time, we expect financial assistance from the Centre. If the Centre fails to respond, then the state government will raise funds from financial institutions to tackle the situation,” he said.
The revenue official said that even Nagpur and Amravati regions were facing acute shortage of water.
“We did launch water conservation measures, but prima facie, these have failed. As a result, the underground water level is steadily depleting.
Apparently, we failed to halt the sudden spurt in digging of borewells despite stringent restrictions,” he said.
On the available water scenario, a senior official in the water resources department said that on May 10, total stock of water in 2,498 dams across the state was only 24% against 28% on the same day last year.
In the Konkan region, it was 35% compared to 34% in 2014; in Nagpur it was down to 23% from 41% last year; in Amravati it was only 27% while it was 39% in 2014.
However, in Pune there was a marginal dip to 27% from 28% last year.