|| Nation || City || Editorial ||Business/Sports|| Front ||Advertise || Entertainment  || Helpline

579 Chanda villages declared drought-hit 


The district administration has identified 579 villages in the district as scarcity-hit and restrictions have been imposed on digging of new borewells, wells or tubewells in the radius of 500 metres from the source of water, for irrigation purpose.

The administration has imposed the restrictions as per the provisions under the Maharashtra Groundwater (Monitoring for Drinking Water) Act, 1993 and 1995, after the report was submitted by Senior Geologist of Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) considering the low rainfall, water table, groundwater recharge. The restrictions aim at securing the drinking water source, so as to avoid the probable water scarcity.

The number of villages declared scarcity-hit considering probable drinking water scarcity there include 105 villages in Korpana and Jiwati tehsils, 91 in Warora, 78 in Rajura, 48 in Sindewahi, 45 in Bhadravati, 39 in Ballarpur and Chandrapur each, 35 in Chimur, 28 in Saoli, 20 in Brahmapuri, 18 in Mul, 17 in Nagbhid, 14 in Pombhurna and 2 in Gondpipri tehsils. Out of the total 579 villages included in the list, 92 might face scarcity between October 1, 2004 and June 2005, followed by 224 villages that may face scarcity between May-June 2005, and 263 that may face scarcity between April-June 2005.

In order to ensure drinking  water availability in these villages, restrictions have been imposed on lifting of water from private wells in watershed area if it’s having impact on the public well in the area, digging of new well in developed watershed area. If needed, the respective Sub Divisional Officers have been empowered to ban the lifting of water through private wells temporarily or even permanently, to severe the power supply, to seize the machinery, or even to seal the wells. The concerned machinery has also been asked to take adequate measures in order to combat the probably water scarcity.

VHP’s bandh evokes mixed response 


THE bandh called on Friday by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal supported by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena (SS) received mixed response in the region. The call was given to protest the arrest of Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkothi Peeeth Jayendra Saraswati.

Life was almost normal towards evening. However, VHP has claimed that its call got an overwhelming response.

AMRAVATI: The bandh evoked hardly any in city as the markets remained open throughout the day even as police arrested VHP and Bajrang Dal workers who were trying to force the shop owners to bring down the shutters.

Around 100 activists were rounded up by police including BJP’s City General Secretary Prashant Mahajan, Kiran Paturkar, Nivedita Dighade, Gaurishankar Kesharwani, Tulsiseth Harwani, Devanand Deshmukh,Ambadas Kathole, Sunil Sahu, Surendra Bhurange, Ravi Dhote, Prakash Tetu, Vijay Deshpande,Vijaykrishna Maharaj, Ashok Joshi and many others. They were taken to police head quarters and later released.

AKOLA: Our Akola Correspondent Adds: The bandh received mixed response in city.

Various groups had given support to the bandh. Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce and Industries (VCCI), Grain Merchants’ Association, Sarafa Association, Petrol Dealers’ Association, Cine Owners’ Association, Chemists and Druggist Association, APMC Sangh, New Cloth Market Association had extended support to bandh.

Workers of VHP, Bajrang Dal, RSS staged demonstrations in different parts of city. Giriraj Tiwari, Kamalkishor Baheti led the agitating activists.

Civil Lines police arrested Amol Mulmule, Vivek Kulkarni, Manoj Mandhane, Dipak Tiwari, Amol Deshmukh, and Mangal Pande during the demonstrations. They were later released.

Yavatmal: The bandh call evoked good response here. Barring a few medical stores, markets remained closed. In the afternoon, a morcha was taken out from Dutt Chowk. The morcha was led by Kamal Jaiswal, district VHP president, Haribhau Rathod, MP, and Shankarlal Kothari. The morcha passed through different parts of the town to culminate into a meeting at the collectorate. Jaiswal, Rathod and Kothari addressed the meeting. Later, a delegation led by the trio called on the district collector and submitted a memorandum to him.

After coming out from collector’s office, Jaiswal poured kerosene on self and attempted to set self ablaze. Timely intervention by police averted an untoward incident. Shocked police caught Jaiswal as well as a youth with kerosene container. However, the duo was released later.

SHEGAON: The bandh evoked mixed response in the town. Many commercial establishments remained closed while some educational institutions declared a holiday. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bharatiya Janata Yuwa Morcha (BJYM), Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, Vande Mataram Mandal, local unit of Chhawa Sanghatana, Hindu Mahasabha and Maharashtra Rajya Dhangar Samaj Mahasangh had also announced support to bandh.

GONDIA: Response to the bandh was mixed in the town. Cloth market, wholesale medicine market, electronic market, grocery market, vegetable market and fruit market remained closed on Friday.  Government offices and banks functioned  as usual while retail medical shops remained open.

VHP and Bajrang Dal activists led by district Bajrang Dal chief Devesh Mishra were seen moving in market area urging the shop owners to support bandh. The bandh was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from the town. Tight police bandobast was maintained under the guidance of Anoopkumar, District Superintendent of Police,  and Sunil Jaiswal, city  police incharge.

GADCHIROLI: Bandh was total in Gadchiroli. All shops except medical stores remained closed. Owners of even footpath shops as well as  paan and tea stalls downed their shutters. However, government offices functioned as usual.

BJP workers led by MLA Ashok Nete moved through different parts of the city since Friday morning appealing the owners of commercial establishments to down their shutters. Business establishments responded to the appeal favourably. Later, the workers organised a public meeting at local Indira square and various leaders including Nete addressed the meeting. Nete strongly condemned the Tamilnadu government for arresting Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswati and demanded his immediate release. Tamilnadu government has insulted all the Hindus by arresting the Seer, Nete remarked. Pramod Pipre, Hemant Jambewar, Sharad Sontakke and others were active in making bandh a success.

Vidarbha in for worst ever water crisis

Abhiram Ghadyalpatil

NAGPUR, Nov 18 

Entire Vidarbha region is in the throes of perhaps the most serious water crisis in almost two decades. The crisis in November 2004 is set to snowball into a catastrophe in as early as February 2005, according to the government data. Availability of water in 14 major dams in the division averages a serious 15 per cent only, the lowest in last 15 years. The percentage is 20 in 344 medium and minor dams in the division. Overall situation in the Amravati division is somewhat better. Water availability in 6 major dams averages 50.11 per cent and 21.23 in 314 medium and minor dams.

If these figures aren’t alarming enough, consider this--the city of Akola in Amravati division gets potable water only once in five days. The irrigation department  had to stop supply of water to farmers in both the divisions. However, industries are getting water. 

Administration in both the divisions has acknowledged the crisis. Dr Shailesh Kumar Sharma, Commissioner, Nagpur Division, told The Hitavada that the crop survey carried out by the Commissionerate, details of which have been made public, portrays a grim picture. “But there is no need to panic. This is only the initial crop survey. The final figures would be available only by January 15 in the conclusive Anewari survey. We are seeking information from district collectorates and emergency measures would soon follow. But the official line of action over the crisis would be declared only after January 15,” Dr Sharma said. 

But his Amravati Division counterpart cannot wait till January 15. Amravati Division is one of two worst-hit divisions in the state, the other being Aurangabad. N Arumugam, Commissioner, Amravati Division, told The Hitavada that emergency measures have already been set afoot. “We have got two new water supply  schemes sanctioned for Akola city. These schemes will cost around Rs 14 crore of which the government has released Rs 4.5 crore. The Division also has an allocation of Rs 14 crore for water supply through tanker,” Arumugam said. The Commissioner said 89 villages in the Division are already receiving water supply through tankers. Situation is better in Amravati city only, which receives water from the Upper Wardha Dam which has 79.54 per cent of its storage capacity. But the crisis has broken out in the districts of Akola, Yavatmal, Washim, and Buldana. In the Nagpur division, the biggest dam of Totladoh has only 11 per cent of its storage capacity of water. This portends a real trouble for the city of Nagpur which receives water from this dam. Dr Sharma said situation could be worse in Gondia district. The district has four of the 14 major dams in the division. The biggest Itiyadoh dam has only 4 per cent of its storage capacity while Sirpur and Pujaritola dams have virtually dried up. The lone Dina dam in Gadchiroli district has also gone dry.           

The administration attributes the crisis to a deficient rainfall. “Low rainfall has caused the crisis. Irony is that the Amravati division did receive 70 per cent of its average rainfall but ground water situation did not improve because we don’t have rainwater recharging infrastructure in place. Akola city received 47 per cent rainfall but entire rainwater literally went down the drain. Situation is quite similar in Yavatmal city and district,” Arumugam said.

According to a survey carried out by Ground Water Survey and Development Agency, situation is set to worsen in summer when 48 out of 56 tehsils from five districts of Amravati division and 17 out of 62 tehsils from the six districts of Nagpur Division will  face severe drought.

Debt forces 2 more farmers to end life


Two more debt-ridden farmers of the district committed suicides, recently.

According to the information gathered, Deorao Nagram Chavan (45), a resident of Manjarkheda in Chandur Railway tehsil consumed poison in his farm on Mon-day morning to end his life.

An owner of three acres of cultivable land, Chavan was in a private debt of nearly Rs 50,000 to 60,000 which he took for resowing. He was also worried about the marriages and education of four daughters and three sons. 

On Monday, he reached his farm with his younger daughter Sonali and consumed poison there. When he started vomiting, his daughter rushed home and informed her mother but Chavan breathed his last before any help could reach him. Police performed the panchanama and registered a case of casual death. Tehsildar Dhurve also called on the bereaved family and consoled the members.

In yet another incident, Raju Puneshwar Gajbhiye (35) of village Malatpur near Talegaon Dashasar in Dhamangaon tehsil consumed poison at his home. Married only a couple of years ago. Raju used to look after the two-acre farm of his father. He had took a loan from private money-lender for sowing. But when he realised that he would not be in a position to repay the loan after watching the condition of the crop, Raju consumed poison at his home on Monday morning, putting the entire village under gloom. 

BAIF to use garbage for manufacturing fertilizers


Garbage disposal has become a necessity and all possible methods of getting rid of the waste or re-using it are being explored.

In a step towards this direction, Bharatiya Agro Industries Federation (BAIF) is all set to take the initiative for production of fertilizers from garbage.

The project will be launched in association with Environment Ministry of Union government in three states including Maharashtra.

A workshop was held at the office of Vanrai Mitra Mandal on Monday where the outline of the project was laid in front of the representatives of various social institutions to seek their participation in this attempt.

Dr Nitin Konde, the Project officer of BAIF, informed the participants about the project. Representatives from five districts of Amravati division were present at the workshop.

Dr Konde told that about 650 institutions have come together under one roof under the ‘Jal Jeewan Amrut’ campaign of the BAIF. Garbage disposal will be the next project of BAIF. He said that the civic bodies have made arrangements for garbage collection and disposal but the process to be implemented by BAIF would be different.

This technique does not involve use of containers or trucks. Under the National Environment Awareness Campaign the project is being launched in Maharashtra, Goa and Dadra-Nagar Haveli. He said proposals are invited from social institutions.

Proposals will be scrutinized at Pune and then sent to Delhi. The selected institutions will be provided an amount of Rs 5 thousand to Rs 25 thousand.

Pradnya Yuvak Kalyan Sanstha, Vanmitra Gram Vidnyan Pratishthan, Sant Gadgebaba Bahuuddeshiya Gramin Vikas Sanstha, Jaidurga Seva Samiti, Vanrai, Jeevak Ayurvedic Prasarak Mandal, Sanjevani Mahila Sanstha, Ambedkari Prerana Manch, Global Social Institute, Vasantbaba Vyayam Krida Mandal, Krantisurya Shikshan Sanstha, Govindprabhu Bahuuddeshiya Sanstha, Eco Club, Gramin Vikas Sanstha, Manjari Mhasla, Matoshri Sarubai Mahila Mandal took part in the workshop.

The execution of the project will start between February 1, 2005 and March 15, 2005 after considering all the proposals.