Drought can be devastating and unlike earthquakes or hurricanes, there is no immediate response for disaster management. At Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE), a ten-member team will go to drought-prone Beed, Latur and Osmanabad districts and take a week-long survey to understand why authorities fall short in taking planned and immediate steps. Dr Rajas Parchure, Director of GIPE, told The Indian Express that the survey was not a fact-finding one to assess the ground reality. “There has been ample evidence reported from various districts about the scarce water scenario. Migration of people living in these drought hit areas to other cities has also been recorded. What we aim to find out is why there has been a failure in planning policies and identify the loopholes,” said Parchure.
The state government has officially declared that 60 per cent of its villages were facing a ‘drought-like’ condition. Drought comes in several degrees and hence at times it may not qualify to be termed as a disaster. The research team’s plan is to study the norms and check what should be the proportion or severity of drought to term it as a disaster and what kind of response should be anticipated.
Researchers to study Solapur model that tackled water crisis Solapur, a chronically drought hit district was serviced with just 18 tankers this year when the monsoon in 2015-16 was just 186 mm. In 2012-13 the district authorities had to send 673 tankers when the rainfall was 278 mm while in 2013-14 when the recorded rainfall was 490 mm, at least 212 water tankers were deployed. However, a five point programme by the District Collector Tukaram Mundhe has helped alleviate the water crisis in Solapur and according to Parchure, the team will be assessing the work at the ground level. According to Mundhe, thanks to creating a systematic inventory of water sources – which were many times not on record, repairing and recharging maximum possible structures and other measures has helped bring down the supply of water tankers to just 18 villages out of 11,444 in Solapur district.