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Maharashtra’s water-wars: State must discourage sugarcane farming, fix water usage

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While inter-state water wars are fairly common, intra-state ones were almost unheard of until two regions of Maharashtra locked horns in the Supreme Court in November last year. Cane farmers and the sugar industries along upstream Godavari in western Maharashtra have challenged the Bombay High Court’s September 2016 order that held that the river’s water must be used equitably as envisioned by laws on regulating water resources and irrigation enacted by the state government. Farmers from the Marathwada region that lies downstream of the river have countered this, saying if upstream reaches didn’t release enough water to the Jayakwadi dam, the lifeline of the downstream areas, the water rights of the people of Marathwada would have been violated. This water-war, as Down to Earth (DTE) reports, has poor water resource management, wasteful water use perpetuated by a strong sugar lobby in the state, graft,........

© The Financial Express