Even as over one lakh people have been rescued from various parts of flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir, Railway Minister Sadandanda Gowda today said that all steps are being taken to arrange transportation of relief material through rail for those still stranded.
Here is how the Railways is helping the flood-affected people
1. The Ministry of Railways has decided to transport relief material free of charge by coaching trains to Jammu, Tawi and Udhampur from any station of India. The relief material may include food, Medicines, Clothes, Building materials, Untensils etc. meant for free distribution among the flood effected population of Jammu and Kashmir.
This arrangement will be available for fifteen days i.e. from 8 September, 2014 to 22 September, 2014.
“The relief material has to be consigned to the District Magistrate of the concerned district on production of a certificate from the consignor that the consignment is a gift in kind or has been purchased with the funds donated by public for flood victims and has not been paid for by the Government or any of its agencies,” the railway ministry said in a release.
2. A four member team of senior officers of Firozpur division has also left for Kashmir valley to take stock of the railway track there.
3. Special train also being run from Jammu Tawi to Indore via New Delhi to clear stranded passengers and extra coaches being kept as a standby for clearing passengers at Jammu Tawi and New Delhi stations as per the requirement.
4. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has so far made three lakh Rail Neer drinking water bottles available for flood affected people of J&K.In addition 50,000 Rail Neer bottles will be sent every day to the flood affected areas till it is needed.The supplies are being sent mostly through Air Force and some through trains.
5. Delhi division of Northern Railway has made special arrangements for evacuees from J&K. Under it, exclusive waiting rooms have been earmarked for their use at New Delhi Station. In case of onward journey requirement from New Delhi and any other assistance, passenger can contact Station Manager at at the number 9717648892 and Deputy Station Manager on 9717631960.
6. Help Desks have also been set up at Jammu, Udhampur and Katra railway stations for the convenience of passengers. A special help Desk of railways has also been set up at T-3 Terminal Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi to guide and facilitate passengers about rail journey.
The situation is being monitored regularly at Railway Board level, Northern Railway Headquarter level and Firozpur Division level.