Water scarcity condition in Maharashtra has become "critical" due to deficit rainfall, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Wednesday while asking citizens to save water and use electricity carefully. Chavan took stock of the state's monsoon-related situation at the weekly cabinet meeting.
It was also decided at the meeting to authorize tehsildars (revenue officials) to deploy tankers supplying drinking water wherever necessary and the district administration has been directed to pay the tanker bills immediately.
All ongoing activities to combat scarcity have been given extension till July 31 and while doing so, the authorities have been asked not to consider "paisewari" (value of the crop).
"Water scarcity in state is critical. Power generation (has) affected very badly. I appeal (to) all citizens to save water and use electricity carefully," the officials present at the meeting quoted Chavan as saying.
According to a statement by the state government, the state has received just 58.50 mm of rainfall (average of 26 per cent) till June 30. Out of 355 talukas, 194 talukas have received 0 to 25 per cent rainfall. In as many as 123 talukas, there has been 25 to 50 per cent rainfall while 28 talukas have received 50 to 75 per cent rainfall.
While seven talukas have received 75 to 100 per cent rainfall, three talukas have received more than 100 per cent rains so far. While districts of Thane, Raigad, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Pune, Aurangabad, Jalna, Osmanabad, Nanded, Hingoli, Buldhana, Akola, Yavatmal and Chandrapur have received 0 to 25 per cent rains, districts such as Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Satara, Kolhapur, Beed, Latur, Parbhani, Washim, Amravati, Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli have received 25 to 50 per cent rains so far.
Only Sangli district has got more than 50 per cent rains, the release said. The water storage in state reservoirs is only 19 per cent at present and 1464 tankers are supplying water to 1,359 villages 3317 wadis (hamlets).
Out of 35 districts, 34 districts have received less than 50 per cent rains and considering the water scarcity, quarterly action plans for drinking water will be prepared from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
The cabinet also decided that the first such plan be prepared in five days and plans for water storage in administrative divisions of Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad be prioritised for drinking water only.