Grim Statistics on Indian Drought Exposes a Massive Humanitarian Disaster

A massive humanitarian disaster could be staring in our face If policy makers don’t get their act together.

Published: 25th April 2016 04:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2016 04:59 AM   |  A+A-

Mahabubanagar_Drought_EPS 15

A farmer's son is seen going through a dried up agricultural field in Mahabubnagar, one of the drought-hit district in Telangana. |A Suresh Kumar/ EPS

With most parts of India reeling under a heat wave, here is a look at the big picture. a massive humanitarian disaster could be staring in our face If policy makers don’t get their act together


People affected in 10 states declared drought hit in India, the govt recently told the SC. Includes 3.1 crore in Karnataka, 3.69 crore in Maharashtra, 1.67 crore in Odisha, 2.35 crore in Andhra, 1.78 crore in Telangana and 9.9 crore in UP. Also factor in three states — Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana — that are on the verge of entering the drought-hit category and the numbers will spike further


Villages officially declared drought hit. This includes 22,759 in Karnataka, 29,077 in Odisha, 6,974 in Andhra and 5,519 in Telangana. At 42,829, Madhya Pradesh has the biggest number of drought-hit villages in India


Total heat wave deaths in four states, 122 of them in Telangana, including 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. Andhra reported 32 deaths on Sunday, with the overall unofficial toll standing at 169. Similarly, the death toll in Odisha stood at 73, though the govt claimed it’s just 2. Four died in K’taka. All govts are in denial with T making at least two attempts to scale down the grim data

3-4 lakh

People, mainly from the perennially dry region of Hyderabad-Karnataka alone, have already migrated to places like Goa, Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru and other urban centres in search of livelihood. No major exodus from Telangana as rural jobs scheme offers Rs 194 per day as wages to unskilled labourers


Water storage level in 91 major dams across the country as on April 20. It is 24% less that the 10-year average storage level for the same period. In Karnataka, of 13 major reservoirs, seven are fast approaching or have reached dead storage level. While their total capacity is 860.51 tmcft, their current level is less that 170. Odisha has witnessed 21% loss in live storage level. Reservoir levels comfortable in Chennai because of December floods

1,200 ft

Deep wells being sunk in parts of Bengaluru. Six-fold dip in water table in urban areas and three-fold fall in rural Karnataka since 2005. In Telangana, the groundwater level has plunged by 2.61 metres within the last one year

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