According to statistics put out by the Water Conservation department of the state government, 26 dams in Maharashtra have hit zero water storage level as on May 18.
As per reports, the water storage levels in dams of the Aurangabad Division comprising of Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Parbhani and Osmanabad districts, was 0.43 per cent as against 23.44 per cent at the same time last year.
The department has informed that the dams in this division Paithan, Manjara, Majalgaon, Yeldari, Siddeshwar, Lower Terna, Sina Kolegaon and Lower Dhudna, all have zero storage levels at the moment.
In May last year, the water storage level was 34.95 per cent in Paithan, 21.24 per cent in Manjara, 17.5 per cent in Majalgaon and 52.03 per cent in Lower Terna.
The dams of Kadakpurna and Pentakli in Buldhana, Gosikhurd, Dina and Nand in Nagpur Division, Upper Tapi Hathnur in Jalgaon, Waki, Bham, Bhavli and Punegaon in Nashik Division, Dibhe, Ghod, Pimpalgaon Joge, Wadaj and Temghar in Pune, Bhima, Kundali Tata and Lonavala Tata in Solapur, have also hit the zero storage level as on May 18.
Tisgaon dam in Nashik and Totladoh in Nagpur have 0.01 and 0.08 per cent water respectively.
In a total of 103 large, medium and small dams in the state, the water storage stood at 11.84 %, as opposed to 23.73% last year.
According to Sanjay Lakhe Patil, a social activist, the state government’s distribution of fodder camps for cattle in the drought-affected regions was not proper. He termed the situation as ‘animal farm’ where only the fittest would survive. He said, “Only the strong political leaders got cattle camps, fodder, water in their districts in large numbers, whereas drought relief should have been distributed equitably.”
He further alleged, “There is no surface and groundwater in most parts of the state. The water quality supplied through tankers is of very poor quality. This is affecting the health of children and pregnant women in rural areas. The government was in election mode and ignored drought-relief measures. It is monitoring such work from AC offices.”
The Central Water Commission has issued an advisory to the Maharashtra government stating that water storage is the lowest in reservoirs here in a decade. Monsoon prediction of the IMD and Skymet is about a delayed one. It will be disastrous if there are no rains in June, he claimed. He had petitioned the Bombay High Court on drought management under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress state unit president Ashok Chavan have been constantly attacking the Devendra Fadnavis government on the drought situation in the state. However, the BJP has said the technology is being put into effective use for monitoring the drought situation.