As Dam Water Levels Plummet, State Requests Relaxation of Poll Code

As Dam Water Levels Plummet, State Requests Relaxation of Poll Code

As Dam Water Levels Plummet, State Requests Relaxation of Poll Code

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With summer intensifying and the monsoon still weeks away, live water storage levels in the dams of the arid Marathwada region have dropped to a concerning 9.6% of capacity. This is a significant decline from last year’s 39% at the same time. More than half the state is currently grappling with the effects of a drought declared last year, and the situation is becoming critical as drinking water shortages loom.

The state government has reached out to the state’s chief electoral officer, seeking a relaxation in the model code of conduct to facilitate administrative work related to unseasonal rain and other calamities. 

Over 25 dams have reached dead storage levels, indicating that water levels have fallen below the height of the dam gates, effectively meaning they have 0.00% storage. Notable examples include the Kalisarar project in Gondia and Khadakpurna in Buldhana in Vidarbha. Most of the other dams with 0.00% storage are in Marathwada, including six dams in Dharashiv and four in Latur.

In Western Maharashtra, live water storage is at 17.7% of capacity, down from 20.5% last year. North Maharashtra is at 26%, compared to 42% last year. Statewide, total live storage in dams is at 23.8%, down from 34% during the same period last year. 

Currently, 10,572 villages and hamlets are facing water scarcity and are being supplied with drinking water by tankers. Out of the 3,658 tankers deployed across the state, the highest number (1,812) are servicing Marathwada, with Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district alone utilizing 698 tankers.

The poll code came into effect with the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections. “The Election Commission’s orders are awaited,” stated an official from the state electoral office.