‘Sholay’ Style Protest for Water in Marathwada
Farmers of villages in Aurangabad have resorted to a new form of protest in seeking their basic need of adequate drinking water. The residents of Paithan tehsil in Marathwada sought the attention of authorities by replicating Bollywood actor Dharmendra’s famous way of protesting atop a tank, in the iconic movie ‘Sholay.’
The villagers were seen climbing on tank top, demanding release of water from the Jaikwadi Dam, which was shut down due to non- availability of stock on the dam. The water crisis in Maharashtra, especially in Marathwada is alarming, and is expected to aggravate during the coming summer months. Here the water level in dams has dropped to 8 per cent.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Department has recorded a five-fold rise compared to 2015 in the number of water tankers supplied to provide water in villages and hamlets.
The demand for tankers has shot up and the state is staring at an acute water shortage for the third consecutive year, worse than even 2015. The situation in other areas of the state like North Maharashtra, Amaravati and Nagpur division is also bad.
The current storage level in dams in these divisions is 31, 35 and 37 per cent respectively.