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Protests in Ahmednagar dist over release of water to Jayakwadi


Mumbai, Dec 9 (PTI) Farmers in Ahmednagar district today staged protests at 11 places, including the vicinity of reservoirs, to protest release of water from reservoirs located in their area to Jayakwadi dam in drought-hit Marathwada region.

Water released from Mula reservoir in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district will reach Jayakwadi dam tomorrow afternoon, a senior official told.

The release will continue for a week, he added.

Former NCP minister Babanrao Pachpute said he supported the demand of people from Marathwada for adequate water supply, but that should not be at the cost of farmers in Ahmednagar.

BJP MLA Prashant Bamb said leaders from western Maharashtra have hijacked Marathwada’s share of water and have pitted people of Marathwada against those from Ahmednagar district.

NCP MLC Amarsinh Pandit said the government should set up a committee to ensure adequate supply of water to Jayakwadi. “This is a recurring issue, leading to avoidable confrontation between people of neighbouring districts,” he said.

Former Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat has also opposed release of water from reservoirs in Ahmednagar and Nashik districts into the Jayakwadi dam.

“We feel that water from western Maharashtra and Konkan should be diverted to Jayakwadi to resolve the scarcity problem, instead of depriving people from Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of their share,” said Thorat, who hails from Ahmednagar.

Farmers had yesterday staged a blockade in Ahmednagar district to oppose the decision to release water.

In a measure expected to bring some relief to the parched districts of Marathwada region, the government had on Saturday last ordered 7.89 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) water release from upstream reservoirs into the Jayakwadi dam.

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