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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Cities asked to brace for major exodus from April

Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 15, 2013
First Published: 02:05 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:06 IST(15/3/2013)

The acute drought situation in the interior parts of the state may cause a riot-like situation in the urban centres in the coming days, the police have warned.

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The state police administration has sounded an alert to major and medium-scale cities in the state, including Mumbai, to gear up for the crisis situation arising out of water scarcity, which is likely to worsen from April when summer will be at its peak.

The alert is based on intelligence that a massive population from the 15 drought-affected districts of Marathwada, western Maharashtra, Khandesh and some parts of Vidarbha is on the threshold of migrating to cities in search of livelihood.

“A few thousands have already migrated to Aurangabad city from the interiors of Marathwada where everything has dried up and crops have been destroyed,” a senior official from director general of police’s office said while quoting the intelligence inputs.

The official said that a population of about 30-45 lakh is preparing to migrate to cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Nashik fearing worsening of the situation from April, which will result in an unprecedented exodus.

“The migrant population would either take shelter at some relative’s place at these urban centres, or camp in open spaces available there. They would stay put for the next four months till it rains and water situation improves in their villages,” a source said.

Mumbai, the official claimed, is likely to witness the maximum exodus from western Maharashtra.

The official said that the police administration in every city has been asked to device their own strategy to cope with the emerging situation as per their city’s peculiarity.

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