Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde demanded the Maharashtra government to cut water supply by 15 per cent to liquor- producing factories in Marathwada so as to mitigate the water crisis in the region.
“There is a large number of alcohol-manufacturing factories located in Aurangabad. These units are the ones that consume largest amount of water. The government also have to collect water tax worth Rs. 45 crore (from these factories), which they have not yet paid. They are using water and not even paying taxes,” Munde said.
He said it is “insane” to allow liquor factories to use large quantity of water at a time when there is severe crisis in the state.
“Even this year, Maharashtra has only received around 25 per cent of the average annual rainfall, as per last week’s water review, done by the government. In such a situation, how can we let alcohol manufacturers use water just to do their business?
“The residuals from these factories also cause harm to the agricultural farms. On one hand farmers’ crops are getting affected (due to residuals), and on the other we are further depriving them of water,” Munde said.
The government should, thus, immediately levy a water cut of 15 per cent on these factories and the hence, the water saved can be used for farmers, the leader added.
Marathwada region, which include Aurangabad, Beed, Nanded and Osmanabad districts, are worst affected by sweltering heat prevailing across the state.
As many as 1,265 villages and 455 wadis in Marathwada were facing water shortage and 1,672 tankers were plying to provide water.
Last year, water was supplied through tanker to 242 villages and 164 wadis in the region. The region is not only facing shortage of drinking water, but it only has 8 per cent water in its small, medium and large irrigation projects, as per information available till May 22.
Last year, the region had 22 per cent water storage and in 2013 it was 5 per cent.