CHENNAI/TRIVANDRUM: The continuous heavy rains throughout the state of Kerala had resulted in heavy flash floods and landslips in many parts within the division as a result of which the trains services had to be regulated from 15.08.18 and was completely suspended between Trivandrum –Ernakulam via Kottayam and Ernakulam –Shoranur- Palakkad from 16.08.18
More than 100 trains partially cancelled and diverted via Madurai, Tirunelveli, and also returned from Palakkad and Coimbatore. Specials Runs to help stranded passengers 3 Passenger specials were operated at every 3 hour schedule between Ernakulam to Trivandrum to help stranded passengers board trains diverted via Tirunelveli, Madurai.
From Ernakulam Specials were run to Chennai Egmore, Howrah, and also from Chennai Egmore to Ernakulam via Tirunelveli, Madurai. 36 unreserved special were run up to 18.08.2018. More specials are being run on 20.08.2018.
The efforts taken by the division in co-ordination with the other agencies to assist the stranded passengers are detailed below:-
1.Movement of officers and Supervisors :-
All the supervisors of all branches were directed to report to their respective branches. All Branch officers were available at Divisional Headquarters to monitor the restoration works and to take instantaneous action as required. The officers worked in shifts relaying instructions to the staff and supervisors.
Helpdesks were step up at Trissur ,Ernakulam, Alleppey, Aaluwa, Wadakkanchery, Kochuveli ,Nagercoil and Trivandrum Centra; stations from 15.08.18 onwards to assist the passengers. Separate helpline nos 9188292595,9188293595 were provided at control office at Trivandrum for imparting information to passengers and to the staff at stations. Additional staff were deputed at control office to operate the Railway helpline numbers . Further additional information counters were opened at Nagercoil Ernakulam and Trissur .
3. Assistance to the stranded passengers
(i) At all the major stations, catering units were operated round the clock and adequate stock of water and food items at the stalls were ensured. Arrangements were made locally to supply food packets and drinking water to all the stranded passengers between Aluva and Vallathol Nagar and also to local people who had taken shelter at these railway stations.
(ii) A total of 2.5 lakhs was spent to provide food and water to the stranded passengers and also those passengers who took shelter at these stations.
(iii) Nearly 1,20,000 bottles from Raineer plant at Parasala were supplied to the relief operations. All major parcel offices were nominated as collection centers of relief materials .Also, water tanker train has arrived which is placed at Kayamkulam Jn for further distribution of water in tanks.
(iv) Huge quantity of relief materials deposited at these collection centers including clothes, food items, medicines, drinking water etc were handed over to the district administration.
(v) The staff of divisional office collected relief materials worth Rs 4 lakh which was also handed over to the district administration.
(vii) Amount contributed by the Railway officials and staff ( Rs 2000/- by officers, Rs 1000/- Class C staff and Rs 500/- from Group- D staff ) will be deposited to Chief Minister’s relief fund.
Rescue operations for stranded passengers and locals
(i) At Chalakkudi station which was marooned in floods, many rescue attempts were being spearheaded by the Railway staff in coordination with the NDRF authorities and finally all 50 persons including Rly staff were rescued.
(ii) Nearly 1000 locals were rescued by tower car operated in the traffic near Ernakulam on 17th and 18th August. A pregnant lady was rescued by boat from CWR station and airlifted to TCR.
(iii) Food packets were arranged through sponsors and charitable institutions to nearly 7000 or more passengers at Chalakkudi and Aluva.
(iv) Similarly 5000 flood victims were given food at Ernakulam in association with Malabar Culture centre on 18.08.18.
(v) At Chengannur ,the pilgrimage Centre at the Railway premises has been converted into relief camp. More than 200 people have taken shelter there. Food packets and drinking water is being arranged by State Government officials.
9 employees who are Professional Swimmers of Trivandrum Division of Southern Railway are nominated to help in relief/rescue operations in connection with the flood affected areas in the district of Pattanamthitta for a period of 5 days.