Anxiety is rising in Pune and some other parts of the state about deficient rainfall, but state agriculture commissioner Umakant Danga does not see the lack of precipitation as abnormal. Mr. Danga said Deficient rainfall in Pune and western Maharashtra is consistent with its agro-climatic status and the good rainfall these areas received in the last two years was due to ‘unnatural monsoon activity. The zones have been classified on the basis of rainfall recorded since the beginning in various areas. Eastern part of Pune is classified as drought prone area with annual rainfall ranging from 500 mm to 700 mm. The soil in western Maharashtra is of low quality and has low water retention capacity. Soil erosion is also very high which leads to accumulation of silt in dams here which reduces water storage capacity. Farmers from western Maharashtra are used to getting sufficient water from dams. The state did not receive good rainfall last September and the subsequent months during the retreating phase of the monsoon. It increased the demand for water from dams. It was expected that there would be good spells of showers by June-end this year, which would have helped increase the dam water level. The catchment areas of dams in western Maharashtra have not received good rainfall so far and there is no water in dams as well, hence the anxiety.
Source: Times of India, Jul 14, internet edition