Drought hits more than 70% vil­lages in Maha

Marath­wada re­gion worst-hit; wa­ter lev­els very low in dams

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Faisal Ma­lik faisal.ma­lik@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: More than 70% of the 40,559 vil­lages in Ma­ha­rash­tra are now reel­ing un­der drought. The state gov­ern­ment re­cently de­clared drought in 11,862 vil­lages, tak­ing the num­ber up to 28,662.

The Vi­darbha re­gion, which com­prises the Nag­pur and Am­ra­vati rev­enue di­vi­sions, is the worst hit. The state has de­clared drought in 5,810 vil­lages in the Am­ra­vati divi­sion, while 6,052 vil­lages have been named from the Nag­pur divi­sion. The dis­tricts that fall un­der both these di­vi­sions are Am­ra­vati, Akola, Ya­vat­mal, Washim, Nag­pur, Wardha, Gon­dia, Bhan­dara, Gad­chi­roli and Chan­dra­pur.

More­over, with no wa­ter left in dams, es­pe­cially in the Marath­wada re­gion, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials han­dling the cri­sis are in a fix for the next two-and-a-half months un­til the on­set of the mon­soon.

As on March 18, only 5% wa­ter was left in the ma­jor dams of Marath­wada, while the medium and mi­nor dams had just 6% and 3%, re­spec­tively. Last year, at the same time, the re­gion’s ma­jor dams had wa­ter up to 18%.

The big­gest con­cern in the drought- af­fected ar­eas now is the sup­ply of drink­ing wa­ter. The state has de­ployed more than 2,279 tankers to sup­ply drink­ing wa­ter and for the worst-af­fected dis­tricts, such as Latur, the gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to sup­ply potable wa­ter through rail­way wag­ons.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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