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Water crisis: In Drought Hit Maharashtra, Sikhs lend a helping hand

May 10, 2016 | By

Ludhiana: As Maharashtra continues to battle extreme water crisis due to drought, a group of Sikhs from Punjab are providing relief by bringing potable water to their doorstep.

Close to one lakh litres of water is being ferried on a daily basis and are being distributed among the poor in parched Latur, Nanded, Prabhani and other areas that need assistance.

While the Maharashtra Tank Lorry Owners’ Association, in coordination with the government, has sent 10 vehicles to Prabhani and Nanded, volunteers of Khalsa Aid organisation are working in Latur.

Khalsa Aid provides water in Latur

Khalsa Aid provides water in Latur

Their noble work, however, is facing a few challenges. Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Amarpreet Singh, a volunteer in Latur, said, “Our aim is to continue distributing water in Latur for a month at least. We landed here on May 1, but the ground situation is far worse than what is being reported in the media. We have hired 15 tankers of 6,000 litres each. We are buying water at over double the price here and distributing it to the poor. One tanker normally costs Rs 600 but it at the moment it costs around Rs 1,600. Around 200 litres of water is being distributed to each family.”

Claiming that one lakh litres of water approximately is being distributed in Latur on a daily basis, Amarpreet said, “We are sourcing water from a place which is located 25-30 kms away. Sadly, water is now being sold on the black market. As such, the poor cannot afford it.”

Similarly, the Tank Lorry Owners’ Association headed by Gurmeet Singh Bal is bearing a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh daily to run the 10 vehicles ferrying water approximately daily in Nanded and Prabhani.

“Our association is opened for all. It is not just Sikhs, but people from all religions are contributing to the noble cause. It is only after we got permission from the Maharashtra transport minister that our tankers are helping in distributing water. It will continue for 45 days till the onset of monsoons. The total project will cost us Rs 50 lakh or more,” said Bal.

Note: Above write-up was originally published in The Indian Express (2016/May/10, CHD Edn. at p.3) under title: “Water Crisis: In Maharashtra, Sikhs lend a helping hand” by Divya Goyal. It is also available online at source url: . Its reproduced as above for the information of readers/ visitors of the Sikh Siyasat News.

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