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Maharashtra’s irony: Battling floods in one place, cloud seeding at another

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on August 10, 2019 Published on August 10, 2019

Marathwada region faces water crisis as dams dry up

It is Maharashtra’s sorrow: The State is simultaneously facing floods and drought.

Even as the State government is evacuating some two lakh people to safety in flood-devastated southern parts, it is equally busy with cloud-seeding in the parched Marathwada region, where many dams have zero storage.

Cabinet nod

With many large dams in the region running dry, the government started cloud seeding operations on Friday. The State Cabinet had earlier given permission for creating artificial rain in Marathwada.

Setting the process in motion in Aurangabad were a plane and a sea band doppler radar. State administration officials said the government is hoping the experiment will help avoid another drought in a row in Marathwada.

Atul Deulgaonkar, a member of the State Disaster Management Authority who was present in Aurangabad during the cloud-seeding experiment, told BusinessLine that the State should have started the effort in June.

“Now, we are not getting good clouds for seeding. We were looking for cloud seeding 40 km from Aurangabad. Reports on the outcome are still awaited,” he said.

Zero storage

With a population of 1.87 crore, eight districts of Marathwada continue to be hit hard by a water crisis. Among the major dams in the region, Manjara, Majalgaon, Terna, Kolegaon and Dudhana have zero storage.

Only the Jayakwadi dam in Paithan, Aurangabad, has 69.12 per cent water, thanks to heavy rains in the Godavari basin in Nashik. Most of Marathwada falls in the Godavari basin, but it is the only major perennial river there.

As on August 8, the State had a water surplus of almost 32 per cent.

However, in Marathwada, seven districts are in deficit, with Aurangabad being the exception.

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Published on August 10, 2019
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