Anticipating no immediate relief, some people from drought-hit rural areas have started migrating to cities like Mumbai, Pune and adjoining states in search of livelihood.
Police fear that water shortage might snowball into a law and order problem.
"Police have also been instructed that in the case of protests, they should exercise utmost restraint and resort to cane-charge only in extreme cases. If the situation spins out of control, the cops on spot should wait for orders of their seniors before taking the next step," the officer said.
Ahmednagar, Solapur, Satara, Sangli, Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna and Osmanabad are among over a dozen districts facing drought, said to be worse that the one Maharashtra saw in 1972.