A special train with 10 wagons carrying around 5 lakh litres of drinking water reached Latur in the Marathwada region on Tuesday morning. The region is fighting with a worst drought ever for past few weeks. The Indian Railways train bound to Latur left from Miraj, a region in Maharashtra at 11 am on Monday which reached 5 am on Tuesday.
It took around 18 hours for the train to cover a distance of over 350 km. The train was welcomed with cheers and a sense of relief seen on the faces of Latur Mayor, top civil and police officials. The offloading of the water began at an area which was dry and it belonged to a farmer near the railway station, and then later it was transported with the help of the pipes to a filtration point.
When the filtering work is complete and the water is made potable, it will be sent to the adjacent remote areas via tankers. The people living there are eagerly waiting for the water, with their buckets and the pitchers in the hope of getting water to drink.
The initiative was taken by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as many areas in his home state were facing the water crisis. The Latur district was the most affected and it has the population of around 2.45 crores making it even more difficult for the people living there to survive.
Another train which will consist of 50 wagons is expected to be ready for water loading around April 15. A railway official said, “As per instructions from the Railway Ministry, Kota workshop received two goods trains consisting of 50 tank wagons each for deployment in the drought affected areas of Latur during the summer season and the trips of the trains will be arranged as per the requirement.” Each of the wagon has a carrying capacity of around 54,000 liters of water.
According to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, the Maharashtra government is working very hard to bring relief for the people in regions affected by drought.
Section 144 of CrPC was lifted by the Maharashtra government in the region of Latur as they felt that the people were cooperating and that there were no fights in the region. Section 144 prohibits unlawful assembly of four or more persons at a place.