Latur: A special train carrying around five lakh litres of water for parched Latur in Marathwada region, which is battling the worst drought ever, reached the destination after 18 hours 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, taking 18 hours to traverse a distance of around 350 kilometres.
“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.
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.
Even then, it is a matter of speculation how much water will actually reach households and whether it will be potable.
Latur’s water pipelines are in a stage of advanced decay and leakage is to the tune of 50 per cent.
Tenders for a new pipeline along with a water purification plant have been floated four or five times by the municipal corporation but have found no takers.