The state of Maharashtra in western India may be facing its worst drought in the past 50 years says Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
The drought has not appeared as extensively as it perhaps should in the the western media, being eclipsed by other stories, but the situation has become so bad that the government is planning to send drinking water to the region via railway wagons.
As the natural sources of these areas have dried up, the effect on agriculture has been extensive.
The state has asked that the Centre for Financial Aid provide a relief package of 2,400 crore (One Crore being worth 10,000,000 rupees), but so far only 780 crore has been received.
The government has requested that nearby states help relieve the drought by providing water to the areas in need. Wells and hand pumps have also been constructed in the area.
Getting drinking water to Maharashtra and the other drought stricken states nearby is of has beocme the government’s upmost priority. Agriculture and industry will now have to come second in the race to get water aid.
Over 12,000 villages in 16 districts of the state are suffering from a scarcity of water.