Doctors in Latur district of drought-stricken Maharashtra are putting off surgeries because there is not enough water for them to even wash their hands before an operation.
"We have to depend on tanker water - if we order a tanker today, it comes after two or three days, it is so bad. The tankers are finding it hard to supply water because they get water from borewells from far flung areas where the water table is going down," said Deepak Gugale, president of the Latur Indian Medical Association.
As of now, the doctors are treating only emergency cases, but may have to stop even that after 15 days, according to The Economic Times.
With not enough water even to wash their hands, doctors and nursing staff are compromising on life-saving hygiene.
"We can't postpone deliveries, and maternity hospitals require a lot of water," said Snehal Deshmukh, a gynaecologist who runs a maternity hospital. "A woman after a caesarian delivery used to be in the hospital for 5-7 days, but is now being discharged on the fourth day if she is medically fit."
According to urologist Dr Hansraj Baheti of Latur's government hospital, the quality of tanker water is so bad that people are getting jaundice, typhoid, hepatitis and gastroenteritis. "The number of people suffering from kidney stones has increased three fold because they are drinking borewell water which is hard," he said.