Rabi sowing slows due to depleting reservoirs in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, more than 45.26 lakh hectares (lh) were sown during the rabi season, which is 84 percent of the land available for rabi cultivation, with an average sown area of ​​53.97 lh. In comparison, in the same period last year, the country sowed more than 48.87 lh, which was 91 percent of the total amount. State government data shows that extensive rains experienced in November and December caused crop damage which seriously affected horticulture. The damage caused by the heavy rains of the last two months is a total of 12.87 lh. 

Compensations

The state government confirmed the promise to compensate farmers for losses caused by heavy rains and at the same time encouraged them to continue rabi-sowing. In response, opposition leaders called for urgent aid to farmers in distress. A Union Government team recently visited Maharashtra to assess areas reporting crop damage due to incessant rains. Despite the commission refraining from giving concrete guarantees of immediate support, farmers remain hopeful and expect the Union government to heed their plea for a comprehensive compensation package. This long wait reflects the concerns of farmers as they struggle with the effects of widespread rain damage. 

Shrinking Reservoir

At the same time the reservoir of dams in the state is rapidly diminishing. Currently, the state has 62.71 percent dam storage capacity, a significant decline from 83.66 percent at the same time last year. The situation is particularly critical in the Aurangabad sector, where the combined reservoir of all dams is only 36.49 percent, a sharp contrast to last year’s healthier 81.81 percent. Other divisions of the state including Nagpur, Nashik and Pune are also struggling with less than 70 percent water supply in their dams. This trend highlights an urgent water shortage, indicating the need for proactive measures to combat declining water levels in Maharashtra’s dams, farmers in Nashik said.

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