Maharashtra water crisis: Parched villagers damage dam gate

In an incident underlining severity of water crisis in drought-hit Maharashtra, some villagers allegedly damaged a gate of the Dhanoli dam in Nashik district to divert stored water, police said Sunday. The breach led to flooding of fields of farmers and wastage of lakhs of litres of water. Police have arrested four persons from Dalwat village for allegedly damaging the gate of the dam on Saturday evening. The incident has further worsened the water scarcity situation in the north Maharashtra district, with nearly 50 per cent of total 15 TMC feet water stock in the dam being wasted after the breach, said Irrigation department Executive Engineer Abhijit Roundal. This is an unfortunate incident, he added. Read Also| Exit polls: How accurate are they? A look back at 2004, 2009, 2014 predictions Several districts in Maharashtra are reeling under severe drought this year, with many villagers totally dependent on water tankers. Several villages have been receiving water tankers once in three days. According to police, some people lost their patience and damaged the gate of the dam at around 6 pm Saturday. A police official said that sudden gushing of water in fields caused panic. The arrested persons are identified as Pramod Pawar (60), Shankar Chavan (55), Sonu Gavit (60) and Subhash Pawar (60), all residents of Dalwat village, he said.