Hyderabad: India is staring at a dangerous drought situation ahead unless there is provision of water by March, warns senior journalist Mr P. Sainath
The national average rain deficit India registered in 2018 was around 10 per cent. In the post-monsoon period (from October to December 21) the deficit stood at -44 per cent. There could be many livestock deaths unless there is provision of water by March, warned Mr Sainath.
He was speaking at a talk organised by Manthan Samvaad, a city-based forum that promotes intelligent conversation and public disclosure. “In Maharashtra, sowing of Rabi crop has decreased by 42 per cent, which means fodder availability in the market will drop this year, leading to less food for livestock,” Mr Sainath said on the possible drought scenario ahead. “The situation ahead is nothing less than a nightmare, following the drastic climatic conditions witnessed over the years. The IMD is in complete denial on climate change. It instead calls it extreme weather condition. But the reality is, India is in trouble. There will be a serious drought situation ahead. Rainfed farmers will land in deep trouble. Even a good monsoon in 2019 might not be helpful, except for providing initial relief. The situation ahead can worsen and these are all man-made crises.”
According to experts, India is likely to face a mega water crisis and the primarily reason is transfer of water from rural to urban, agriculture to industry, livelihood to lifestyle. “We see that 69 per cent of Indians who live in rural India face water scarcity and in the urban areas we have builders promoting their ventures, which have swimming pools on each floor. Is it not time when each individual measures personal use of water to save wastage,” Mr Sainath asked.
In order to engage with rural India, Mr Sainath founded The People’s Archive of Rural India, an independent website that engages with rural India. On the website, real stories of people and issues are captured and reported.