A special train carrying around five lakh litres of water for parched Latur in the Marathwada region, which is battling the worst drought ever, reached its destination after an 18-hour-long journey on Tuesday morning.
The 'water train', with 10 wagons carrying water for Latur, had left from Miraj in western Maharashtra around 11 am on Monday and reached Latur at 5 am on Tuesday. It took 18 hours to traverse a distance of around 350 kilometres.
Shiv Sena MP and veteran politician Chandrakant Khaire speaking to Indian Express said that this is the first time that water will reach Marathwada region by train.
"The first batch of ten wagons, each with a capacity of around 50,000 litres, were filled with water at Miraj railway station in Sangli district," said Chief spokesperson of Central Railway Narendra Patil.
People are so happy that some of them stayed back here in night just to see rail wagons-Latur Mayor Shaikh Akhtar pic.twitter.com/59ISFmztVd— ANI (@ANI_news) April 12, 2016
Latur: Maharashtra mein ye pehle udahran hai, aaj ka din Diwali sey kam nahin hai humare liye-Shailesh Lahoti,BJP pic.twitter.com/FG60iYCGyc— ANI (@ANI_news) April 12, 2016
The district administration has acquired a huge well located near Latur railway station to store the water which will then be supplied to Latur town.
On April 8, the train had left from Kota workshop for Miraj in Pune division. The second train consisting of 50 wagons is expected to be ready for water loading around April 15, a Railway official said earlier.
"As per instructions from the Ministry of Railways, Kota workshop received two goods trains consisting of 50 tank wagons each for deployment in drought-affected areas of Latur during the summer season and the trips of the trains will be arranged as per the requirement," he said.
The carrying capacity of these wagons is 54,000 litres of waters per wagon.
But there was a slight problem. The district collector said that they hadn't asked for the water as such. And despite the water woes in the area, they had enough water to get to the monsoons.
“We have enough water —nearly 5 mcm (million cubic metres) — in four of our barrages. This (stock) will last till the monsoon arrives…(in) July,” District Collector Pandurang Pole told The Indian Express on Monday.
(Feature image source: Twitter)