Maharashtra is suffering not with communal riots but struggling with water riots and amid the unprecedented scarcity of water, Section 144 imposed in the Latur district.
The Dhanegaon water reservoir, which was the most dependable source, has gone completely dry. Adding to the woes is the fourth consecutive year of no rains in the region.
The city, with a population of 5,00,000, has a daily water requirement of 20 million litres per day, and it has been receiving water only once a month.
The section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure debars the assembly of more than five persons. The imposition of this law is a preventive measure to tackle the possible violence over water around the Latur civic body-run tanks. Ground wells are also being guarded by cops.
Due to the inadequate drinking water to the five lakh-odd population, the thirsty and angry crowd have started hijacking tankers leaving the local administration with little choice but to impose strict laws.
Talking to Mail Today Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said, “We are not doing this for any sadistic pleasure…the situation will worsen in days to come. We have to tackle another four months. People will get more and more violent and we have to resort to strict measures.”
Water shortage had already forced an estimated 1.5 lakh people to migrate to neighbouring districts and cities. Now, instructions have been given to educational institutions to wind up all examinations by March 31,while coaching classes will remain shut the entire summer.