Uttarakhand floods: Railways to continue special trains for stranded pilgrims

The Indian Railways is continuing its efforts for the evacuation of passengers stranded in the Uttarakhand hills due to floods.

New Delhi: The Indian Railways is continuing its efforts for the evacuation of passengers stranded in the Uttarakhand hills due to floods.

Union Minister of Railways Mallikarjun Kharge has been reviewing the arrangements regularly with the Railway Board and giving directions for the best possible Railway arrangements.

Northern Railway and its Muradabad Division have fully geared up for making appropriate arrangements (Uttarakhand falls mostly under Muradabad Railway Division of Northern Railway).

According to the Ministry, special trains have been running regularly since June 20.

"Two specials ran on June 20, three specials ran on June 21 and one special ran on 22 June," it said.

One special train from Haridwar will depart tonight and stop at Roorkee, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hazarat Nizamunddin, Mathura, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Ratlam, Godhra, Vadodara, Surat and Borivali enroute to Mumbai Central, the release said.

Such passengers who were stranded in the flood affected area of Uttarakhand are allowed to travel by the special trains from Haridwar and Dehradun free of charge.

Additional coaches have also been arranged which are being attached to the regular trains to accommodate the flood affected passengers to proceed for their destinations.

The officers are camping at Rishikesh, Dehradun and Haridwar stations and liaisoning/coordinating with authorities of state government and ensuring proper dispersal of passengers and also monitoring availability of passenger conveniences at these stations.

Arrangement for revalidation of tickets of those passengers who were stranded in flood affected areas of Uttarakhand even expiry of validity of tickets.

Special arrangements have been made at these stations to refund the fare against the tickets of flood affected passengers.

To refund the fare against such tickets at these stations Refund Rules have been relaxed so that affected passengers may get refund against their tickets or revalidate those tickets for undertaking their journey to their destination on the same ticket.

PRS (Computerised Passenger Reservation) Counters at Haridwar, Dehradun and Rishikesh have been made functional round the clock. Arrangements have also been made for opening of 10 extra counters at short notice.

Doctors and paramedical staff have also been deployed with adequate provisions to meet with any exigencies at these stations round the clock.

Elaborative arrangements for catering, medical assistance etc. have been made at Delhi Junction, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway stations for those passengers who are being cleared from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun. General second class coaches are being earmarked for stranded passengers for onward journey. Senior officers have been deployed at these stations that are managing dispersal of stranded passengers by convenient trains.

NGOs have also joined hands with railway authorities at these stations and providing food, water bottles to passengers.