Just 16% water in Marathwada dams

With Maharashtra battling a severe drought, water levels in the dams have plunged to 45% of capacity — 19% lower compared to last year, when it was 64%.

In Marathwada, which is worst affected by the drought, water levels fallen by 41% compared to last year. The water level in Marathwada’s dams which was at 57% last year has fallen to 16% now. The water level in north Maharashtra's dams is down by 27% compared to last year, while it’s down by 21% in western Maharashtra.

Indeed, several dams in Marathwada have run dry. This includes the Majalgaon and Manjara dams in Beed district and the Siddheshwar dam in Hingoli besides the Sina Kolegaon dam in Osmanabad.

The state has deployed 1,379 water tankers. This is ten times the number of tankers deployed at the beginning of the year. As many as 793 of them — almost 58% — are in Marathwada region. The Aurangabad district received 497 tankers, the highest for a single district.

Water experts say the severe drought has exposed the government’s claims that its flagship water conservation scheme, Jalyukta Shivar, would protect the state from drought.

The state had reported a rain deficit with 77% of normal rain between June and September. The state has declared a drought in 151 of its 368 talukas and 268 revenue circles. In 112 talukas, it has reported a severe drought. As many as 82 lakh farmers have been affected. The state has asked the Centre for drought relief worth Rs.7,962 crore.

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