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Maharashtra drought: Water transported to Latur is less than a day’s need

Mumbai:The first water rake carrying 5 lakh litres left Miraj for Latur on April 11. The first full 50-wagon rake carrying 25 lakh litres left for Latur on April 19. Till late Friday evening, a total of 27 trips of these water rakes took place with the rakes carrying a total of 49.5 million litres to Latur city.

While the entire effort by the railways and state is laudable, the depressing part is that all this water is a full 5 lakh litres less than the daily water requirement of Latur city. While the first nine trips carried 5 lakh litres, the rest 18 water rakes carried 25 lakh litres, according to railway officials.
Speaking to dna, collector of Latur district Pandurang Pol confirmed as much. “The normal requirement of water for Latur city daily is 50 million litres. It is one of the nine urban clusters in Latur district. The district’s 500 villages have their own water sources; hence, the water being brought in is used to supply water to Latur city,” he added.

Currently, two water rakes are running between Miraj and Latur. As reported first by dna, a third rake has already reached Partur and it will also be used to transport water to Latur. Meanwhile, Solapur railway officials said Latur station is equipped to take a third rake as well, to provide water to Latur and adjoining areas from Dudhna river. The rakes would be deployed via Partur which will reduce the journey considerably. While Miraj is at 375km from Latur, Dudhana via Partur is at 290km from Latur.

“We managed to unload a rake that reached Latur with 25 lakh litres early on Friday in about three hours and 45 minutes. With this time for unloading, we can manage to unload two rakes on a daily basis and also accommodate a third rake as and when the state orders its deployment,” said a senior railway official.