Unprecedented rains in Marathwada has created havoc for the last three days, in a region that otherwise sees minimal rain. Thousands of farmers in eight districts of the region have seen their farms getting washed out, with a local media report suggesting that the losses could be in hundreds of crores.
Among eight districts of the Marathwada region, the highest rainfall is in the Wadrigodi bloc of Jalana district which recorded 86 mm rainfall on Tuesday. Beed district's Rajuri, Pimpalner, Limbaganesh, Patoda, Daskhed, Madalmohi, Pachegaon and Umapur have also seen heavy rains. A similar situation is in the Umapur, Narangwadi, Mulad and Pargaon blocs of Osmanabad district, with all blocs seeing more than 60 mm rains on Tuesday itself.
Amit Parandkar, a young farmer from the Osmanabad district of Marathwada whose farm is near Sina river, has taken up the Jowar crop. The overflow in the river this time has meant that his entire crop is underwater. "For the last 30 hours, the river is flowing like anything. Not just mine, but many farmers have lost their crops as they are all underwater. Rains have not stopped since Tuesday morning (while speaking on Wednesday at 12 pm)," Amit told NewsClick.
In Beed's Wadwani tehsil, Ajay Khalage and his cousin Ajay Udgare who had gone to see the situation on their farm were drowned in water. Khalage's father Madhukar jumped in the river to save them. Madhukar was later rescued by villagers but couldn't survive due to severe injuries. A total of 12 persons have died in two days due to flooding caused by the rains.
Businesses and daily life in Marathwada have been hampered due to the floods. Primary reports of the revenue department and local media reporting reveal that more than 200 houses have been damaged, and 12 different towns on the banks of different rivers in the region are partially flooded.
Avinash Kale, a young entrepreneur in the dairy business from Selu tehsil of Parbhani district, has lost his three milk collection centres due to floods. A small dairy that he runs in the tehsil is also underwater. "Many shops in our areas have flood water and some have been damaged by tree-felling. Rains have never affected us like this," Avinash said.
"For the first time in the last five years, we are seeing that all the dams of Beed district are full. 6 doors of Bindusara dam and 10 doors of Majalgaon dam opened up on Tuesday evening," said Dhananjay Munde, Maharashtra's Social Justice and Special Assistance Minister. Nanded's Vishnupuri dam has released 95208 cuses of water.
"If we go by the primary reports, more than fifty thousand hectares of farmland are underwater right now, including land with orange gardens, sugarcane plantations and vegetables. Farmers have been the worst-hit community in these rains," said Ram Shingare, a journalist.