ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Problematic Uses and Practices of Farm Ponds in Maharashtra

Although the construction of farm ponds is portrayed as a miracle strategy by the state and central government as well as popular media, the manner of its implementation and practice in arid and semi-arid regions of Maharashtra is a cause for worry. Farmers extract a huge amount of groundwater to store in large-sized farm ponds. The need of the hour is to appropriately regulate farm pond practices in the state.

The author acknowledges Subodh Wagle (PhD guide) and Marcella D’Souza (Executive Director, Watershed Organisation Trust) for their valuable inputs, on important issues discussed herein.

Consecutive droughts and water scarcity have made life in rural Maharashtra, particularly of the farming community, miserable. The situation is alarming, so much so that water from tankers in many water-scarce pockets of the state is getting distributed with police protection. This also includes the fact that in many areas of the state, in order to distribute water and secure water resources, Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been enforced (Sutar 2016; Banerjee 2016). The situation has become so dire that for the first time in the history of the state, potable water is being supplied by special water-trains to water-scarce areas. As a result, because of no livelihood opportunities and water scarcity for domestic needs, rural masses are migrating to nearby cities and towns in huge numbers. These are not just migrants but ecological refugees who have been forced to leave their native settlements in search of livelihoods and assured basic potable water. The key questions that arise are, why and how does such an extreme condition of water scarcity occur in several rural pockets of the state?

Water-saving Technologies

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Updated On : 23rd Jan, 2017
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