Water levels in Maharashtra’s lakes have dropped to a record average low of 25 per cent. With the water table falling, wells, too, have dried up.
Mumbai is facing 15 per cent water cut for residential and a 30 per cent cut for commercial users, with enough water in the lakes till July 15.
Revenue and Relief Work Minister Narayan Rane acknowledged the worsening water crisis in the state at a review meeting at Mantralaya on Tuesday and announced that the government has released Rs 41 crore to tide over the shortage.
“We have released Rs 41 crore to overcome the water scarcity and supply tankers wherever needed,” Rane said. “Now, only timely rains can save us from the worst.”
Tankers are supplying almost every district. “We have 1,553 tankers plying in the state. We need 250 more. But they are not available in the state and we are hiring them from neighbouring states,” Rane said.
But tankers are not helping in some regions because of the lack of water resources. “We don’t get enough water to fill tankers in districts such as Washim and Akola (both in Vidarbha) and Nanded (Marathwada),” he added. Marathwada and Vidarbha are the worst affected districts.
CM Ashok Chavan’s home district Nanded has 357 tankers in service, the highest in a district.