Hello rains, goodbye Latur 'Jaldoot' trains

Latur : Having received sufficient rains in this monsoon so far, the people of Latur on Tuesday morning bid goodbye to the unique 'Jaldoot' water train which had been supplying drinking water to the city since April, a top official said. Resident Deputy Collector Narayan Ubale said the train's 111th and final trip from Miraj in Sangli district to Latur in Marathwada was completed at dawn on Tuesday and the water was offloaded. "We have received sufficient rains, and have around nearly two-thirds of the requirements for 2016-2017. Hence we have requested the train services to be discontinued," Ubale told IANS. The unique proposal to supply water in tankers by a train to Latur was conceived by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after water storage in Latur dipped to two per cent in April. From April 11, the train has supplied more than 25 crore litres of water to the parched Latur and its surroundings till Tuesday. The first-of-its-kind project in the country entailed filling up 50 tanker-wagons from Miraj, journeying 340 km overnight, offloading in an unused well near the railway lines from where it was pumped via pipelines to the city. For the first time in past six months, home taps came alive on August 1, after Latur Municipal Corporation resumed water supply through its supply network after the region got sufficient rains. Ubale said that two major dams in the district are still rain-deficient but most other medium and small dams, including the Sai and Nagzari weirs, which cater to Latur city, are full. Latur was reeling under a severe drought due to three consecutive monsoon failure.  IANS