Railway stations in Kerala ‘inundated’ with 1000 tonnes of relief material

Indian Railways has informed the district administration and the state government about the flood relief materials which have arrived at the station.

ERNAKULAM: Call it insensitivity or sheer indifference or it could even be a combination of both. Around 1000 tonne of flood relief material, including perishable food stuff, clothes and other essentials, sent from across the country for the flood-hit have piled up not only Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway station but at various Railway Stations for the last several days. Similar situation prevails at Palakkad Railway Station.

The noble gesture from people and organisations nationwide, including those in New Delhi, Pune, Vijayawada, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna, Goa and Mumbai, are awaiting the district administration’s attention.

Railway authorities said the relief materials have been flooding the South Railway station for the last seven days. “A Railway wagon has the capacity to carry 23 tonne and from Tuesday onwards many wagons have arrived with flood relief items addressed mainly to the District Collector.

Several such wagons from different parts of the country have arrived here. Of these, only 76 tonne has been dispatched so far,” said a Railway officer. Earlier, the Railway Board  had issued a directive to zonal railways to dispatch relief materials free of cost to any station in Kerala which apparently led to several tonnes of relief material streaming in. According to the Railway authorities, the contents of 22 parcel vans at the South station and 13 vans at Ponnurunni Marshalling yard are yet to be unloaded. Though the porters at the station are trying their best to unload them, additional hands are required. “There is about 20 tonne of items at the North Railway station also. We have hired more workers on a daily wage basis to speed up the unloading process. The assistance of several volunteers has also been sought,” said an officer.

The Railways has informed the district administration and the state government about the flood relief materials which have arrived at the station. Railway authorities said it is due to the better connectivity the relief material has piled up at the South station. The district administration has initiated steps to dispatch the items at the earliest. Revenue authorities said they are shifting the items addressed to the state government and the Collector to the Central Warehousing Corporation. “The unloading of the items is not easy, but we are taking all efforts to dispatch them to the flood victims,” said Revenue officers.

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