Drought-hit Maharashtra to be tanker free in a week

  • Faisal Malik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 02, 2016 12:52 IST
The district administration will soon decide on the need for continuing a special water train (Jaldoot Express) by taking a review of the water stock (HT File Photo)

The situation in the drought-hit regions of Maharashtra is getting better with every passing day, thanks to incessant rains.

With the water stock rising, all eight districts of Marathwada that faced water scarcity are now likely to be tanker-free from this week. The water cut imposed in Aurangabad city and district, an industrial hub seen as capital of breweries, since April, will also be relaxed soon. Latur, another city in Marathwada that had gone tap-less since the end of February this year, restarted its water supply services from Monday.

Marathwada, the Central Maharashtra region, faced unprecedented water crisis in 2015-16, on the back of two consecutive droughts. The drought had wiped off all earnings of farmers, bringing down the overall food production from the region and led to a drinking water crisis.

Umakant Dangat, divisional commissioner of Aurangabad division, said the water table of the region had started rising because of the good showers. “Aurangabad and Jalna districts have already became tanker-free and we are expecting that in the next five days, all the remaining six drought-hit districts will stop using tankers for water supply,” Dangat told HT.

All eight districts in Aurangabad division — Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Parbhani, Hingoli and Nanded — were affected by the drought.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had imposed a 60% water cut on distilleries of the district and 25% water had been imposed on other industrial units in the backdrop of severe water crisis in May.

“In the next hearing, we will inform the court about the current status of our water stock and we are confident that the water cut will be lifted,” Dangat said.

In another major development, tap water supply of Latur also resumed from Monday after a gap of five months. Latur is the only district in the state for which water was brought through a special train in Ujani river of Solapur on a daily basis.

Collector Latur Pandurang Pol told HT that of the three tap water supply schemes, two were started on Monday and the third one will start in a week’s time.

“Nagjari and Sai water supply scheme started from Monday while Bhandarwadi water supply scheme will start soon,” he said.

He further said the district administration will soon decide on the need for continuing a special water train (Jaldoot Express) by taking a review of the water stock.

“We can stop the train after a week when we have reviewed the water stock situation,” Pol said.

Jaldoot Express supplies 25 lakh litres of water to Latur everyday.

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