Uttar Pradesh, Centre spar over 'Water Express'

An unsavoury war of words broke out between the BJP-led central government and the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh over a train carrying water to parched Jhansi, a district in Bundelkhand region, which is reeling under severe drought.

After a train carrying five lakh litres of water reached Jhansi railway stations late Wednesday, district officials refused to 'receive it' saying they have neither any information about this train nor the logistical support to transport the "huge reserve of water to Mahoba".

A railway official said that "the Water Express was stationed at Jhansi station and would be of use only when officials take it further".

The state government, however, accused the central government of "playing politics" over drought and said nobody had requisitioned water from the centre as there was not much need of it.

"Based on the directions of the chief minister, water is being supplied to the area by more than 4,000 water tankers everyday," a senior official of the state government said.

He added that in any case there is lots of water in the reservoirs of the area as well.