Uttar Pradesh refuses Modi Govt's water-train for drought-hit Bundelkhand
The UP government has returned the water-train sent by Indian Railways -- just like the ones sent to drought-hit regions on Marathwada -- to the parched Bundelkhand region, saying there is no Latur-like situation there.
"We have no Latur-like problem here," the state's Akhilesh Yadav government has reportedly said in a letter to the railway ministry, referring to the district in Maharashtra where, to tackle a severe crisis, two water trains were sent, a NDTV report said.
The Akhilesh Yadav government further stated in its letter, "If we need water, then we will inform the railways."
The water train was intended to leave for Mahoba area of Bundelkhand, where around 40 villages are facing drought-like situation. Half the hand-pumps have dried up due to the receding water levels.
This region in Western UP faces water shortage almost every year and thus becomes a core issue during polls. Political parties, during poll season, pitch for improving the condition of the region and its development.
Thus, allowing water-train in the region could prove disastrous for the Akhilesh Yadav government which is eyeing a comeback in the assembly elections next year.
Samajwadi Party leaders are accusing the BJP of taking credit for the good relief work Akhilesh Government is doing for the people of Bundelkhand.
Union minister Uma Bharti along with Lok Sabha members from the parched region on Wednesday called on NITI Ayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya to discuss special package for the affected swathe.
During the meeting, it was decided that the parliamentarians will submit proposals for improving supply of drinking water in the region to the Ayog within three days for further action, Water Resources Ministry spokesperson Samir Sinha said.