September 4, 2019 4:02:36 pm
For supplying drinking water to Latur by train in 2016, the Central Railways has sent a bill of around Rs 9 crore to the Latur Municipal Corporation. This comes at a time when Latur is already grappling with water crisis in view of poor rainfall.
From April to August 2016, the railway ministry had provided drinking water to Latur city through ‘Jaldoot’, the water train. The water was brought from Sangli district. In 2016, a bill of Rs 4 crore was sent, but the then Railway minister Suresh Prabhu waived it.
On Wednesday, Latur Municipal Commissioner Devendra Singh said,”We have not received the bill directly. It has been received by the district collectorate, which has intimated us.”
The civic chief said they have conveyed to the state government that they are not in a position to pay such a big amount. “We have urged the state government to look into the issue…Whether to pay the amount or seek waiver, it is up to the state government.”
The bill has been raised by the Solapur division of the Central Railways. When contacted, Pradeep Hirde, senior divisional manager, said, “The bill has been sent as a routine procedure. The decision regarding waiver will be taken by the Railway ministry.”
Devendra Singh also refuted reports that the civic body was seeking another Jaldoot-like option in view of the depleting water stock in the Manjara dam. “No, we are not seeking another train. We have water stock which will last for 2-3 months. We have drawn up a contigency plan…we are looking for additional sources of water in the district. We are also hoping that in the withdrawal phase of the monsoon, our area will be benefited,” he said.
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