Maha mulls law to make it must for units to use recycled water
With the drought situation in Maharashtra worsening by day and storage in dams hitting a low, the state government is mulling bringing in a law making it mandatory for industries to use recycled water.
As part of steps to mitigate the crisis, state Industries Minister Subhash Desai has also instructed the Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation (MIDC) to study the feasibility of raising the height of dams, desilting and deepening of lakes.
A 20 per cent water cut for breweries and 10 per cent reduction in supply for other units had already been clamped in the parched Aurangabad district in the Marathwada region, which has a string of water intensive sugar mills and distillaries.
“We are mulling initiating long-term measures like increasing the height of MIDC dams and making recycled water mandatory for industries by amending the MIDC Act, 1961,” Desai said.
“The industry department will also take up a project to raise height of dams and deepen lakes and canals to preserve drinking water,” he said.
On the acute water crisis in the state, especially in Marathwada, he said there are 62 cooperative and private sugar mills in the parched region and also many liquor distilleries in Aurangabad district.
“There are more sugar mills and distilleries in Marathwada that guzzle up water in a region known to face acute water scarcity," Desai said. He, however, said though drinking water is of utmost importance, industries too are vital as they provide employment to lakhs of people.
7 of 11 major dams in Maha are dry
Out of 11 major irrigation dams in the drought-hit Maharashtra, seven have no water left in them, official figures revealed. According to the latest Water Resources Department data for the week ending April 15, only three per cent of water stock is available in all the 814 major, medium and minor irrigation projects in parched Marathwada region. The seven major irrigation dams of Marathwada where water stock is ‘zero’ per cent are – Jayakwadi, Purna Siddheshwar, Majalgaon, Manjra, Lower Terna, Mannar and Sina Kolegaon -- located in Aurangabad, Parbhani, Beed, Nanded and Osmanabad districts.