Drought-hit Marathwada still awaits respite
Currently, Marathwada has only 0.56% of water left in all its reservoirs which was more than 13.19% last year by the same time. Of the total nine major dams, only one — Lower Manar in Nanded – has 11.27% water stock, while the stock in the rest of the reservoirs has come down to zero.Updated: Jul 05, 2019 08:32 IST
Although it is raining in several parts of Maharashtra, including the Mumbai-Pune belt, drought-hit Marathwada (central Maharashtra) hasn’t received much rain, even as the first week of July is about to end.
Marathwada has, so far, received only 54% of the average rainfall, which is the lowest compared to five other regions in the state — Konkan, Nashik, Pune, Amravati and Nagpur. Last year by this time, the region had received 100% of its average rain.
Currently, Marathwada has only 0.56% of water left in all its reservoirs which was more than 13.19% last year by the same time. Of the total nine major dams, only one — Lower Manar in Nanded – has 11.27% water stock, while the stock in the rest of the reservoirs has come down to zero.
According to the statistics provided by Aurangabad divisional commissionerate, districts such as Hingoli and Nanded districts have received lowest average rainfall — 41.8% and 42.9%, respectively. Among the eight districts, maximum rainfall was recorded in Aurangabad district (69.5%).
In contrast, Konkan region, which includes Mumbai, has recorded 151.2% more than the average rainfall. Nashik has received 88.5% excess, Pune 92.3%, Amravati 97.6% and Nagpur 200.9% more than the average rainfall, according to the rainfall recording and analysis cell of the state agriculture department.
“It is a fact that Marathwada as a whole is still waiting for a good rainfall. Half of the tehsils of the region have not received rains as of now. But positive side of the story is half of the tehsils have started receiving rains and we are prepared for the worst,” said Sunil Kendrekar, Aurangabad divisional commissioner.
To deal with the situation, the local administration has started supplying water from one dam to another based on the availability of water. But in case of further delay, they may have to rethink on the schemes of things, said a senior official from Aurangabad divisional commissionerate. For instance, they have made water available to Nanded’s Vishnupuri dam, which supplies water to the city. The stock will last only for 20-25 days, he added.
Despite the arrival of monsoon, 6,298 water tankers are still supplying drinking water to the affected areas across the state and half of them are deployed in Marathwada alone — 3,148. Past week, the total number of water tankers pressed into service was 7,014, of which 3,539 tankers were plying in Marathwada, according to the statistics provided by the state water supply and sanitation department.