Latur: The ten railway wagons carrying five lakh liters of water, which left from Miraj Junction railway station yesterday, reached the parched region of Latur in Marathwada region early on Tuesday.
On April 8, one of two goods trains carrying 50 wagons of water for drought-affected areas of Latur departed from Kota workshop for Miraj in Pune division.
"It's an occasion of happiness for us thanks to the government. The atmosphere here right now similar to that of Ramzan celebrations. People from all over the town have come to watch the train. We were able to disperse 200 litres of water in 15 days to the people, now thanks to the train we can do that in five to six days," Latur Mayor Shaikh Akhtar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Talking about the scramble for taking credit over the temporary solution to the water crisis in the region, he added that the people really did not care who got the credit for the entire initiative as long as the water reached them.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Latur asserted that what the previous state government had failed to come through with in ten years, the current regime had managed in three months.
"In the previous government, the Chief Minister belonged to Latur and what he was not able to do in ten years, the BJP government managed in three months. This is the first initiative of its kind where a water train has been sent to Latur and this occasion is nothing short of Diwali for us. The Congress failed to provide any fail but under the leadership of Suresh Prabhu and Devendra Fadnavis, we achieved success," BJP leader Shailesh Lahoti told ANI.
The locals in the drought-hit Latur District of Maharashtra are forced to travel long distances for water, as it is experiencing an unprecedented water scarcity this summer.
According to the villagers, the administration sends limited water tankers to the village. The villagers either have to buy water or get them from the nearby farm. The women of the village have to bring water from across two kilometres. The villagers spent almost the whole day sourcing water.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said that the state government and the railway ministry were working hard to bring relief to people in drought-affected region.
With the city needing 20 mullion litres of water each day, the railways and the state government have big task at hand.
Another water train will be pressed into service by April 15, railway official said.
With ANI inputs