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Rajasthan: ‘Water’ express to quench Bhilwara

For the first time, trains will be used to ferry water to Bhilwara during the winters as bad monsoon has dried up the town’s only source of surface water, official said on Friday.

jaipur Updated: Nov 28, 2015 15:59 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Bhilwara,'Water' Express
A goods train carrying water arrives at the Bhilwara railway station.(HT file photo)

For the first time, trains will be used to ferry water to Bhilwara during the winters as bad monsoon has dried up the town’s only source of surface water, official said on Friday.

A 50-coach water train will ferry water between Nasirabad and Bhilwara from December 20, said RK Ojha, superintending engineer of the public health engineering department, Bhilwara.

“We are cleaning the underground tank and sprucing up the pipeline at the railway station and it should be ready to receive water ferried by a train from December 20,” he said.

“Nasirabad railway station is getting ready for the train’s operation.”

This is the first time that trains will ferry drinking water during the winters in Rajasthan, he said.

The last time trains ferried drinking water to Bhilwara was in 2013, which were run between March 13 and August 3.

The December train will be the third in a decade, the first run was in 2010, when trains were used to ferry drinking water between Nasirabad and Bhilwara, and between Jodhpur and Pali during the summers.

“We will need to run the train until July or August, if the city does not receive water from the Chambal water project,” said Ojha.

Officials of the public health engineering department, which supplies drinking water to different neighbouhoods of the city, said Bhilwara’s main drinking water source – the Meja dam – is left with less than seven days of water supply as bad monsoon has dried up the dam.

Scanty monsoon could fill only 0.61% of the dam’s capacity as a result the city is getting a supply of less than 260 lakh litre every day against the demand of 513 lakh litre, some of them said.

Senior divisional manager (operations) of Ajmer division, Mukesh Saini said they have forwarded the PHED’s demand to the railways headquarters with the request for providing wagons.

The wagons, carrying drinking water have to be thoroughly cleaned by the carriage and wagon wing of the division, he said. “The PHED has requested for one rake from December 20 and another from February. We have forwarded their request to our head office and are waiting for directions.”

The train will ferry 25 lakh litre of water every day – not enough to make up for the city’s shortfall of 200 lakh litre – but PHED officials said they could not afford more trips since a single trip would cost the department Rs 4 lakh.

First Published: Nov 28, 2015 15:59 IST