Indian Railways has stepped in to help the residents of Chennai with the city reeling under the pressure of a severe water crisis. A special water train carrying as many as 50 tank wagons (BTPN) with around 50,000 litres of water in each, left from the Jolarpettai railway station, situated in the city of Vellore, to reach Chennai. According to a recent PTI report, the train left from the Jolarpettai railway station at around 7:20 AM in the morning today. The train, in a bid to aid the residents suffering due to the severe water crisis, reached the city of Chennai in the afternoon. It reached the Villivakkam neighbourhood of Chennai, from where it was be inaugurated by the Tamil Nadu ministers, according to officials who were quoted in the report.
Jolarpettai is situated around 217 km away from Chennai and is in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. It is a commuters’ railway hub and comes under the Southern Railway zone. According to the report, the train carrying water was supposed to reach the city yesterday itself, but leakages in the valves led to the delay in movement. Due to the crisis, the parched city of Chennai has been grappling with an acute water crisis over the past four months. The southern metropolis area of the city is facing a daily water shortage of at least 200 million litres, and the four reservoirs which were supplying regular water to the city have now run dry. Due to the crisis, the Tamil Nadu government had requested the Railway Ministry to help in ferrying the water to the city.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways network has in the past, often sent special water trains to drought-hit areas across the country. In the year 2016, a special ‘water train’ with as many as 10 wagons carrying water was sent to the parched city of Latur in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Each wagon were filled with around 50,000 litres at the Miraj railway station in Sangli, to be sent to Latur for helping through the acute water crisis.