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Maha govt mulls more water cuts for industries


Mumbai: In view of the serious drought conditions prevalent in the Marathwada region, the Maharashtra government is mulling to further cut down water supply for the industries in the area from the current 10 per cent, imposed a month ago.

State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan today said that the government is hoping for some rainfall in the upcoming week, and if rainfall is not received, further water cuts would be imposed from next week.

“Condition in Marathwada region is extremely bad as of now. There is barely any drinking water left for the people and for cattle. In such a situation, our only priority is drinking water. As of now, since water in the dams can barely last for a few months, we have even almost stopped supplying water for agriculture purpose,” Mahajan told PTI.

He further said that according to the Indian Meteorological Department’s forecast, there is possibility of some rainfall in the first and second week of September. If there is insufficient rainfall, “hard steps will be taken” to save drinking water, the Minister added.

“We are expecting rainfall in the first and second week of this month. If it does not happen, we will have to take some very hard steps. We will have to further increase restrictions on the industries in the region. We cannot let people die and business live,” he said.

“Marathwada is officially the driest region in the country, and IMD figures indicate that rainfall deficit here has touched 51 per cent,” he said. He added that the five major irrigation projects, namely, Poorna Siddeshwar in Parbhani district, Majalgaon and Manjara projects in Beed district, lower Terna and Sina Kolegaon projects in Osmanabad, have zero per cent water left in them.

Meanwhile, according to an official from the Water Resources department, until last week, 1901 tankers across 1501 villages and 2677 wadis have been pressed into service to provide water across Maharashtra.

The official said that in the Marathwada region, 1291 tankers have supplied drinking water to 983 villages and 513 wadis till the last week.

“In major dams in the Marathwada region, the overall storage of water last year at this time was 25 per cent, that has come down to 8 per cent this year,” the official said.

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