Latur is a district located in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The total population of the district is about 25 lakhs while Latur city itself has nearly 5 lakh population. For over more than 15 years due to scarcity of rain, people in Latur are living with acute water shortage.
At the time when summer is at its peak, the city receives tap water twice or maximum thrice a week while in the rural areas people have to walk several kilometres to fetch water from wells.
Due to persistent drought situation faced by Marathwada region, year after year, many people have come forward to take individual as well as cohesive action, as government machinery is unable to quench the basic need of it’s citizens.
Way back in January 2013, Maharashtra first considered running water trains. It was an initiative to provide water to the drought-hit Marathwada region.
Indian Railways have gone an extra mile to provide water to parched Latur region through water train aptly named as “JALDOOT” by Pune Divisional Railway Manager Mr.B K Dadabhoy.
In 2015, when the rains again played a truant, the water train became almost a natural choice to bring relief to the drought affected areas, The Maharashtra Government picked Miraj, Sangli -which is 342 km from Latur to extend the relief, which has relatively better water reservoirs. This distance train was the longest for a water train in India.