MUMBAI: The Railways has sent a bill of Rs 9.90 crore to the Latur Municipal Corporation towards the ‘Jaldoot’ train that brought millions of litres of water to the city in the summer of 2016.
Latur faced the worst drought in 2016 when the city had exhausted all its water sources for domestic use. The Indian Railways had then came forward to operate a train between Miraj, in Sangli district, and Latur that carried 10 wagons filled with around 5 lakh litres of water.
The experiment was done for the first time in the country and was praised.
First water train ran between Miraj and Latur on April 12, 2016 and the ferries went on for 111 days till August 9 that year. The drought this year is similar in severity and people have already started the possibility of having a similar train this year again.
However, before any action could begin on that front the Railways has sent the bill.
When asked, Latur Municipal Commissioner Devendra Singh made it clear that the bill has been received by the district collectorate. He also made it clear that the civic body is not in a position to pay up the bill and the state government has been asked to look into the matter.
“Whether to pay up the bill or seek a waiver is the state’s prerogative,” Singh said. A bill of Rs 4 crore was drawn in 2016 for the train and it was waived off by the then rail minister Suresh Prabhu.
When asked about it, officials of central railway’s Solapur division, that has raised the bill, said that the bills has been raised and sent as a part of routine procedure and that the rail ministry would take a decision regarding its waiver.