Jalna (Mah): With Jalna district in Marathwada region of Maharashtra already reeling under severe drought, a senior government official has said the situation would worsen after March-end.
"The situation would amplify after March-end and the challenge before the government would be to provide water and jobs to the labourers under the MGNREGA scheme," Jalna District Collector Shyam Deshpande said.
"Jalna has eight talukas, 49 circles and 970 villages. However, the rainfall received this year was only 25 per cent. Due to deficient rains both Kharif and Rabi crops have been destroyed," Deshpande said.
Formed on May 1, 1982, Jalna district is the premier commercial centre of the Marathwada region.
Major crops grown in the district like jowar, maize, cotton, wheat, soyabean and sweet lime have been destroyed completely, he said.
"Rain water has not percolated in last 20 years here. Rain water harvesting will have to be done in the next five years to help resolve the issue," Deshpande said.
"A large-scale drive will have to be undertaken to make the labourers register under the MGNREGA scheme. They cannot register themselves with the old job cards. So far, 74 per cent work of job card has been completed," he said.
Around 1,108 works have been approved by the government and 14,943 labourers would benefit from it, he added.
On the three major lakes of Jalna which have dried up, he said cleaning work of Ghanewadi, Moti and Mukteshwar lakes would be undertaken on March 11 and 12.
"Around 80 JCB machines and 400 tractors would be pressed into service to clean the lakes, which are sufficient to provide water to the people of Jalna city," he said.
Deshpande also said that during the visit of a central team here tomorrow, he would assert that the focus of the state government should be to provide financial assistance for the cleaning of the three lakes, medicines for cattle and to make water available for the animals.