On April 11, a goods train left for Latur from Miraj in western Maharashtra, carrying 2.7 million litres of water for the parched city. Another load is expected to reach Latur on April 15. The drastic measure was initiated following a declaration of drought in the agrarian Marathwada region of the state, home to over 18 million. The Manjara dam, which feeds Latur, has been dry since February – a condition that’s not unique to itself. Three other major reservoirs in the region are also dry though they shouldn’t be for this time of the year: Yeldari, Girna and Jayakwadi.

The reservoir data comes from the Central Water Commission, under the Ministry of Water Resources, which publishes a bulletin listing the water-levels in 91 reservoirs around the country every Thursday. According to the latest such bulletin, from April 13, 2016, the reservoirs are cumulatively 23% full and that amounts of 35.839 billion cubic metres of water. However, CWC’s comparison against historic data shows that in this period in 2015, the reservoirs held 1.5-times as much while the average stored in the same period in the last decade was 1.3-times as much. As the breakdown below shows, none of the reservoirs in the north and the west have good news, joined by most of their counterparts in the south. And apart from the four dry in Marathwada, the Nagarjuna Sagar in Andhra/Telengana is also empty. Read more