Maharashtra last experienced a drought in 2015 (File photo)
Maharashtra is staring at a drought again, after two years, with 20,000 villages reportedly running out of water. Around 200 talukas are facing water scarcity and the government will submit a report on whether to declare a drought or not by October 31, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said today.
The 200 talukas have received less than 75 per cent rainfall, Devendra Fadnavis said. He said that the state government, under the leadership of senior ministers Chandrakant Patil and Diwakar Raote, will assess the situation in these talukas.
"Each minister may have to visit three or four tehsils and submit reports to the state government. The state will then take a decision over declaring drought, by October 31," Mr Fadnavis said.
The Maharashtra chief minister said that ministers have been asked to take stock of water storage in the state's dams and reservoirs and prepare a report, adding that a report on the prevailing situation is being compiled for the centre.
Because of the erratic monsoon in Maharashtra, farmers in the state are distressed, state transport minister Diwakar Raote told NDTV. "There are drought symptoms and the state government will have to prepare accordingly. The condition will get graver going forward," he said.
Demand for water tankers has started to come, the minister told NDTV. Aurangabad is already using 156 water tankers and Latur has been using 22 tankers, he said.
Senior ministers from the government also warned of power shortage in the state due to the water crisis that is expected in the upcoming months.
Maharashtra last faced a drought situation in 2015, following which a train filled with water had to be sent to Latur.