SHAHAPUR, INDIA: As Gajanand Dukre parks the water tanker in a drought- Indian village, dozens of locals — frequently ladies in saris — come walking with jerry cans, buckets and chrome steel pots.

Over the subsequent two hours Dukre facilitates them empty the 12,000-litre (three,one hundred seventy-gallon) tank, presenting a lifeline to this small community as India reels from one in all its worst droughts in years.

“we are running overtime,” says 41-12 months-old Dukre, who conducts 4 rounds of deliveries an afternoon to hamlets around Shahapur inside the parched western country of Maharashtra.


Dukre is one in every of 37 drivers operating authorities-run water tankers within the place, which is located around a hundred kilometres (60 miles) from India’s economic capital Mumbai.

The tankers run seven days a week between March and June, whilst water is at its scarcest in India.

The Asian giant’s warm season has been mainly harsh this yr, with temperatures rising above 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in Rajasthan state.

nearly half of of India — a place domestic to greater than 500 million people — is dealing with drought-like conditions due to poor pre-monsoon rainfall, according to the Indian Meteorological department (IMD).

In Shakar Pada village, water degrees inside the nicely are dangerously low, meaning villagers are relieved to peer Dukre roll in, connect a hose to the again of the tanker and start to fill up each person’s vessels.

“there has been an absence of water for the past month,” Pramila Shewale tells AFP as she includes a freshly filled pot of water on her head to her domestic.

“If it wasn’t for the water tankers we'd must depend on the properly, which would be very hard,” the 25-12 months-vintage provides.

The village’s 98 families continue to exist on agriculture, developing in most cases rice and veggies that they sell at markets in close by cities. During drought there may be no water for agriculture or farm animals.

Falling groundwater tiers and bad irrigation techniques imply they may be overly reliant on India’s June-to-September southwest monsoon, which gives the united states with maximum of its annual rainfall.

3 of the remaining 5 monsoons had been deficient and while the IMD is predicting a regular monsoon this yr it's miles already every week late and that concerns farmers.

“each yr the drought receives worse. I pray to God that there is enough water (this time),” Naresh Rera, a 32-year-antique farmer, tells AFP.

Dukre will hold turning in water till the monsoon is in complete swing in Maharashtra, likely by the cease of the month.

each night time he and his colleagues sleep of their vehicles wherein the tankers are covered up on desert beside a river.

They wake at three.00 am and fill the tanks with water from the dammed river nearby. They pour in chlorine and head to the parched villages. They come back, top off and head out once more. Often Dukre doesn’t finish his rounds till 7.30 pm.

“It’s difficult work however my coronary heart feels exact due to the fact i'm supporting people,” he says.