In this crouching heat, it is hard for the Maharashtra Government to find water to fulfil the daily needs of residents of Marathwada region. However, the government somehow manages to serve the beer factories controlled by politicians with every drop needed for continuing their production.
The state of Maharashtra is facing the most severe drought in the last 40 years. Specifically, the region of Marathwada where the Aurangabad district is situated is most affected by the same.
Jayakwadi Dam in Aurangabad, the main source of water for people of Marathwada, is also the biggest reservoir of water in India. The water from the reservoir is used by the government for sugarcane farming and supplying to beer factories. Sugarcane farming in a water-guzzling process. It takes up a superb amount of water. However, sugarcane farming is one of the most prominent business for the farmers and hence cannot be seconded.
However, the Breweries and distilleries owned by various politicians in the area are not being put to rest even after the water scarcity. Marathwada houses 129 factories of various Indian made foreign beers including Heineken, Fosters, Kingfisher, Carlsberg etc along with 2 crore population of locals. The breweries and distilleries require 35 million litres of water daily. As per the figures of local activists, such beer factories consume about 60% water of the Jayakwadi Dam.
As per an article published by Free Press Journal, 610 farmers in Maharashtra committed suicide since January 2019 after being fed up with crop failure due to lack of water. Out of which 198 farmers were from Aurangabad who left their families alone to fight this battle of survival alone.
Keshrichand Mehta, head of “Vardhman Parivar”, a charitable organisation is trying to create public opinion to ensure that the government shuts down the supply of water to breweries & sugar factories in Aurangabad during the summer when the water supply is low. Indeed, it seems the government needs to restructure its water supply priorities.