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Train with five lakh litres of water leaves for Latur

The water will be poured into a privately owned well acquired by the government near Latur railway station

mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2016 00:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Latur,water crisis,Maharashtra
Central Railway workers fill railway tankers with water at Miraj station near Sangli on Monday.(UDAY DEOLEKAR)

In a first in the state, a special train carrying five lakh litres of water for the drought-hit Latur in Marathwada left from Miraj at 11am on Monday. While the train, now termed ‘water express’, reached Latur late at night, the residents will have to wait for a day or two to get the water.

Government officials and citizens gathered at the Latur railway railway station to welcome the express carrying 10 wagons of water at night. The train travelled 375km without a halt to reach Latur.

The water will be poured into a privately owned well acquired by the government near Latur railway station. From the well, the district administration will take the water to a purification centre in the city, from where it will be distributed using tankers or the existing distribution network.

The experiment, which had to be undertaken in the absence of a distribution system between Krishna Valley and Marathwada region, will come as relief to Latur residents. The railway ministry provided 50 special wagons from Kota in Rajasthan to the state for the purpose. Wagons will be used till the completion of pipeline between Warna dam near Miraj and the railway station. The work is expected to be completed by Friday.

Narendra Patil, spokesperson, Central Railway, said railway infrastructure was used to provide water, as the state government will need some time to make the necessary arrangements. A wagon, with a capacity of 50 lakh litres, is filled in six hours. The platform number one at Miraj, where water is available satisfactorily, can be used only for six hours a day to ensure the rail traffic is not affected.

“The railways took a pro-active decision taking into consideration the emergency situation,” he said.

Most parts of Marathwada, including Latur, have not received satisfactory rain for the past three years and Manjra dam, too, has dried up. This has led to large-scale migration of people to other urban centres in Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka.

First Published: Apr 12, 2016 00:18 IST