More than 51,000 farmers in Palghar district of Maharashtra have been provided drought assistance worth Rs. 21.09 crore, an official said on Monday.
Due to the deficient monsoon last year, reservoirs in the district have only about 22 percent water stock of their total storage capacity, collector Prashant Narnavre said in a statement.
"So far, 51,174 farmers from 333 villages in Palghar have been paid Rs. 21.09 crore towards compensation for the scarcity situation in the district," he said.
The state tribal development department's principal secretary, Manisha Verma, toured the district during the weekend to review the water crisis and assured there was no dearth of funds to tackle the situation, he added.
Moreover, with water storage in dams dropping to a "critical" level, the Centre has issued a "drought advisory" to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously.
The advisory was issued to Tamil Nadu on Friday and similar cautionary letters were sent to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana late last week, said SK Haldar, a member of the Central Water Commission (CWC).
The drought advisory is issued to states when the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years. Waterfalls under the state list and the advisory recommends states to use it for drinking purpose only till the dams are replenished.
The CWC monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across the country.
According to the figures released on Thursday, the total water storage available was 35.99 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 22 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM.
The figure was at 24 per cent for the week ending on May 9. The situation seems to be grim in western and southern parts of the country.