HC directs 60% water cut for distilleries in Marathwada

Distilleries and breweries in the drought-hit Marathwada region of Maharashtra will face a cut in water allocation cut between April 27 and June 10.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court gave this direction to the state government on Tuesday, on a petition from local activists and lawyers. The court has asked the government to introduce a 50 per cent cut from April 27 and another 10 per cent from May 10.

Also, to impose a 20 per cent cut from April 27 and another five per cent from May 10, to June 10, for other industries. The court said the water saved from the cuts are to be exclusively used for drinking purposes. It will review the situation on June 10.

Last week, the Aurangabad divisional commissioner had ordered a cut in water supply to distilleries and breweries by 25 per cent and to other industries by 20 per cent.

This was after a protest by farmers and political parties. Differences between the ruling partners in the state government, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena, had then surfaced over the cut. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray made a strong pitch for the cut on distilleries and breweries but rural development minister Pankaja Munde of the BJP argued in favour of continuation of supply to the segment.

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