Drought of 2013: The story of Maharashtra’s water woes – Roundup of the week’s news (March 25 – 31, 2013)

Drought of 2013: The story of Maharashtra’s water woes

Present drought situation in Maharashtra is hydrologically worse than in 1972. Construction of large dams, water intensive cropping patterns, neglect of local water systems and unaccountable water management are to blame for this unprecedented situation. A former planning commissioner agrees that large dams are not the solution to Maharashtra’s water worries.

In spite of acute water scarcity, politicians in Solapur district divert water from dams to run sugar factories. Water business booms in drought-hit Marathwada as tanker owners transact Rs.6 million in water sales daily in Jalna town, Maharashtra. The state must look at renewable energy options to reduce its dependence on thermal plants and diversion of its precious water to them. In comparison with the 1972 drought, though there is ample supply of food grains at present, the drinking water scarcity is much worse. A video gives a more effective coverage on the situation in the state, reeling under a severe drought.

Drought effects in Gujarat

Gujarat villages are facing severe scarcity of water, fodder & food. Even eligible bachelors are left high and dry as marriage alliances break in drought hit Amreli district as parents refuse to send their daughters to water scarce villages

Gujarat irrigation & drainage bill passed by the governor

Despite protests, Gujarat governor clears the state irrigation and drainage bill that will require farmers to obtain license to dig borewells deeper than prescribed norms. The bill puts restrictions on the farmers but does not restrict the industries from using the water resources of the state. 

Green litigation widens its scope

Violations of green norms and clearances can be appealed against by any citizen and not just someone directly or indirectly affected by a project, states the National Green Tribunal. The tribunal also puts in mandatory obligations on the government and project developers to disclose details of clearances.

Miracle workers :Turning a desert into a forest

A Belgian man and an Indian woman painstakingly build a farm from an absolute barren land in the outskirts of Pondicherry, creating soil purely out of dry leaves, transforming the arid, useless land into rich, green, vegetation

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