February 23rd, 2015
Those who thought that farmer suicides are an issue only in Vidarbha are in for a big shock.
As per the divisional commissionerate of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, as many as 93 farmers committed suicide in the first 45 days of the year. This number is a cause of concern since it shows a trend of increasing suicides over the recent past – 2013 had 207 suicides in the entire year whereas 2014 had 569.
The primary reasons appear to be the inclement weather leading to crop failure and delay in release of government compensation.
What aggravates the issue of crop failure despite adequate water resevoirs (Maharashtra alone has 36% of all of the country’s dams) is poor water management. This leads to over-dependance of the farmers on rain-water in the area.
Here are some facts that sum up the dismal situation in the area well –
1. Marathwada had a 42% rainfall deficit this year.
2. Groundwater levels hve dipped in all 8 districts over the past year, the worst impact being in Osmanabad district which has seen the level fall from 10.79 meter in 2013 to 6.87 meter at present.