Maharashtra Water Crisis
NDTV conducted a small survey by sending an anchor to a village in Maharashtra to see the conditions of the people living there and the problems they have to face regarding water. In the village, the anchor had interviewed one of the women about her daily struggles in using water. She told NDTV that they have to walk everyday for almost 2 kilometers to a well to fetch water. The well’s water is at 60 feet below the ground level. This shows the drought faced and the lack of recharge of these wells due to many reasons, majorly being deficient monsoons. NDTV then also went on to give facts such as over 40 percent of Maharashtra is facing drought and that this drought is being seen as the worst in almost 47 years.
On 8th June ’19, in the Nine O’Clock News on NDTV 24×7 A panel discussion was conducted. The subject was the Drought in Maharashtra region and proposed solutions. The panelists invited for the discussion were Yogesh Pandey, Prof. Manohar Khushalani and Sudhir Mungantiwar.
With the weather department forecasting a delayed onset of monsoon, the state government has now deployed the highest ever number of water tankers to meet the drinking water needs of parched regions. Marathwada, which is the worst-hit region, has been deploying the majority of the water tankers that are being supplied in Maharashtra. The latest survey of the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency found that of Maharashtra’s 353 talukas, 279 have experienced depletion in groundwater levels. With food production in rain-shadow belts also dependent on groundwater use, depleting water levels are putting the state’s harvest at risk.
Manohar Khushalani explained that Maharashtra is one of the 6 states mentioned in the Gadgil Committee report that says the 6 states are environmentally weak and need protection. He said that though there have been a number of good policies that have been made to conserve and resolve the water crisis, almost none of them have been implemented properly. He also regretted that states have been fighting over water for a long time and because of these inter-state disputes, the real victims are the residents of those states, and thus the water problem should become a subject for the central government instead of the state government.
Yogesh Pandey went on to say that the groundwater levels in Maharashtra have been depleting at rapid rates. This is mainly because of the inequality of distribution of water. People withdraw way more groundwater than what is needed for daily use and this is not checked by the authorities. In Fact there is no policy related to this over-exploitation of water and he says the government should think on this matter as fast as possible.