With three more weeks to go for some pre-monsoon showers as predicted by the MET department, water scarcity in the state has risen with the number of tankers supplied touching 5,000. Pune district crossed the 100 mark, with officials saying that as many as 106 tankers were ferried in the worst affected areas of Baramati, Purandar and Velhe talukas.
Western Maharashtra and Marathwada too are witnessing a huge demand of tankers with depleting ground water levels and the absence of pre-monsoon showers.
“Usually, the month of May sees some showers. On May 14 last year, Pune witnessed heavy rain measuring 102.8 mm. This year, however, there haven’t been enough rains yet,’’ said MET officials, although certain areas on the outskirts of the city witnessed light showers on Sunday.
According to state officials, there are 5,000 tankers supplying water to more than 3,000 villages and 6,000 wadis at present. In Marathwada itself, there are 2,500 villages and 922 wadis with more than 3,000 tankers operating in the region. “The demand would continue to increase, but we are hopeful that pre-monsoon showers would be ushered in by this month-end,’’ officials said.
In Marathwada, Bheed requires 866 tankers, Aurangabad 758, Latur 285 and Parbhani 225. For western Maharashtra, Pune with 64 affected villages and 600 wadis has 106 tankers, Satara 102 and Sangli 127. “For Pune division, there are 397 affected villages spread over 2,163 wadis. The number of tankers is bound to increase in the coming week and as per the chief minister’s orders, tankers are being sent after assessing the severity in those areas,” said a state official.
In Ahmednagar, there are more than 400 affected villages and 2,000 wadis with more than 100 tankers supplying water in these areas, while Nashik has 156 tankers in operation.
The only respite in the entire state is being witnessed in the Konkan region, i.e. Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Palghar, which require less than 50 tankers. With slight pre-monsoon showers and recharged ground water level and water sources, the requirement is not much in these areas, said officials.