Mumbai/Latur: Another train carrying 25 lakh litres of water reached the parched Latur district in Maharashtra on Wednesday morning.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu took to Twitter to make the announcement and vow to continue the relief work as a mission.
First full 50 tank wagons carrying about 25 lakh ltrs of water reached #Latur at 7.55 hrs.
Shall continue this operation as mission
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) April 20, 2016
According to official estimates, some of the worst-hit villages in Latur require over two crore litres of water since the monsoon is still two months away.
The water train initiative was taken by Prabhu a few days ago as many parts of his home state reeled under severe water crises, especially villages in Latur district, which has a population of around 2.45 crore.
The railways is planning a few more similar train trips to help quench the thirst of Latur villagers.
Currently, around 15,000 Maharashtra villages, a majority of them in Latur, Beed and Osmanabad districts, are in the grip of acute water shortage.
Villagers in some areas trek more than two km daily to fetch potable water and keep water stock under lock and key.
Schools in affected areas have been shut, with marriages and other social events cancelled or postponed. Agricultural activities too have come to a standstill.
Police have imposed prohibitory orders till May 3 in many areas to prevent violence over water distribution. Besides, armed guards have been posted at public water tanks and reservoirs.