While between 2016 and 2018, the region was the epicentre of violent Maratha quota agitation, this year, issues of drought and water scarcity are going to decide how the people of Marathwada vote in the state polls.
The letter asks if better water distribution among Marathwada’s eight districts is realistically possible until water in Nashik’s dams and elsewhere that is reserved for Marathwada is actually conveyed to the region.
Located in Paithan, the Jayakwadi dam across the Godavari is the chief source of water supply for the region’s major industries in Aurangabad and Jalna, as well as to nearly 2.5 lakh hectares of farmland spread across the region.
The only positive picture this year emerges from the Konkan region where no village has reported any dip in groundwater levels. This time last year, 81 villages were affected from the coastal belt of the state.
Maharashtra is witnessing one of its worst water emergencies in years, with the government deploying 6,597 tankers to supply water to 5,243 villages and 11,293 hamlets. SANDEEP ASHAR spends a day with MH 09A 9646 and its driver as they travel 148 km to deliver water to some of the most parched villages of Palghar district.
While several unusually extreme factors have combined to make this a particularly bad year for water, experts say the shortage is more of a structural problem, and the situation would not improve significantly even in a good monsoon year.