press trust of india
MUMBAI, 10 JUNE: Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra government and the state Water Resource Regulation Authority (MWRRA) to take stock of water storage at all dams and its management and allocation by October every year to avoid drought situation.
A Division Bench of Mr Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Mr Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a petition filed by Solapur-based farmer association Mohol Taluka Bahu Uddeshiya Shetkari, stating that the authorities concerned are not implementing provisions for equitable water distribution.
The court had, on the last hearing, directed the MWRRA to hear the grievances of the petitioners and pass an order.
In its order submitted today before the court, the authority said: “Currently the water storage available in Ujjani dam is adequate to meet the drinking water needs of Solapur city till 15 July.”
The Bench after perusing the order said the government shall review the water storage position in all water resource projects across the state by 15 October and inform the MWRRA by 31 October. The authority shall then decide on water management and allocation which shall then be published on the government’s website by 15 November.
“The government shall undertake such an exercise every year. It should also ensure that the authority is distributing water equally to all places and grievances of locals are being addressed,” the high court said.
On 9 April, the high court had directed the government to release water from other dams to the low-lying Ujjani dam, where water has gone below the required level, thereby affecting agricultural activities, within 24 hours.
Water was released from two dams ~ Bhama Askhed and Andra ~ but the court was informed that it would take several days to reach Ujjani dam.
According to the petition, due to scanty rainfall, the area has been hit by drought after which the petitioners had brought to the notice of the authorities that the water level of the dam has gone down.
The petition states that Ujjani, also known as Bhima dam, is part of the Bhima irrigation project along the Bhima river tributary which caters to 22 other dams.
The court disposed of the petition.