Faced with acute water shortage, Aurangabad authorities in parched Marathwada region on Saturday announced a 10 per cent cut for the industrial units and 20 per cent for breweries and distilleries in the area, hours after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded stoppage of supply.
“We have announced the cut in view of water scarcity. The decision has been taken after discussion with officials concerned,” Aurangabad District Collector Nidhi Pandey said.
“The rate of water evaporation in the reservoirs has increased suddenly due to high temperatures. The cut will be in force for a fortnight. We will review the situation on April 30 and decide on further course of action,” the IAS officer said.
“We have asked industrial units to take steps to save water. The quantum of water cut in the 11 liquor units -- seven breweries and four distilleries -- is more as they consume more water,” she said.
The decision came on a day when Thackeray said Maharashtra government should stop water supply to the beer manufacturing units in the drought-hit Marathwada region to tackle acute shortage of drinking water.
“Water supply to beer units should be stopped in view of the drought,” Uddhav said at Aurangabad, where the breweries are located.
However, a Bharatiya Janata Party minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government said cutting off water supply to breweries won’t be such a good idea.
“If beer units are using drinking water, it should be stopped. But discontinuing supply of water reserved for them as industrial units is not alright,” Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde said in Beed, also in the Marathwada region.
Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said he has sought a report from the Aurangabad divisional commissioner and other senior officials on the requirement of water for liquor companies.
“If needed, we will not hesitate to stop water supply to these units,” he said.