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Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003

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32,000 rail wagons to carry water to drought-hit States

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THE Government has deployed 32,000 water tankers to supplement the efforts by the Railways to bring relief to areas of acute water scarcity in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The supply of water has been largely financed by relief funds and free transport by the Railways, according to the Crisis Management Group headed by the Drought Relief Commissioner that held its weekly review meeting here on Monday.

For the week ended June 6, the Railways undertook free transportation of 799 wagons of water in Rajasthan and Gujarat. As many as 40 wagons of fodder were also transported by the Railways during the same period in Rajasthan. The Gujarat Government had already built up sufficient stock of fodder, an official release said.

More than 2,400 cattle camps were organised in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh along with setting up of thousands of fodder depots that had checked the rise in fodder prices and contained cattle mortality, it said.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has so far allotted 81.78 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the drought-affected States and the Railways has decided to press into service more rakes to carry the grains.

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