Desperate times call for desperate measures. However, they don’t always work.
Sensing that his fields were drying up, 48-year-old Ganesh Kawle spent a whopping Rs10 lakh in June to bring water to his eight-acre sweet lime cultivation in Golapangri village, a few kilometres from Jalna city. The investment did not pay off. Most of his 900 sweet lime trees are drying up and dying.
Kawle's tryst with water scarcity began February. "My trees were showing signs of drying up. Desperate, I sold off sweet lime at one-tenth its price," he says. Come May, Kawle started his search for water and bought a plot worth Rs2 lakh next to a storage tank 6km away.
"I thought the plot's groundwater table would be high as it was next to a storage tank," he says. Kawle drilled a well, struck water and laid pipelines to bring water to his field. In 10 days, the well ran out of water. His investment had sunk.
"Now, the well lies dry, as does my field. I can only stand and watch helplessly as the sweet lime shrubs dry up one after the other," he says.