Pune: Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse on Tuesday said he has requested the Union Railways Ministry to help transport water to drought-hit Latur. “The problem of water scarcity in Latur is serious. There has been the problem of water in Latur for the past many years and the region may witness more problems in the future.
We have contacted the Railway Ministry and have requested them to help transport water to Latur,” he told.
Khadse further said Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has assured of all help and directed the concerned authorities to help transport water from Pandharpur to Latur. “We are making all possible efforts so that water can be transported to Latur in 15 days. Permission has been given to the administration to use money for the problem,” he added.
Khadse along with Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde today visited Latur and took stock of the situation. The Ministry of Railways had earlier on a request from the Maharashtra Government and the Central Railway Zone arranged two goods trains consisting of 50 tankers like wagons each for the purpose of loading and transporting water in the drought-affected areas of Latur.
The Kota workshop of Indian Railways has been directed to undertake steam cleaning of wagons for the purpose of loading drinking water. The two goods trains will be deployed in Pandharpur-Latur section of Solapur division for loading water. The first goods train consisting of 50 BTPN wagons will be ready for water loading after steam cleaning from Kota workshop on April 8. The second goods train consisting of 50 wagons after steam-cleaning is expected to be ready for water loading around April 15. The authorities in Latur have imposed an order prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in areas around 20 water storage tanks until May 31 to avoid any possible violence over water. The District Collector imposed the order as a preventive measure to tackle possible violence over water around the Latur civic body-run tanks.