Many districts of Maharashtra have been facing continuous water scarcity for the past 2-3 years and this has manifested in the form of severe drought this year affecting millions of people across the state. Water for irrigation aside, there isn’t water to drink and to meet daily needs either. When even the basic requirements aren’t met, how does it make sense to divert water for industrial usage?
Women washing clothes in what remains of Sina River in Sholapur district. Lakshmi Bai, who’s seen standing in the polluted pool, tells they have been facing water problems for far too long than she can remember.
Young girl carries water from the tanker to her home in Ashti Taluka of Beed district. Thousands of villages in the drought hit districts survive solely upon water provided by tankers.
People carrying water containers or waiting for water tankers is a common sight all across the drought hit regions. These two young boys were going to get water from a nearby borewell in Sholapur district.
Tankers provide water only for villages once every few days. The farmers who have shifted to their fields to take care of the cattle and plough the land do not get any water. In that case, they have to carry their drums to the nearest borewell to fill up water for survival.
After water, the most precious thing has to be water containers. All the houses had numerous drums and containers stacked up. Whenever the tankers arrive, the entire family gets to the task of filling up as many containers as possible for the tankers do not arrive every day.
Water is deposited in village wells by tankers and the villagers later draw water from the wells as seen here.
In Nasik district, a farmer has taken hefty loan to dig a well in his land. He hasn’t been able to harvest a profitable crop this year and he hopes water from the well will help him secure some profit this year.
Severe water scarcity is forcing people to try and acquire water by any means possible. Seen here is an illegally dug pond lined with plastic across Maan River in Sholapur district to draw water whenever the gates of the dam upstream are opened.
Villagers wait for their turn to fill water in Sinnar Taluka of Nasik district. Geographically an arid area with a history of water scarcity, the current drought has made situation worse in these regions.
Districts change but the wait for water continues. Seen here are women waiting to fill water from a borewell once power is back in Mithsagar village of Nasik district. The government provided pipeline supplies water for a measly 10 minutes which isn’t sufficient at all they say.
Day after day, filling containers, waiting for tankers, drawing water from wells and repeating the whole process again is the only solution to deal with the water crisis for many.
Images: © Neelima Vallangi/Greenpeace
Support the farmers' movement to get back water that's been give away to industries in the drought-hit region of Maharashtra.
You can also contribute to the Chief Ministers's Drought Relief Fund. Find out how.
Neelima is a travel blogger and photographer. She travelled across the drought-hit regions of Maharastra to find out the reality of the situation in the area.
Disclaimer: All views/opinions expressed in this articles are of the author/writer and NOT of this website.