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Parched manufacturing city in India brings in water by rail

Posted at 9:07 PM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 00:07:17-04

JOLARPET, India (AP) — Amid the green Yelagiri hills of southern India, the train inches along the tracks, carrying what has become precious cargo: drinking water bound for Chennai, India’s parched Motor City.

Demand for water in the manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to serve the city’s 10 million people. And so, every day, the train sets out on a four-hour, 216-kilometer (134-mile) journey, its 50 tank cars carrying 2.5 million liters (660,000 gallons) of water drawn from a dam on the Cauvery River.

The train is classic Indian “jugaad,” the Hindi word for a makeshift solution to a complicated problem.