Latur city in Maharashtra is facing a water crisis despite a healthy monsoon in 2019 with officials admitting that supply to home taps was now once in 15 days, with the situation worsening because of disconnection of the civic body's power supply due to non-payment of bills.
Latur, some 290 kilometres from here, is part of the perennially parched Marathwada region and is Maharashtra's 16th largest city, often in the news for crippling shortage which require the running of 'jaldoot' or water wagon trains for its five lakh residents.
A senior Latur Municipal Corporation (LMC) official said there has been no supply of municipal water for the past six days.
He said the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited on February 20 disconnected power supply of LMC due to non payment of bills running to several crore rupees.
Due to disconnection of power supply, the LMC could not operate the supply mechanism from Harangul, Nagzari, Sai and Varvanti water purification facilities, an official said.
The Latur civic body pays around Rs 70 lakh for power supply every month.
"The electricity dues now stand at Rs 4.19 crore. We were supplying water to five lakh Latur residents once in six days but this frequency has now worsened to 15 days. Efforts are on to restore power supply and arrangements (to pay MSEDCL dues) are underway," LMC Executive Engineer Vijay Cholkhane told PTI on Monday.
Mayor Vikrant Gojamgunde, later in the evening, said power bills of one month would be paid to MSEDCL on Tuesday and water supply would normalise in the days to come.
"We had a meeting with MSEDCL officials. They too have not paid some of our bills raised for various civic works. We will pay MSEDCL Rs 70 lakh tomorrow. Water supply to areas under LMC will become routine soon," Gojamgunde told PTI.
The BJP is the largest party in the 70-member LMC though the mayor belongs to the Congress.
Later in the evening, BJP workers held a protest in front of the LMC headquarters against the erratic water supply and clanged empty pots.