Even before the water-train became active, trains are supplying water to drought ridden places in Maharashtra.

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Boxes of bottled water to be sent to Latur via train (Image – Rahul Kulkarni, Karjat)

A group of people in Karjat (Raigad) are doing their bit- खारीचा वाटा as they say in Maharashtra. They send thousands of liters of water everyday via Latur express. Yesterday, they sent 12,000 liters of bottled water.

When the train reaches Karjat, they put water cans or boxes of bottles in it and an NGO in Latur collects it and distributes to those in need. I’m told that some people in Lonavala and Pune also supply waterto Latur through the same train. It’s not going to solve the problem, but we need every single drop of water when there’s a crisis.

Moreover, this is not any publicity stunt. They are doing it because they felt they should do whatever they can.

As a fellow Karjatkar Vikas Mirgane rightly mentioned, many villages and tribal areas in Karjat too need water. In my opinion, Karjat has enough water to supply many people. Don’t we have the Morbe Dam in our vicinity which is the main source of water for Navi Mumbai? and a Hydrolic Powerplant with 78 MW capacity in Bhivpuri? And Rajanala – formed by overflow of the dam in Bhivpuri- irrigating rice paddies all year long?

The problem in Karjat, is not about supply of water, it’s about distribution and pipelines.

I still remember those days when water was abundant in our wells and a time came when we had to wait for half an hour before filling a bucket. The town council used to get water from Palasdari dam, built by the British to ensure supply of water for the steam engines of GIPR. That outdated system only increase the woes of many. The borewell water contained salts which are harmful for teeth and kidneys as I learnt recently. With the introduction of Water from Pej river, the situation has definitely improved.

The proposed Kondane dam is in shambles due to legal battles and corruption involved, we don’t know when it will be built and I personally doubt how much will it help.

I feel we need to build more of small dams and use water sparsely in our households. Then we will be in real position to help more people not just in Latur, but many more places

– Janhavee Moole

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