ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Drought in Maharashtra

The government’s inability to deal with the drought situation is deepening rural distress.

Following constant public pressure from drought-affected areas and after indulging in semantics over definitions, the Maharashtra government finally declared drought in 151 talukas across 26 districts, on 31 October. Reports from the ground indicate that the government’s assessment is a gross underestimation. This is primarily due to the compliance with stringent and arbitrary rules of the central government’s Drought Manual of 2016.

Maharashtra is facing an unprecedented drought. The current drought is considered to be much more serious as compared to the 1972 one. This is primarily because perhaps for the first time, the state is facing a kharif as well as a rabi drought. As on 15 November, rabi crops have been sown on 13.05 lakh hectares, compared with the 28.35 lakh hectare area sown during the comparable period in 2017. Lack of soil moisture and the decision to reserve water in reservoirs for drinking purposes in summer will affect the rabi crop this season. Thirty percent lower rainfall than the average annual precipitation has already created an acute crisis of water scarcity.

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Updated On : 11th Dec, 2018
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