The drought situation in Maharashtra is recurrent and severe. However, since it is not caused by a sudden natural calamity, it does not receive public support and funding similar to other disasters.
In November 2018, the Maharashtra government declared drought in 151 tehsils out of 358 tehsils in the state. These tehsils are spread across 26 out of 36 districts. Of these 151, 112 tehsils were facing severe drought conditions, which meant more than 60% of crops have been damaged. The remaining 39 were facing moderate drought, where crop damage was more than 33.5%.Aurangabad & Solapur are amongst the worst affected.
The Chief Minister, in his visit to Solapur in
October 2018, highlighted this and noted that with 38% rain registered, the water
crisis can be compared to the 2015 drought. Almost 80% of total talukas had
received less than 50% rain. Aurangabad has had an average of 51% rainfall in 2018. Kharif crops have collapsed due to the lack of rain and farmers have been unable to cultivate rabi crops. The resultant loss of livelihood poses the risk of crippling the rural community.
Drought affected communities require our
immediate and long term support. In the immediate phase, they require support
towards storage of water (since the government is making tanker water
available), repair of pipelines and alternate livelihood measures. In the long
term, they require sustained interventions towards watershed development.