Wa­ter, Wa­ter Nowhere! Res­i­dents of Marath­wada in Deep De­spair

‘The wa­ter smells and is un­fit for drink­ing, but we don’t have a choice’; soapy wa­ter for pets; rel­a­tives are now not wel­come at homes

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Mum­bai: With the mer­cury ris­ing and very lit­tle wa­ter around, things are get­ting quite dif­fi­cult for res­i­dents of Marath­wada, fac­ing one of the worst droughts in re­cent times, made worse by four suc­ces­sive crop fail­ures. Peo­ple of this re­gion have stopped tak­ing bath for a cou­ple of weeks, they are us­ing dis­pos­able plates, and are even giv­ing up re­li­gious rit­u­als which in­volve use of wa­ter. Take Disle­wadi vil­lage in Beed district, for in­stance, where vil­lagers take bath once a week.

“We oc­ca­sion­ally get tanker wa­ter — the wa­ter has been poured in a dried-up well in our vil­lage. The wa­ter smells and is un­fit for drink­ing, but we don’t have a choice, we have to drink it,” said Sarubai Disle, a vil­lage res­i­dent. The sit­u­a­tion for pets such as goats and dogs is even worse — they drink the soapy wa­ter left be­hind af­ter wash­ing clothes.

Things are pretty much the same in for­mer CM Vi­las­rao Desh­mukh’s con­stituency Latur. “I have had em­ploy­ees who have not been able to take bath for days — one of my em­ploy­ees took bath once in two weeks,” said urol­o­gist Han­sraj Ba­heti, who runs a clinic in Latur.

Peo­ple have stopped us­ing wash­ing ma­chines. “The scarcity has changed peo­ple’s out­look on wa­ter,” said Latur res­i­dent Shiv­das Mitkari.

Peo­ple have even stopped wash­ing their homes with wa­ter, which used to be a reg­u­lar prac­tice. “Now peo­ple sweep their floor with a broom, and clean­ing ve­hi­cles with wa­ter is a strict no-no,” said Mitkari.

Mitkari and other res­i­dents in Marath­wada said even rel­a­tives are now not wel­come. “They can stay for an hour or so, but not more than that. They are po­litely told that it is dif­fi­cult to ar­range wa­ter for them.”

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