A train with 50 tankers pulls in late at night, raising a cheer over 300 km away in Latur

In parched Marathwada, residents of Latur wait for water train with 50 steam-cleaned tankers

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More , Shubhangi Khapre | Pune | Updated: April 11, 2016 9:57 am
marathwada, latur, marathwada water crisis, latur water crisis, maharashtra water crisis, maharashtra drought, indian railways, railways maharashtra water aid, devendra fadnavis, suresh prabhu, maharashtra, maharashtra news, india news, marathwada news, latest news The train from Kota picks up water at Miraj in Sangli for the journey to Latur. (Source: Express photo)

With Marathwada reeling under drought-like conditions, a train with 50 tankers pulled into Miraj in Sangli district late Saturday night. On Sunday, water was being filled in the tankers for the onward journey to Latur, a district which has been staring at its “worst ever” water crisis in decades.

Railway sources said the tanker wagons arrived from Kota where they had been sent for steam-washing to make them suitable for clean water. A second train is expected by April 15.

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Central Railway officials said water was being lifted from a jackwell in Miraj and pumped to a railway filtration plant. “From there, water is being being pumped into the wagons through an old pipeline system,” an official said.

Latur District Collector Pandurang Pole told The Indian Express Sunday that a new water pipeline is being laid by the state government from the railway filtration plant to Miraj railway station, three kilometres away.

Each wagon has a capacity of storing 54,000 litre of water but the railways plans to fill 50,000 litre in each. Pole said one trip of the train will help them get water which 450 road tankers supply. “Currently, over 400 tankers are making rounds of Latur city daily and over 200 water tankers are deployed in rural areas,” he said. “The water train will help us a lot. We have some water reserves that should last till the monsoon arrives,” he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The state government along with the Railway Ministry is coordinating to ensure that water to Latur is provided immediately.” Thanking Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, he said, “The rail wagons have reached Miraj where drinking water is being filled. Almost 50 tanker wagons will proceed with water to Latur.” Prabhu, on his part, said: “The railways will do everything to help … We have sent 50 tanker wagons.”

In Latur, Dr Kalyan Barmade, secretary of Indian Medical Association, said, “The announcement of the train bringing water has come as a huge relief for Latur… people do nothing except look for water.”


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  1. V
    Visual upadhayay
    Apr 11, 2016 at 7:32 am
    When iran can have 2800 km oil and gas pipe line till stan, why not Indian government can make 1500 km of pipe line from bihar west Bengal or orissa to Maharashtra where there is abundant water supply. All Indian rivers should be connected to each other there will never be any water problem in any part of country.
    1. I
      Apr 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm
      and then when water finish there then go further, dude we have to learn to use the water rather then otherwise. greed has a limit.
      1. A
        Apr 11, 2016 at 12:40 am
        I was waiting for this development. The can do approach of this government is what matters. One can only imagine how parched Latur awaits water. In South Delhi in the colony I live there are folk who unthinkingly wash their vehicles with potable water, every day. While the media in particular Zee News has been carrying reports on Latur, there are some Indians who are unable to relate to the problem their fellow Indians are living through. That said I am waiting for long overdue water bills from the Delhi Jal Board. I find it bizarre that the wrong signals are being sent by the local government on water usage. I am not seeking waiver of bills but accurate billing. They are under review for quite some months and not even the Director Revenue seems to be able to make it happen. Water conservation is happening in a big way in my household with some effort and Latur, Maharashtra and other drought affected areas in Karnataka need to be register on public consciousness. India cares. Our turn could be next. What then?
        1. A
          Apr 11, 2016 at 7:02 am
          It is duty of all districts of Maharashtra , having better water position, specially Mumbai,Pune and Nasik must come forward and see Latur and other drought areas of Marathawada get water immediately for next two months.This only way to remain all regions together and there is no room for getting separated from state.
          1. D
            Damaru Prasad
            Apr 11, 2016 at 3:05 am
            Tribute to Nehru who should have started with arranging water first. Sorry for Modi who has to go back to water from toilet building. And Pappu of course is quintessential Pappu! How much remains to be done!!!
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