Agricultural production in central Maharashtra and some other parts of the state will be hit as the drought intensifies.
According to figures released on Monday, 1,155 villages are facing acute water shortage as compared to 1,048 last week. Last year, 143 villages were facing water shortage at this time.
Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed and Osmanabad are the most affected. Water scarcity has reduced kharif (summer) production by 70% to 80%. Rabi (winter) crops are even worse. Farmers are cutting sweet lime and pomegranate plantations. Agricultural produce statistics show supply of most grains till December dipped by 80% compared to last year.