The temperatures across Marathwada and Vidarbha have been soaring over 40 degrees Celsius, and many people are getting a sunstroke while going out in the sun to fetch water from wells or hand-pumps that are located at some distance. This week, two children from Marathwada’s Beed district died while fetching water.
Yogita Desai, 12, of Sabalkhed village in Ashti died this week after she made several rounds to the nearby water-pump. Within a day, an 11-year-old boy died while fetching water from a well nearly half-a-kilometre from his house. While Yogita is suspected to have died due to a heat stroke, Sachin Gopinath Kedar slipped and fell to death, local media reports said. District health officials said that primary health centres and hospitals have been given standing instructions to treat sunstroke patients with priority.
The district administration said that barely 3% water remains in the region’s dams, making it critical to supply water to villages and metros through a network of tankers. Jaladoot Express, through its 50 wagons, carries 25 lakh litres of water in one trip from Miraj in western Maharashtra to Latur. Water tankers fill up water from the train and supply it to the city and nearby areas thereafter.
Meanwhile, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court reprimanded the state this week for providing water to the liquor industry in the region at a time when people were dying of thirst. The government told the court that it will gradually cut 5% supply every fortnight, taking the total water cut to 45% by May-end.