Drought-affected Latur city will start getting 25 lakh liters of water from Wednesday, as the Central Railway (CR) has started the operation of a 50-wagon water train to the region.
Latur is one of the worst-hit cities in the drought-affected Marathwada region. The train, called Jal doot, has departed from Miraj junction and is expected to reach Latur on Wednesday morning. It will carry 25 lakh litres of water in a trip.
The railways have two 50-wagon trains for supplying water to Latur. Before reaching Miraj, the trains were sent to Kota in Rajasthan for cleaning.
In the absence of infrastructure to load water in 50 wagons at Miraj and offload it at Latur, the authorities were operating 10-wagon trains between the two cities. This is the first time, the railway operated a 50-wagon water train.
According to sources, the authorities had planned to flag off the 50-wagon train from Miraj at 4.30pm, but later decided to delay its departure till 8pm. It takes approximately 10 hours to load the 50 wagons with water.
Insufficient space to park a 50-coach train has forced the authorities to load only 25 wagons at a time. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu also tweeted about the operation of the first 50-coach water train. A senior railway officer said so far the railway has operated nine 10-wagon water trains supplying 45 lakh litres of water since April 12.