Agriculture

After Four-Year Drought, Ten Days of Rain in Marathwada Causes Deluge

Credit: Reuters

Representational image. Credit: Reuters

At least eight people have died in Marathwada in the Beed district, after the area received heavy rain for nearly ten days in a row, the Indian Express reported. After four years of drought, the rain in Marathwada was a relief at first, with people and officials celebrating.

But the boon was quickly turned into a bane, with six villages getting inundated. The National Disaster Response Force also had to be called in for Beed. Smaller dams are either full or overflowing, while bigger damns in the region, such as the Bindusara dam, is full after nearly ten years.

District collector Naval Kishore Ram told the Indian Express that Beed had crossed its annual average rainfall mark of 666 mm, with 700 mm rain. The sluice gates of the Majalgaon dam in Beed were opened for the first time four years because it had begun to overflow.

In the district of Osmanabad, six villages had been cut off because of the sudden surge in rains and residents from two of these villages were shifted to safer areas.

In the district of Latur, which was possibly the worst affected by the drought and had been receiving consignments of water by the Jaldoot train for months, the rains have been a cause for celebration. The town of Latur, with a population of five lakh, has received over 900mm of rain so far with the nearby Manjara dam 70% full. Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sambhaji Waghmare said that the city can finally look forward to a more regular supply of tap water.

The eight drought-ridden districts of Marathwada have witnessed over 800 farmer suicides since January this year owing to crop failure. The excessive rain could however, damage the cotton and soy-bean crops. It is likely to be beneficial for the ragi crop though.

According to the Deccan Chronicle, the rain led to disruptive traffic with road and rail traffic between Mumbai and Goa slowed because of mudslides and the Godavari overflowing in Nanded.