Holi 2013
Mumbai Opts for Water-Free Celebration amid Maharashtra DroughtFacebook/jointheroot

In the wake of the severe drought plaguing the state of Maharashtra, Mumbaikers have decided to do their bit to avoid water wastage during the festive season of Holi.

Over 11801 villages in Maharashtra were declared drought affected in March 2013, according to the Union Agriculture Ministry. Even the supply of drinking water has become a crisis in drought-affected villages.

For Holi celebrations, citizens, politicians', actors and several social organisations have come forward and appealed to the public to play dry and eco-friendly holi.

"This year we have decided to celebrate dry Holi with natural colors only. We have decided that we will not use water since Maharashtra is facing drought. We will try and do our best to save as much water as we can," Ishita Shah, a resident of Ghatkopar, told IBTimes India.

"We are trying to have a helping hand by not using water to celebrate Holi this year; it is just going to be a celebration with colours. Water is really precious and we're lucky enough to have abundant water supply in our city, but that doesn't mean we can splash it recklessly. There are more than 11500 villages who aren't even getting water for survival, so it's time we stop wasting water for the sake of enjoyment this year and save water so that at least some scarcity can be avoided," said Vaibhavi Patil, another resident in the area.

Through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, people are creating awareness to save water.

The Root, a platform for social & environmental expression, also urged people to save water during Holi. The group posted an image of drought on its official Facebook page with a message that read:

"It's the worst drought in Maharashtra in the last 40 years. 11,800 villages have no water. 16 districts have completely run dry. 2, 00, 00,000 people will be battling to survive. Some will live on the mercy of the Tanker Mafia, some will succumb.

"This Holi when you, your friends, family, relatives, building, society, neighbourhood... are in mood for celebration, think about the millions with parched throats & barren lives." 

Even, megastar Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter and urged people to avoid wasting water.

"Water shortage in Maharashtra ... and its only March. What will happen in Summer ? Save water ! Play a dry Holi !!," the actor tweeted on Wednesday.

 The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) this year will not sell portable (drinking water) or non-portable water tankers. It will also make sure that no special water tankers are present around housing societies, according to CNN-IBN.

Several corporators have demanded a cut on water supply during Holi, but the BMC has scrapped the idea saying that water cuts are not the solution to prevent wastage.

They have strongly appeal to Mumbai citizens to use water carefully.