Satisfactory rainfall across Maharashtra over the past week has raised the water level in the dams. The state government claims that the water stock will last till June 2016. The rainfall has also revived the hopes of bumper rabi crops in parts of the state.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held video conferences on this subject with the district collectors of eight districts of Marathwada, Satara, Sangli, Ahmednagar and Solapur in Western Maharashtra. The CM said that barring a few talukas in districts such as Nanded and Beed, the water stock has become enough to last till the next monsoon. But he admitted that the risk of drought looms large in parts where the damage to the crops was huge, and a review will soon be taken to identify the villages eligible for financial relief.
“The dams in most of the drought-hit districts of Marathwada have got a satisfactory stock of drinking water. The situation at dams such as Ujani and Jayakwadi, which were in minus reading due to the depletion of the water level below reserve stock, has improved significantly. Three dams in Parbhani, Hingoli and Nanded, too, have got more water stock than before. This has wiped out worries about water for drinking and fodder,” said Fadnavis.
He said that though some talukas in Marathwada have got enough water to last only till March next year, the shortfall could be met with water supplied from other parts of the districts. “Till a few days ago, we had water stock lasting only till December in Beed. We were also thinking of using railway wagons for supplying water to Latur, but both these worst-hit districts have received heavy rains in the last few days,” he added.
Fadnavis said that the government will soon send a memorandum to the Centre, asking for a relief package for drought-hit villages. He said that since the crop loss in the districts of Marathwada, western Maharashtra and North Maharashtra was more than 67% , the villages are entitled to be announced as drought-hit villages as per the revised central norms. There are about 8,000 villages which are likely to be declared drought-hit in next few days.
# The water stock in dams and reservoirs in the state has reached 54%, up from 40% about a week ago. This figure is much lower than the 79% and 80% on the same day in 2014 and 2013 respectively.
# The deployment of tankers for the supply of drinking water, too, has reduced drastically, down to 1,170 from 1,990 a week ago. In Aurangabad, it has come down to 64 tankers from 143 last week. Marathwada, however, continues to get the highest number of tankers -815.
# The average rainfall is 59.7%, though it is much less than last year’s average of 75.4%.
# CM Fadnavis has also directed the district administrations to submit a report on the water stocks in the projects implemented under his pet project Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan. They have also been asked to assess the quantum of the land which has been brought under irrigation through the scheme.
# The government has also claimed that many cattle camps are on the verge of shutting down as the farmers have started taking their cattle back home.