THE MARATHWADA region of Maharashtra is facing a drought-like situation for the fourth consecutive year. All the eight districts in the region—Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad and Parbhani—have received just 259 mm of rainfall against the yearly average of 541 mm. Residents of the area are already comparing this year's drought with that of 1972, indicating it is the worst year in four decades. The situation is so bad that the Indian Railways is being used to ferry water from other areas of Maharashtra to waterdeficit Marathwada. Around 575 farmer suicides were recorded in the region by the end of August.
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