A region that has been battling severe drought finally has some relief. The Marathwada region recorded the highest rainfall in Maharashtra over in the 24-hour period between Sunday and Monday, holding up hope that its drinking water scarcity might be over.
Heavy rains continued to lash other parts of the state as well, creating a flood-like situation that many fear could damage whatever little crop farmers have managed to grow in the drought-stricken region. On the positive side though, the rains are expected to resolve the paucity of cattle fodder.
Official figures reveal that Latur district’s Renapur received 200mm rain in just 10 hours on Monday. Marathwada’s divisional headquarter Aurangabad received more than 100mm rain from Sunday night. Rain lashed other parts of Marathwada as well, including Parbhani, Beed, Hingoli and Osmanabad. In Hingoli, two persons reportedly died in separate incidents after being struck by lightning. However, there was no official confirmation of the deaths.
Aurangabad, meanwhile, continues to battle water scarcity as Jayakwadi - Marathwada’s biggest reservoir - remained parched despite heavy rain. “Water will reach Jayakwadi only when dams in the upper regions of Godavari and other rivers get full,” said a government official. He said that Aurangabad’s historic Harsul lake, which supplies water to 30,000 people, had not yet started filling up.
Central Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Konkan too got at least 20% or more rain compared to normal between June 1 and September 3.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) attributed the rain in central Maharashtra to “low pressure area over central India and adjoining Bay of Bengal”. D Sivanand Pai, director of the IMD’s Climate Centre said, “The monsoon has performed better in August as per IMD’s predictions.” Pai, however, denied suggestions that southwest monsoon is changing its pattern.