Five weeks before monsoon, Maharashtra running dry

Mumbai, May 8 (IANS) With at least five weeks before the normal onset of monsoon, Maharashtra has just 20 percent water in all its reservoirs, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said here Wednesday.

Marathwada region has the least water with barely six percent in its reservoirs, while the coastal Konkan region has the maximum with 40 percent water.

“Last year, the water storage position was slightly better at 23 percent at this time of the year,” Chavan said in a statement following the weekly cabinet meeting.

The state government is making all-out efforts to provide water to the needy in the parched and far-flung regions of the state.

As of now, 4,546 tankers are supplying water to 3,664 villages and 9,095 hamlets in the dry regions of the state.

In 2012, the situation was much better with only 1,620 tankers having to take water to a few parched regions.

To give gainful employment to people in the affected regions, the state government has started 23,664 projects to provide jobs to over 331,000 labourers.

The government has also set up cattle sheds to house nearly 870,000 big and small animals with provisions of fodder and water for them at a cost of Rs.9.25 billion (Rs.925.08 crore).

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