UP says no to Centre’s water-train to drought-hit Bundelkhand

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Lucknow | May 5, 2016 7:47 PM

The Uttar Pradesh government today turned down the Centre's offer to send a water-train to the state's drought-hit Bundelkhand region, saying the water crisis situation there was not as serious as in Maharashtra's Latur.

A 10-wagon water-train has already arrived in Jhansi where it is has been kept in the railway yard. It will reach Mahoba tomorrow.(Reuters)A 10-wagon water-train has already arrived in Jhansi where it is has been kept in the railway yard. It will reach Mahoba tomorrow.(Reuters)

The Uttar Pradesh government today turned down the Centre’s offer to send a water-train to the state’s drought-hit Bundelkhand region, saying the water crisis situation there was not as serious as in Maharashtra’s Latur.

It, however, requested the Centre to provide it 10,000 water tankers for distributing water in the region.

“UPCM @yadavakhilesh requests GOI for 10,000 road tankers to distribute water in Bundelkhand from available water resources around the region (sic),” the CM office tweeted.

“We do not have any requirement to bring water by train…We have made arrangements for providing water…Wherever tankers are required, an assesment has been made and tankers have been bought,” Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan said.

“There is no such crisis (that we need) to bring water from outside,” he said, adding handpumps have been rebored and ponds redug for ensuring water to the people of these areas.

Meanwhile, senior Uttar Pradesh minister Shivpal Singh Yadav said in Kanpur, “We do not need water from outside… When we will need water, we will ask for it…Where will we store it if it comes through train like this?”

The railways had yesterday offered to send a water-train to Bundelkhand’s Mahoba district.

A 10-wagon water-train has already arrived in Jhansi where it is has been kept in the railway yard. It will reach Mahoba tomorrow.

“The wagons are ready to be filled with water from a nearby reservoir for dispatch to the destination as and when needed,” Commercial Officer, Jhansi Railway Division, Girish Kanchan said.

“So far, there is no demand from anywhere for water…It will be sent if there is any demand or if we get any further directives,” Kanchan said.

District Magistrate of Mahoba Biresh Kumar said water was available in nearby villages and it will be fetched from those sources. “If there is no water source, request will be made to make alternative arrangements,” he said.

The drought-affected Bundelkhand region is spread across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

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