Patna :  Bihar CM Nitish Kumar  recently said that the state government could not send water tankers to the drought hit Marathwada region in Maharashtra due to  non-availability of railway  water tankers  in Bihar.  But, the Railway Board is not buying this theory of Kumar.  Railways  strictly  follows the  ‘ principles of economy ‘ while  transporting  relief to  any part of the country.  Bihar CM’s request for water tankers  was not in consonance to  this principle of economy , a  source in the Railway Board  said .

 A Board official said  that  it would have been difficult for  railways to  carry water tankers from Bihar, a distance of about 2,000 km  to reach the drought  hit Latur in Maharashtra . Besides, there is no water  filtration plant  in Bihar to pump water into  water tanker wagons , he said .

For carrying water tankers to any part of the country, railways  must ensure purity of water. Water tankers  are  hauled by a goods train only and it would have taken two to three days to reach  water tankers from Bihar to Marathwada  region and it would have been difficult for railways  to maintain purity of water, a source in the Board said .    

Concerned over the  acute water scarcity,  railways had  pressed into service at least  50  water tankers  from  Kota to the drought hit area in Maharashtra  on  the  request  of Maharashtra CM . Kota was the nearest point from where water tankers were filled and transported  easily  much to relief of  the people in the parched  Latur  area, sources  said adding there was no point to carry water from Bihar when water was available  from  the nearest distance .  

According to sources, a water tanker has the capacity of carrying about 54,000 litre . But railways   carries  about 50,000 litre  of any materials in the wagon tanker  as  safety measure  so that the  filled materials  do not spill over . A filtration point  is a necessary to pump materials into the wagon tankers . Railways  always  comes forward to carry relief materials free of cost in any calamity. In the recent earthquake or floods   that  occurred in the county or in Nepal , railways   was at the forefront to rush in relief materials  to areas concerned, sources said .

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