The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday expressed concern about the water shortage and the crop situation in the state due to the delayed and insufficient monsoon rains.
So far, the state has received only 53.5 per cent of the average rainfall (125.2mm). Last year, around this time, 182.80 mm of rainfall had been recorded. "The water storage in state's dams is just 13 per cent," officials said.
Sixteen districts have received less than 50 per cent rainfall, 15 districts have recorded 50 to 100 per cent rains, and Akola and Amravati have recorded more than 100 per cent. Barring Konkan, fodder camps and cattle shelters will continue till July 15.
Pune, Osmanabad, Jalna and Nashik cities were facing shortage of drinking water, officials said. "If there is no sufficient rain in the next week, scarcity conditions will arise." Water is being supplied by waters in these cities.
As the cabinet expressed concern over the situation in the meeting here, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan directed the officials to ensure that water from reservoirs, which feed drinking water supply schemes, should not be diverted for other uses, sources said.
A four-member committee of senior bureaucrats has been set up to look into the distribution and availability of water in the entire state.