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Intensified Drought Affects 82 lakh Farmers in Maharashtra; These Crops Suffered the Most

In Maharashtra drought has intensified with 18.51 per cent live storage left in dams, 8.5 lakh livestock in fodder camps and 12,000 villages and hamlets depending on water tankers.

Tooba Maher
maharashtra drought

In Maharashtra drought has intensified with 18.51 per cent live storage left in dams, 8.5 lakh livestock in fodder camps and 12,000 villages and hamlets depending on water tankers. 

Around 82 lakh farmers are affected by the drought. The situation can worsen in the Marathwada and Vidarbha (Nagpur) regions, where storage levels have further depleted to 5 and 10 per cent. 

According to the State Water Resources Department data on 3rd May, 3,267 major, medium and minor dams in the State have just 18.51 per cent live storage compared to 29.95 per cent on the same date last year. Also 18 major projects in the State don’t have live storage. 

Adding to it, Nashik division is also facing a water crisis with 17.62 per cent water storage left in dams as compared to 30.81 per cent last year. The sugar-rich Pune region also has 21.43 per cent water stock as compared to 33.87 per cent water on the same day last year. 

Approximately 4,774 water tankers are plying in the State. However, during the same time last year 937 tankers were deployed to quench the thirst of villagers. 1,264 fodder camps across the State have sheltered 8.5 lakh cattle and demands for more fodder camps are pouring in from the Marathwada region. 

Talking about Karnataka, then it is also suffering. Maharashtra and Karnataka are facing a severe drought situation this year, as per the Ministry of Agriculture data. Twenty four out of 30 districts (80 per cent) in Karnataka and 26 out of 36 districts (72 per cent) in Maharashtra are reeling under water scarcity and crop failure. 

It is to be noted that, the severity of drought is more in Maharashtra, 85.76 lakh hectares is affected, which is 44 per cent of the total affected area in the country. The Maharashtra government asked for ₹7,522-crore aid. It said that more divisions could be added to the list of drought-affected districts, but the Centre has approved only ₹4,714-crore in drought aid to the State. 

As per the State government, 68 lakh farmers have been given drought relief funds and steps are being taken to ensure that affected farmers get their crop insurance claim without any delay. 

Many crops suffered. Kharif crops withered due to drought and many farmers did not sow any rabi/winter crops at all. All important crops, like maize, soya, cotton, mosambi, pulses and groundnuts have suffered due to poor rainfall. 

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