MUMBAI: With the arrival of the monsoon still two weeks away, the water scarcity situation in the state is getting worse with every passing day. The water stock in dams in drought-hit Marathwada has now come down to 1% and 800 villages have gone completely dry in the past 20 days. These villages are left with no sources of water and are entirely dependent on supply of drinking water through tankers. Of these, 346 villages are in Marathwada or central Maharashtra.
The number of t ankers deployed across the state for drinking water supply has also gone up to 5,738. This is the first time that tankers in such huge numbers have been deployed to supply drinking water.
Across the state, the water stock is already low, with only 12% storage available as against 22% at the same time last year. Of them, Marathwada has just 1%, Pune 10%, Nashik 12%, Amravati 13%, Nagpur 21% and Konkan region has 36% water left in dams and reservoirs. With no clear indication when the monsoon will start in the region and water stock depleting rapidly, officials from the relief and rehabilitation department are in a fix. “We are also worried that more villages are likely to go dry and less water is available for supply next month,” said an official.
Around 4,600 villages in the state are reeling with acute water shortage and are getting water through tankers as on May 23. The number of villages affected with water crisis was 3,798 as on May 2, which means in the past 20 days, 802 villages have lost their water sources. The number of tankers has increased in the past 20 days by 855.
The situation in Marathwada, which comprises 8 districts, is the worst. Of the 4,600 villages affected with acute water shortage, 2,849, or 61%, are from Marathwada region alone. As a result, maximum number of tankers have been deployed in the region. At present, 3,817 tankers are deployed in the Marathwada region.