In Maharashtra’s Beed, Crops Fail But Toil Continues

In Maharashtra's Beed, Crops Fail But Toil Continues
Farmers in Maharashtra are facing severe water scarcity this season due to scanty rainfall.

BEED: Gopinath Sonawane, a 52-year-old farmer from Ashti in Maharashtra’s Beed district, has been tilling his land under the scorching sun every week for four years but has little to show for his hard work.

“Water supply has been extremely irregular here. Whether or not there is water, we have no choice but to work on our lands and hope for the best because what are the other alternatives?’ asks Gopinath.

In the past four years, Gopinath has suffered losses amounting to over Rs 2 lakh. Once his cotton crop failed, he turned to cultivating jowar. But the water crisis in the area meant the jowar crop failed too.

Gopinath isn’t the only one still fighting the odds. “I have two acres of land and every year I spend a lakh trying to revive my crops. We don’t eat properly but we make it a point to spend on our crops,” said Ghanaham Gilche, a farmer at Shirapur village in Beed.

Hundreds of farmers like Ghansham, attribute their dying crops to the dried up Mehekari Dam located in Shirapur. Once considered the only source of water for nearly twenty villages, for the last four years, there’s not been a single drop of water in the Mehekari dam; forcing villagers to count on water tankers, which they claim are unreliable.

“The government had promised over six years ago that they would get some water from Kukri or Seena dam and transfer it to Mehekari but that is still pending. They have dug a tunnel and laid pipes but there’s still no water,” said Ajinath Jive, a farmer.

“We don’t have any scheme in place to improve the condition there by this year. Among the permanent solutions that we are mulling over, one is to bring water from the Bhima River and this will help Ashti village in Beed a lot. But this cannot be done on such short notice,” said Maharashtra’s Rural Development Minister, Pankaja Munde.

The Maharashtra Govt’s Jalyukt Shivar scheme, which plans to make the state drought free by 2019 by widening streams and dam construction, may be underway but with barely 2 per cent water remaining in dams across Beed district, the scheme may find it difficult to prove its impact.

5 COMMENTS

  1. very sad to read about farmers, eat trust me you won’t either unless you want to pay heavy price for import. And finally you cannot live in peace if your neighbour cannot eat or doesn’t have money to live. Use your resources to force politicians to act. There are dams

  2. you certainly don’t look indian or don’t know india.
    This is the sector which produces corp but cannot decide their price. For industries there is always incentive and because it is white coller get noticed easily. There is 80% India which depend upon farming and you can not live in city’s air-condition flats and expect everything around you will be all right. If these people don’t get any thing to eat trust me you won’t either unless you want to pay heavy price for import. And finally you cannot live in peace if your neighbour cannot eat or doesn’t have money to live. Use your resources to force politicians to act. There are dams completed on papers but don’t exist. There are dams declared in 1970 and still not even started…. Imagine so much of water we simply let go into sea.

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