Marathwada Drought: Water Train Only a Band-Aid Solution
A train delivered water to relieve Latur from the drought. (Image altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
A train delivered water to relieve Latur from the drought. (Image altered by The Quint)

Marathwada Drought: Water Train Only a Band-Aid Solution

Not all of Latur’s neighbourhoods have the luxury of running water. Instead, the government tanker that occasionally comes to the region is the only source of water for local communities, said Shakeel Mullah, a resident of the Khadgaon neighbourhood.

On Tuesday, the city, home to around 5 lakh people, received 5,00,000 litres of water relief from Miraj, another part of Maharashtra. An additional 27 lakh litres are expected to arrive by Friday.

Water needs in Maharashtra are so high that the water train won’t be enough. (Infographic: Liju Joseph and Hardeep Singh)
Water needs in Maharashtra are so high that the water train won’t be enough. (Infographic: Liju Joseph and Hardeep Singh)

Latur consumes 2 crore litres a day, according to Latur Municipal Commissioner, Sudhakar Telang.

It’s pretty obvious that this water will not be enough. But if it reaches the needy, it’s a good start.
Shakeel Mullah, Resident, Latur town

For years, the Marathwada district of Maharashtra has suffered from drought. Illegal water use and waste is rampant, Mullah added. He said even though there are government guidelines, no one pays attention and the poor are often left without access to water.

Many parts of Latur have no water for days or weeks together.

Latur of  Maharashtra is facing the worst drought ever. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)
Latur of Maharashtra is facing the worst drought ever. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)

Already, more than 89 farmers have committed suicide in Marathwada and farmers living outside Latur don’t expect to get relief anytime soon.

Also Read: Drought, El Nino and a Weak Monsoon Conspire to Hit Indian Farmers

Namdev Shinde, a farmer in Ganjur village, said the sugarcane crops he sowed last year have failed.

Farmers are caught between bad crops, marriage responsibilities of their children, and unpaid loans. My village is 20 kilometres away from the most affected part of Latur. I don’t expect much [water], but it’s a start. 
Namdev Shinde, Ganjur Farmer

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