Drought is an outcome of wrong policy: Expert

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

“The severe drought condition in some parts of Maharashtra is not entirely a natural disaster, but man-made, an outcome of wrong policy implementation,” said National Centre of Advanced Studies (NCAS) Director Amit Narkar. 

Pune: “The severe drought condition in some parts of Maharashtra is not entirely a natural disaster, but man-made, an outcome of wrong policy implementation,” said National Centre of Advanced Studies (NCAS) Director Amit Narkar. 

Narkar along with officials of several NGOs in the State presented a report of ‘Maharashtra’s Drought From The Eyes Of The People’. The report was published after region-wise discussions were conducted at several places in the State. 

While presenting the condition of the drought-struck regions in Maharashtra, the NGOs asserted that implementation of drought eradication measures was not done despite distress due to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that was in place for the past two months.  The NGOs provided a ground report of the condition and made some recommendations to mend the situation. 

“Putting proper water conservation methods in place was one of the most important steps to be taken. However, while planning for a particular water conservation method to be implemented in a particular region, the topography and geography, as well as socio-economic needs of the region must be taken into consideration,” Sarang Pande of NGO Lokpanchayat said. 

About unequal distribution of water, Priyadarshi Telang of Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan said in a drought-struck village, it is the marginalised communities that face water crisis at its worst. 

“Most of the areas with the Dalit majority were seen suffering the most due to water scarcity. The migrating population, landless farmers and farm workers, are among those hit the worst by the drought. The government needs to take initiatives for these people. Along with providing employment schemes, community kitchens should be started as in the end, it comes down to the question of feeding families,” Telang added. 

The NGOs stated that the issues of wrong crop patterns, excessive use of chemicals are also responsible for the condition now and need to be addressed for a long-term solution. However, on policy levels, they have blamed also the tremendous use of water by sugar factories in the arid region of Marathwada and the water supply to beer factories in Aurangabad when the common man is facing shortage of drinking water.
 
While the report has been published in an abbreviated form now, the NGOs will soon publish a detailed report of the region-wise drought condition.

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