Indian Railways will deploy two rakes to transport water to Latur district of Maharashtra, which is in the grip of a severe drought. The two rakes with 55,000 litre capacity wagons will be capable of carrying around 2,750,000 litres of water per rake.
Minister of railways Suresh Prabhu has directed the railway administration to make necessary arrangements in this regard. Indian Railways is already transporting water to the drought affected areas in the country.
The railway ministry has arranged two goods trains (rakes) consisting of 50 tanker like wagons each (BTPN wagons) for the purpose of loading and transporting water in the drought-affected areas of Latur district in Maharashtra, following a request from the Maharashtra government.
The Central Railway and the Kota workshop of the Railways have been directed to undertake steam cleaning of wagons for the purpose of loading drinking water. The two goods trains will be deployed in Pandharpur-Latur section of Solapur division (275 km) for loading water.
The first goods train (rake) consisting of 50 BTPN wagons will be ready for water loading after steam cleaning from Kota workshop on 8 April 2016. The second goods train (rake) consisting of 50 wagons after steam-cleaning, is expected to be ready for water loading around 15 April 2016. These 2 rakes will be deployed in Latur during the summer season of the financial year 2016-17. The trips of the goods trains will be arranged as per the requirement, a railway ministry release stated
Earlier, on a demand from the Rajasthan government and the North Western Railway (NWR) zone had deployed several goods trains for transporting water from Nasirabad to Bhilwada in Ajmer Division (109 KM) from January 2016 onwards. This will also continue up to the summer season.