Thursday, March 7, 2013

Millions of Indians facing worst drought in decades

Space Daily via AFP: Millions of people in western India are suffering their worst drought in more than four decades, with critics blaming official ineptitude and corruption for exacerbating the natural water shortage. Central areas of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, are facing a water shortage worse than the severe drought in 1972, the state's chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told AFP.

"In recorded history the reservoirs have never been so low in central Maharashtra," he said. "With every passing day the reservoirs are drying up." Chavan blamed the crisis on two successive poor monsoons, although others say a public policy failure is also responsible.

Nearly 2,000 tanker trucks are being used to transport drinking water to the needy, while hundreds of cattle camps have been set up to keep livestock alive until the monsoon, which usually arrives in June. "With every passing day, the tankers have to travel a greater distance. It's a huge logistical issue," Chavan said.

The chief minister's office could not put an exact figure on the population in the 10,000 villages affected, but said it ran into millions....

2012 drought in Karnataka, India, shot by Pushkarv, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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