Water train to Latur

The first train carrying 5 lakh litres of water from Miraj to Latur covered the 342-km distance at an agonizingly slow speed. The distance is usually covered in nine hours, but the water train took nearly 17 hours to reach its destination.
The train, which had 10 wagons, was halted at various locations along the route, including at Ausa station about 20 km from Latur, as the district administration here raced against time to complete the arrangements to receive the water. Around 4.30 am on Tuesday , the train halted near the well along the tracks, about 5 km from the city , which had been identified to store the water.Within five hours, the wagons had been emptied into the well and the train left for Miraj.
S R Deshmukh, former Latur municipal corporation president and a Congressman, has provided his 22-lakh litre capacity well in his sprawling 13 acre farm free of cost.
As soon as the train stopped next to the cement pipeline with 20 valves, around 50 labourers from the Latur municipal corporation attached the rubber pipes to the wagons which carried the water to the well. While it usually takes around half-an-hour to decant the wagons, it took more than three-and-a-half hours on Tuesday as the rubber pipes started sucking in air, making it difficult for the water to flow from the wagons. A railway official said the administration and the civic body have now been advised to use PVC pipes .
District collector Pandurang Pole welcomed the decision to bring water by trains to Latur but said it was not a permanent solution. He said the civic body and the district administration were looking for other feasible options.
The civic body pressed four tankers, each with a capacity of 25,000 litres, to carry the water from the well to their purification plant. “Ever since the Manjra dam dried up completely on February 22, we have been taking water from different sources, treating it and supplying it to the city . The water is supplied through tankers in two rotations once a month,“ said Latur municipal commissioner Sudhakar Telang.
Water works engineer Vijay Cholkhane said the civic body has started laying a new pipeline between Deshmukh's well and the plant, which is situated just 3 km away . “We then won't require tankers to carry water from the well,“ he said.

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