As the weather shoots up another 5 degrees in most parts of India, including the normally cooler hills, there is a drought in the state of Maharashtra. The water wells are empty, and water is being brought in by tankers, which move along and inefficiently distribute the precious water, spilling some of it as the tanker moves along, one pewter container per person.
The drought is all no thanks to the sugar cane industry, which drinks up most of the irrigated water. There are handsome subsidies in the sugar cane industry, and more acres are earmarked for further plantation of this crop. The sugar factory bosses are happy, and the regional government ministers have to get their favour. But it seems absurd as the drought is likely to drive people away from parts of Maharashtra, and the overfill of treasury to the sugar bosses will bring poverty to the rest of the region.
That is something which is best faced up to and averted before it becomes glaringly obvious.
Sugar could be imported quite economically from regions of Africa where there is plenty of land and water, such as Uganda, where the Indian Madhvani family have the biggest sugar mill.
In Pune, normally a cool area compared to other parts of Maharashtra, temperatures have soared up to 45 degrees centigrade, and there seems just about enough water to wash the face and brush teeth with a glass of water. This is in stark contrast to how it used to be, when people could take a comfortable bath. The CM of Maharashtra and his cabinet must rethink on this policy of allowing more sugar cane plantation, to ensure the economy doesn't become unbalanced. I hope they will listen to this as constructive criticism, as I have stayed in Pune and have many relatives there.