Parched Marathwada faces rainfall deficit, dams still dry
While most parts of the state have got heavy rain over the past few days, drought-prone Marathwada and Vidarbha are still reeling under rainfall deficit, leading to delay in sowing kharif crops. Hundreds of villages are being supplied water with help of 451 tankers.
The water stock in 964 water projects in eight districts of Marathwada touched 7.91% on Monday against 17.99% last year on the same day.
The water level of Jayakwadi dam, the largest one in Marathwada, has increased to 20.73% from negative level a few days ago. But, it is still below last year’s 31.62% on the same day.
Some of Marathwada districts including Beed, Osmanabad and Latur have water shortage as water level in major dams is still below the live (usable) water stock. In most of the major dams in division including Manjara (-22.88%), Majalgaon (-25.19%), Yeldari (-2.75%), Siddheshwar (-63) the water level is still at 0%, with drinking water being drawn from dead stock of the dams.
The district administration continues to send 219 water tankers in Osmanabad, 91 in Latur, 96 in Beed, and 24 in Nanded.
“Rainfall in most of parts of the district has improved and we expect it to match the deficit in the next few weeks. We have started preparations for cloud seeding by installing a Doppler radar in Aurangabad,” said an official from the office of Aurangabad divisional commissioner.
Amaravati division, which comprises five Vidarbha districts (Amaravati, Akola, Buldhan, Yavatmal, Washim), too, has shortfall of water stock in the dams. The water level in 446 dams in the division has recorded 16.51% on August 5, against 35.15% on the same day last year.
“Barring Buldhana, we have received good rain and expect the lake level to recover the deficit,” said Gajendra Bawane, deputy collector, Amravati division.
Sowing of agriculture crops such as cereals and pulses has been delayed. Vijay Diwan, irrigation and farm expert from Marathwada, said, “After the green revolution, we started growing cash crops such as sugarcane, leading to more extraction of water. This depleted the ground water level. The delayed and deficit rainfall has hit sowing. This will result in drop in production.”