The drought situation in several districts in Maharashtra seems to have improved as the state government has decided to reduce the number of water tankers being sent to villages by almost half and to operate fodder depots only in some areas after August 15.
Of the 35 districts in the state, since the start of the monsoon till August 7, there has been more than 100% rain in eight districts, including Yavatmal, Akola, Amravati, Ratnagiri, parts of Satara, Gadchiroli and Nagpur.
"The situation has improved in a few areas and remained the same in others, so we have decided to reduce the water and fodder facilities accordingly. Till date, the state has had an average of 43% rain and 93% of the sowing is done," said Patangrao Kadam, minister of relief and rehabilitation, on the decision taken at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Kadam said the supply of water tankers to parched villages will continue till August 31, while fodder depots in many places will be discontinued after August 15.
"Provisions will only be made in areas that are badly hit and it will be decided case by case," he said.
The state will continue to send 1,543 water tankers that supply around 30.76 lakh litres of water every day to the 15 districts that have been declared to be hit by water scarcity. So far, the government has spent Rs. 221 crore on water tankers.
"At the start of the season, we were supplying almost 2,500 tankers. It has come down by almost half, which is a promising sign," water supplies minister Laxman Dhobale said.
"But Solapur, half of Satara and Nashik, Sangli, Osmanabad have still not got rains.