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The water level in Jaikwadi, which is the biggest dam in drought-prone Marathwada region, has crossed 86 per cent. The Water Resources Department has asked district officials to closely monitor the water levels and if required, open the gates for discharge.

Of the total water storage capacity (2,170,000 million litres), Jaikwadi, which is located at Paithan taluka in district Aurangabad, at present holds 1,846,300 million litres.

With the weather department predicting continuous rains in Marathwada, the water level in the dam is expected to rise in the next 48 hours.

Jaikwadi dam water is the primary source for irrigating 2.5 lakh hectares agriculture land in the drought-hit region. The water is used for industries mainly in Aurangabad and Jalna districts, which are the biggest industrial hubs. Apart from this, it provides drinking water to the region.

Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil said, “We are monitoring the water levels in Jaikwadi. We have sent alerts.”

Patil, who is touring flood-hit districts in Marathwada region, held a review meeting late Tuesday night in Beed.

“We are contemplating raising the heights of some irrigation projects to create more water storage facilities. The process of reviewing the irrigation projects to upstage the water storage to its optimum level is also underway.” However, details and shortlisting of projects will be taken up after further study, he added.

Despite a large amount of water discharge following the opening of gates in Manjara and Majalgaon dam in Beed, the water level was 100 per cent.

On Tuesday, all 18 gates of Manjara dam and 11 gates of Mazalgaon dam were opened for water discharge. This resulted in floods in Beed and adjoining Latur district.

The maximum water storage capacity of Manjara dam is 1,769,60 million litres. Majalgaon dam has a capacity of 3,11,340 million litres.

In Osmanabad district, which is amongst the worst drought districts in the region, also came under heavy rain spells. The Lower Terna dam in Osmanabad, which has a maximum water storage of 91,220 million litres, was overflowing at 100 per cent. In Hingoli district, Yeldhari dam with a maximum water storage of 8,097,70 million litres was also at its brim.

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