Only 1% water left in Marathwada reservoirs
Aurangabads Divisional Commissioner Umakant Dangat stated that there is only 1% water remaining in the dams in the Marathwada region. However, Dangat expressed confidence that the administration will be able to supply water from Jaikwadi dam to Aurangabad until July. He added that the ad ministration is also using groundwater stocks in the region in an effort to maintain water supplies.
India facing severe drought
India has been reeling under one of the worst droughts in recent history due to consecutive deficient monsoons and soaring temperatures in 2015, the hottest year on record. This has led to an alarming depletion of water levels in reservoirs and an intense heat wave across the country. The drought has severely hit rural India, particularly, the farmers.
Drinking water crisis may worsen
Data from the Ministry of Water Resources showed that water levels in 91 major reservoirs in the country stood at only 25% capacity. The number was 55% last year and the average for last decade was 50%. The situation is particularly grim in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka where the water levels are lower than the national average.
Bombay High Court shifts IPL out of Maharashtra
Taking a serious note of the drought in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court ordered the BCCI to shift 13 IPL matches outside the state. The state, which is reeling under a severe drought, will not host any IPL match including the finals in May'16. The decision comes after a PIL stated that 60 lakh litres water would be used for conducting IPL matches.
Maharashtra's irrigation dams run dry
Official sources have stated that out of 11 major irrigation dams in the drought-hit Maharashtra, seven have no water left in them. According to the Water Resources Department, only three per cent of water stock is available in all the 814 irrigation projects in Marathwada. Officials said that the seven dried irrigation dams are located in Aurangabad, Parbhani, Beed, Nanded and Osmanabad districts.
Water levels in dams dip severely
According to a weekly update by the Central Water Commission, water storage in major Indian reservoirs has dipped to 19% of their total capacity. Water in 91 major dams have been steadily falling since April but a top official said water levels had not ever dipped below 20%. The CWC sends out a weekly update of the water levels in India's 91 major dams.
Modi meets CMs from Maha, Karnataka, UP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Chief Ministers of the drought affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. He asked the state leaders to generate awareness among people in their respective states to use water resources judiciously. He added that "the Centre, states, local bodies, NGOs and citizens must work together to deal with problems posed by drought" in parts of the country.
Modi to meet Telangana, MP CMs about drought
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh to discuss the ongoing drought crisis in the country. The separate meetings with the CMs are a part of the Prime Minister's exercise to review the situation in 11 drought-hit states. He stressed that the Centre and the states will have to work together to mitigate effects of the drought.
SC: States not doing enough to tackle drought
The Supreme Court stated that states were not doing enough to tackle the drought situation and pointed out that Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana were hesitant to even acknowledge the drought. It stated that state governments did not even disclose the full extent of the conditions prevailing in the states. The court added that the Centre must adopt a better approach to tackling this crisis.
Supreme Court: Disburse drought funds immediately
The SC ordered the Centre and the states to take immediate measures to tackle the drought situation in the country, including disbursing all outstanding funds for Central schemes like MGNREGS. The SC also ordered drought hit states to distiribute mid-day meals throughout the summer season. Reprimanding the states' and Centre's approach, the court said "government can't hide behind a smokescreen for lack of finances."
India to divert rivers to tackle drought
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati said India is set to divert water from its rivers to deal with the severe drought situation in the country. She stated that diverting water from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, to drought-prone areas is now her government's top priority. The government has 30 river links planned for the Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) project.