Clarification By The Ministry Of Railways Regarding The Ongoing Water Transportation Exercise In Latur, Maharashtra
Under the direction of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to help the State of Maharashtra in facing the challenge of its worst ever drought conditions, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu took initiative and ordered the Railway Administration to immediately make necessary arrangements for transportation of water in the drought affected areas of Maharashtra. Towards this end, Railway Board immediately arranged 100 tank wagons through its Kota Workshop and dispatched them to Maharashtra. Mumbai based Central Railway Zone geared up its machinery and directed its two Divisions namely Solapur and Pune to make arrangements for water transportation.
For the first ten days when the local state administration at Miraj and Latur were to lay pipelines and to create suitable infrastructure etc., Pune Division of Central Railways on its own, started transporting water through a 10 tank wagon goods train using its limited resources and man power. Later, after the laying down of pipelines etc. by the local administration, efforts were strengthened and goods train consisting of 50 wagons was pressed into service. Till now more than 6 crore litre water has been transported by the Railways from Miraj to Latur. Railway named these trains as “Jaldoot” to emphasize importance of this crucial endeavour. Railway Administration in Solapur and Pune Divisions is working day and night to accomplish this mega task of transporting water from Miraj to Latur.
In the hour of crisis, Railway Administration rose to the occasion to meet the water needs in the drought affected areas of Maharashtra and together with the local State Administration carried out this ongoing exercise in the most effective manner. The entire exercise has been done involving huge logistic arrangements and mobilization of resources.
Recently the Latur District Administration requested Central Railway Administration to indicate the cost of water transportation by railways. In response to this request, Central Railway shared the information on cost of operation in transporting the water. The settlement of expenditure is not relevant at this point of time as the most important matter is to continue uninterruptedly with the transportation of water to the people in their hour of need.
Prabhu who is personally monitoring the entire operation has directed that the Indian Railways will continue to run the trains till the time there is a need of water and the settlement of the operational expenses will never be a constraint in this regard. The Minister has further ordered that the estimate of expenditure which was sent to the Latur Administration, on their request, will be withdrawn immediately. The issue of settlement of dues is being considered separately by the Railway Ministry.