Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that Delhi is ready to provide 10 lakh litres of water daily to parched Latur in Maharashtra and sought logistical support from the central government.
In the letter, Kejriwal acknowledged that Delhi itself suffers from shortage of water, but added that the situation in Latur was worse.
“It would be very shameful for our country if anyone died of a water crisis in the 21st century. It is the responsibility of the entire country to help the people of Latur. The central government has done a commendable job by transporting water to Latur by train.”
“The people of Delhi are ready to provide 10 lakh litres of water daily to Latur for the next two months. If the central government can make arrangements for transportation of the water to Latur then the Delhi government will immediately provide the water,” he added.
He also asked the prime minister to make an appeal to every chief minister of the country to help Latur. “I’m sure all states would be ready to help,” he said.
Around 15,000 villages in Maharashtra, a majority of them in Latur, Beed and Osmanabad districts, are gripped by an acute water shortage. The state is facing its worst drought in recent times .
Maharashtra is already known for its farm crisis and reports the highest number of farmer’s suicides in the country. The drought — brought on by a delayed and inadequate monsoon — is set to deepen the distress for its cultivators. It comes close on the heels of the crop distress wreaked by the hailstorms last year which hit cultivators hard.
Data with the agriculture department shows that two-thirds of the state’s 1.37 crore farmers have been affected by the drought which has impacted mainly the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. These areas have historically been the most deprived in the state.