As Cyclone Gulab swept through the state and had the worst-ever impact on the drought-prone Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, standing crops on an estimated 11 lakh hectare of land were completely washed away. On the other hand, following heavy rainfall, water stock in more than three dozen dams in the state has crossed the 100% mark. It is for the first time in the state’s recent history that water stock in such a large number of dams has crossed 100% capacity. Significantly, considering the record stock in the dams, the number of water tankers now has reduced to a single digit, to only six, in the entire state.
According to the water resources department website, water stock in the 3,267 dams across the state stood at 83% on September 29 compared with 84% on the same day last year. In the Amravati region, the total water stock was 97% (98% last year), Aurangabad 89% (91%), Kokan 99% (87%), Nagpur 89% (88%), Nashik 92% (96%) and Pune 93% (94%). Significantly, most dams in Marathwada have more than 95% water stock.
A senior bureaucrat said although the high water level in dams will help tide over the summer of 2022, Cyclone Gulab will result in a huge burden on the cash-strapped state.