In the 15 drought-affected districts, rainfall was abnormally low this year, which is the main cause of the drought, says Milind Mhaiskar, secretary, relief and rehabilitation department, Maharashtra government in an interview to HT:
The state has experienced severe droughts in the past. Why was the government not prepared for this one?
In the 15 drought-affected districts, rainfall was abnormally low this year, which is the main cause of the drought.
Despite this, the government had planned logistically and financially to deal with the situation. We made a provision of Rs. 2,000 crore to tackle scarcities of water, fodder and electricity in drought-affected areas, which has been used up.
We are now providing an additional Rs. 50 crore for relief work in Osmanabad and Rs.40 crore for Jalna.
What are the drought relief plans that the government has undertaken?
We have mainly been providing water every day via 3,000 water-tankers trucks spread across Maharashtra. We are also pumping water to villages from distant sources, such as the Jayakwadi dam.
But dam storage reports say that the Jayakwadi dam has almost no water left.
We are dipping into the dead storage level of the Jayakwadi dam, and it has enough potable water to last a year.
Many villagers in districts such as Jalna say they are not getting the minimum 20 litres per person per day mandated by the government.
Enough water is being provided across the state. In many areas, people are getting much more than the required 20 litres. The relief plans have not failed.
(Milind Mhaiskar, secretary, relief and rehabilitation department, Maharashtra government)