Anxious to prevent escalation of the ‘Jaldoot’ (water trains) controversy, the Indian Railways withdrew on Friday the Rs 4 crore water bill sent to the Latur district administration on account of the cost of transporting water.
Facing flak for pitching a bill to transport water to the parched district in the Marathwada region, the state-owned transporter went in for a damage-control move, saying that the settlement of operational costs for transporting water in was irrelevant at this time. What is of critical importance is that the water trains continue their uninterrupted run to the affected regions, an official statement said.
Officials said an “unnecessary controversy” has been raised, as the operational costs had been indicated to the district administration at their request.
“At railways minister Suresh Prabhu’s instructions, the estimate of expenditure sent to the Latur administration has been withdrawn and will be dealt with separately”, they added.