In Drought-Ravaged Beed, Families Use Mineral Water And Tankers To Perform Last Rites

21/04/2016 5:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
LATUR, INDIA - APRIL 11: Dried and cracked storage area of the Manjara Dam Project, Dhanegaon which comes under Beed and Usmanabad and supplies 9 nearby regions, from where Latur gets its water supply on April 11, 2016 in Latur, India. Consecutive drought years resulted in acute water scarcity and the agrarian crisis and have its epicentre in three districts of the Marathwada region Latur, Osmanabad and Beed. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Gut-wrenching tales of woe and suffering have become routine in Maharashtra which is plagued by drought, water shortages, and heat.

Earlier this week, a 12-year-old girl died of a heart attack and dehydration while she was making her fifth trip to the village water pump in the district of Beed, where the temperatures are at a scorching 42 degrees Celsius.

Latur, Beed and Osmanabad are the three worst-affected districts in the region of Marathwada.

The Hindu today has carried a heartbreaking story of how people don't have enough water to perform last rites for their dead relatives in Beed, where the Godavari River is parched.

On the ghats of the ancient Rakshbuvan (Shani) temple, relatives of the dead look for the last remaining drops of water from the taps near the temple trust. Families must pay hefty sums to arrange water tankers to perform their last rites.

Bhimrao Agarkar told The Hindu that he arranged mineral water for relatives, and payed Rs. Rs.1,600 for a 3,000 liter water tanker so that they could bathe and perform the necessary rituals.

District Collector Vikas Suryawanshi told The Hindu that the crisis arose after the state authorities diverted water from the Godavari River to Georai, a tehsil in Beed, where 60,000 people needed water.

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