Drought worsens in Maharashtra; 7,075 villages hit

The drought situation in Maharashtra has worsened with more villages being supplied water through tankers, an official said Monday.

The number of villages and hamlets depending on water tankers for survival went up to 7,075 from 6,488 last Monday.

Also, the number of tankers supplying water daily increased to 2,408 from 2,280 last week, officials said.

A total of 11,801 villages across the state - barring coastal regions - are in the grip of the severest drought in the past four decades.

Governor K. Sankaranarayanan Monday said that the state government was committed to take additional measures to tackle the water scarcity situation in the state.

Addressing a joint session of the Maharashtra assembly on the first day of the budget session, Sankaranarayanan said that the failure of the monsoon for the second consecutive year in the state was a matter of deep concern.

"In February 2012, only 230 tankers were supplying drinking water while this year the number in February-end this year was nearly 10-fold at 2,136 tankers," the governor said.

He dwelt on various water supply schemes, employment opportunities and facilities for cattle in the areas without water to combat the drought in 15 districts of the state.

Of the total 34 districts in Maharasthra, the worst-affected are Solapur, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Pune, Satara, Beed and Nashik.

The situation is also serious in Buldhana, Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Aurangabad, Jalna, Jalgaon and Dhule districts.

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