Betul (Madhya Pradesh), June 7 (IANS) Prohibitory orders have been imposed in this water scarcity-hit district of Madhya Pradesh to regulate the use of water from public sources, an official said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been imposed until June 25 to ensure that water is used sparingly, Sub-Divisional Officer (Revenue) Sanjiv Pande told reporters here on Monday. No construction activity will be allowed till that day, he added.

"If it rains by then, we will remove prohibitory orders," he said.

The provision is usually invoked to prevent or quell incidents of violence and unrest.

Asked if it would not be a blow to workers engaged in construction, Pande said there is nothing that can replace whatever little water is available in the district and so it must be used for the most pressing human needs.

The water supply in Betul town has been cut to one-fourth of 13 lakh litre that it was in normal times.

In March, the administration in Latur district in the drought-prone region of Marathwada in Maharashtra had also imposed Section 144 of CrPC for about three weeks to ensure "that water is used frugally and judiciously".

The legal provision has also been used in conducting elections and to prevent mass cheating in board examinations by some state governments.