Northeast Floods: Flood bill of approx Rs.150 Crore for Railways in 7 days

NEW DELHI: Indian railways has incurred a loss of nearly Rs 150 crore in the last seven days due to floods in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, a spokesperson of the railways said.

The Northeast Frontier Railway lost approximately Rs.12 Crore per day as revenue from passengers and parcel, while repairs of submerged tracks would cost an estimated Rs 10 crore. The cumulative loss in this zone has been around Rs 94 crore.

Similarly, the East Central Railway has lost Rs 5.5 crore per day while the cost of repairs is an estimated Rs 5 crore in this zone.

“It is very difficult to ascertain the exact loss in revenue and these are all rough figures. The true picture will only be known after the situation normalises,” said Anil Saxena, Spokesperson, Railways.

The loss of revenue, officials say, is mostly because of major cancellations of trains in these two zones primarily due to submerging of tracks.

Calling floods this time as “unprecedented”, Railway Board Member Traffic Md Jamshed said tracks in parts of northeast region are totally under water and entry to Northeast Frontier Railway is completely stopped.

According to Railway Board, 445 trains were cancelled, 151 partially cancelled and 4 diverted in northeast frontier railway while 66 trains were cancelled, 105 partially cancelled and 28 diverted in East central Railways between August 10-18.

The cancellation of trains has caused a loss of Rs 80 crore with Rs 65 crore commercial loss due to the cancellation of passenger and freight services and Rs 15 crore as track repair damage.

“We are taking stock of the situation regularly and water level in some areas is still high but has started to recede. We will be able to access the exact damage after water receded,” said Jamshed.

Railway has cancelled all trains services beyond Malda and Katihar by August 20 but inter-state connectivity on some sections in West Bengal and Assam is being operated. No accessibility to damage sites has affected the restoration work and telecommunication network in the entire section is also badly affected.

Some of the bridges are also damaged by flooding and it will take time for restoring trains services on the section, said a railway officer, adding that the exact damage would only be calculated after water recedes.

Heavy rains in the northeast region have caused unprecedented damage in the region with several lakhs affected.