Mumbai: The Marathwada region of Maharashtra, a perennially drought-plagued area, is once again staring at a severe water scarcity.
Over 41 per cent of the villages in this region of central Maharashtra have reported 'paisewari' (average yield) below 50 paise. This will force the government to mull augmenting foodgrain and water supply in the region.
A data compiled by the revenue department revealed that more than 3,500 villages in Marathwada have reported paisewari less than 50 paise.
This means the scarcity of basic resources such as foodgrain production and water is less by 50 per cent of its actual capacity.
The seasonal paisewari is an official measure of the crop yield.
As a routine practice, revenue officials survey villages to assess the post-monsoon situation and prepare a report.
The database helps the state administration to initiate measures such as tanker-based water supply, fodder camps for cattle and creation of temporary jobs for rural population to tide over any drought-like situation.
Erratic showers are generally the main cause of less paisewari, a senior revenue official said.
"There are 8,535 villages in Marathwada - the biggest region in the state. Of these, 3,577 villages (around 41 pc) have reported less than 50 per cent paisewari.
"It means the state will (have to) prioritise water and foodgrain supply to these villages," he said.
"Of the 153 days of the monsoon in Marathwada last year, 94 days were dry. This clearly means there were more dry days in the monsoon season then wet.
"The region received only 86 per cent of its average rainfall," said the official.
The other parts of the state such as Vidarbha, North and West Maharashtra and Konkan, are comparatively in a better condition, the officials said.