With water level in Maharashtra’s drought-ravaged Marathwada region dipping to a perilous 8 per cent, the State Government on Wednesday gave the nod for a storage plan of 18 thousand million cu ft. (TMC) to bring relief to the parched region.
The plan would be tabled before the State cabinet for approval and forwarded to the Governor for sanction, said State Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare in reply to a debate in the Legislative Council.
The region has 822 major, medium and small water projects, which barely have any water left in them.
The net water reserves of the region’s premier major project — the Jayakwadi dam — built to cater to the irrigation and potable water needs of the region, are pegged at a perilous 1.54 TMC. The dam is suffering from a deficit of 3.34 TMC of water, which to cater to the drinking, agricultural and industrial needs of Aurangabad and Jalna districts.
In his reply, Mr. Tatkare further promised the completion of all pending irrigation projects in the Godavari basin within the next three years and said a time bound programme would be undertaken to make 25 TMC of water available in the next five years.
The release of water is expected to be a major respite to the people in Aurangabad and Jalna, who have been clamouring for a 27.5 TMC release from the upstream reservoirs since last year.
The region is facing an unprecedented water crisis with 50 per cent of urban Jalna witnessing irregular water supply for the last two months.