New Delhi: Railways will be transporting relief material free of charge to flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir and has taken a slew of measures including special trains and help desks for the stranded passengers.
The relief materials including food, medicines, clothes, building materials, utensils meant for distribution among the flood affected population of Jammu and Kashmir will be carried free of cost in trains, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The facility of free transportation will continue till September 22.
Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda has given directions to extend all possible assistance to the stranded passengers and for arranging transportation of relief material through rail, he said.
The staff of Firozpur Division of Northern Railway worked continuously to repair damaged track between Jammu-Udhampur -Katra section and ensured restoration of normal railway traffic on this section on September 9.
A four-member team of senior officers of Firozpur division has also left for the Kashmir Valley to take stock of the condition of the railway track there.
He said special trains are also being run from Jammu to Indore through New Delhi to clear stranded passengers and extra coaches were being kept as a standby to clear the rush.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a railways PSU, has so far made three lakh Rail Neer drinking water bottles available for flood affected people of the state.
"Besides, 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," the official said.
Delhi division has made special arrangements for evacuees from J&K. "Exclusive waiting rooms have been earmarked for their use at New Delhi Station," he said.
In case of any assistance required for onward journey, passenger can contact Station Manager at his phone no 9717648892 and Deputy Station Manager on 9717631960. Help Desks have also been set up at Jammu, Udhampur and Katra railway stations for the convenience of the 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.