In parched Maharashtra, Nashik's famous Kumbh bathing spot, Ramkund, goes waterless after 130 years
Nashik: Given the water scarcity in the state, the famous pond at Ramkund in Nashik has dried up like never before.
The sacred bathing spot on the Godavari river, where pilgrims take a dip and perform various rituals, has gone dry for the first time in 130 years due to acute water shortage.
According to a top official of Nashik Municipal Corporation, the cemented Ramkund has now become a playground for children who play cricket and football there.
Thousands of pilgrims expected to converge in Nashik for a holy dip on Gudi Padwa on April 8 -- the first day of Chaitra month marking the beginning of the new year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar -- would therefore be unable to do so.
"On the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, thousands of pilgrims expected to turn up at Ramkund will not be able to take the holy dip, at least till July-end," Nashik Municipal Corporation's Deputy Mayor Gurmeet Bagga said.
The civic body is now toying with the idea of digging borewells on the river banks in a bid to replenish the Ramkund -- which is also the main pilgrimage centre during the Kumbh Mela held in Nashik. However, the project depends on several factors, including religious sentiments and cost.
Besides, there is no guarantee that borewells will be a solution to the problem since the groundwater table in the district has plummeted, Bagga said.
At present, Bagga said, the corporation was supplying around 100 litres per head per day (LPHPD) to Nashik residents as against the national norm of 130 LPHPD, and soon this will dip to around 80 LPHPD due to acute water scarcity.