Published On : Fri, Apr 29th, 2016

Exclusive: Drought-like situation looming large over Nagpur District, MLA least worried

: It is true that Vidarbha was neglected, is neglected and probably always will be neglected. People of Maharashtra when speaking about severe water crisis or drought speak only about Lathur, Nashik of Marathwada. What about ever so many villages in Vidarbha? Many villages exist in the outskirts or Mofussil areas of Nagpur face severe drinking water crisis.

Kamble, one of the many weathered, unsmiling farmer clad in sandals, crumpled white dhoti and a dusty white shirt pointed to two little pipes that poked through a small cement structures near the entrance of the village to show that the pipe has not even oozed a drop in many days.

Drought in degma Nagpur (5)
The pipe is the outlet from a Elevated Water Reservoir (ESR) also known as Water tank built two years ago. Water is pumped from a big well between Kauras and Degma Villages (inside a jungle like area) about three kilometers from the village. The villagers while speaking to Nagpur Today said that it takes three days for the Water Tank to get filled and around 25 minutes for the water to reach the Water tank from the well. Before March 2016, the villagers used to get 15 minutes of drinking water. However, the well water too had dried up.

Drought in degma Nagpur (2)
Degma, Kauras, Sukli Kalar villages some 25 kilometers from Hingna bore the brunt of severe summer heat this year causing severe water scarcity. Most of the ponds, lakes and well have since dried-up for the first time in many years.

The villagers are left to fend for themselves and are resorting to temporary solutions. If some permanent solution is not made by the government, many villages will be wiped out.

Considering the severity of the drought situation in Maharashtra, one would think farmers and people living without water would be given top priority.

Drought in degma Nagpur (4)
Deputy Sarpanch of Degma Anu Bai Pawar while speaking to Nagpur Today spoke for all the villagers and said that the lives of villagers are dependent on agriculture / farming and dairy. However, hit by a series of droughts the residents of Degma village have aborted any attempt to venture into agriculture again. Before severe drought in the last three years, the villagers used to grow Cotton, Jawari, Soyabean, Tuar dal etc.

Many villagers of Degma have started dairy business of rearing milch cattle. In the absence of fodder for their cattle many villagers are facing problems.

The Deputy Sarpanch said that there are 720 resident villagers in the village. However, faced by severe water shortage and with no water to drink for themselves and their cattle, nearly 350 villagers have moved away to some other place temporarily where water is available for drinking and fodder is available for their cattle.

Drought in degma Nagpur
Anu Bai Pawar claimed that almost every year, they face water shortage, but this year the water-shortage is extreme and all the wells of the village have dried up.

While speaking to the Nagpur Today, some villagers said that the women folk have to walk nearly two to two and a half kilometers to get two pot full of drinking water. Those who have bullock carts take drums to Bhivkund Lake or other nearby lakes and bring drinking water.

Drought in degma Nagpur (3)
The villagers opined that Sameer Meghe, whose constituency includes Degma Kauras, Sukli Kalar and other villages facing severe water crisis visited their village and assured to lay pipelines from the Bhivkund Lake and ensure regular drinking water. However, this is easier said than done. The villagers claim that the village is on top of black rocks and finding a good stream of water in the wells is rare. Except for monsoon and winter, the villagers have to face many problems.

When Nagpur Today tried to contact MLA Meghe he didn’t take the call

By Samuel Gunasekharan