Indian Railways to provide free transportation of relief measures in flood-affected states
This provision will be in effect till Aug 31, 2019, until further orders
New Delhi: Indian Railways announced on Saturday to provide free transportation of aid and relief measures in flood-affected Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala till August 31. "All Government Organisation across the country can book relief material for free of cost to Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra States. Other organisation as deemed fit by Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) may also avail of this provision," an official press note stated.
"However, it may be ensured that shipper is District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner in whose jurisdiction the dispatching/ receiving station is situated," it added. Since the transportation of relief is free of cost for the above-mentioned states, there will be no additional charges for delay/wharfage or any other. This provision will be in effect till Aug 31, 2019, until further orders. This was issued with the approval of the Finance Directorate of Ministry of Railways.
The flood situation in Sangli and Kolhapur districts in western Maharashtra showed signs of improvement on Saturday as water started to recede from inundated areas, officials said. However, it would take at least two to three days for the water to completely recede from the districts, they said. Although the overall situation has improved slightly, the operation to evacuate the flooded areas and moving stranded people to safer locations and providing relief to them is still on.
"There is an improvement in the overall situation. Water is receding, albeit slowly... Currently the water level in Kolhapur is at 52 feet although the danger level is 47 feet. The highest water level during the current flood was 57 feet," Abhinav Deshmukh, Kolhapur Superintendent of Police, told PTI. "Currently the evacuation is mainly concentrated in Shirol and Kurundwad tehsils of Kolhapur," the officer said, adding that copters are being used to drop food packets. Meanwhile, three more bodies were recovered in the boat capsize incident that took place on Thursday near Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil of Sangli district during the flood rescue operations. Nine persons had drowned and as many others had gone missing in the incident.
"We have recovered three more bodies, including that of a girl," the officer said. With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll in the incident has gone up to 12. A total of 26 Navy teams with 110 personnel and 26 boats have been deployed in Kolhapur and Sangli districts. They will continue to remain stationed in the area till the flood situation improves, a defence statement said. Additional 15 teams of the Navy from Visakhapatnam will reach Kolhapur by Saturday afternoon to assist in the rescue operation, a defence spokesperson said. At present there are 14 Navy teams in Kolhapur district and 12 in Sangli helping the state administration in evacuating the flood-hit areas, the official said.
With inputs from ANI
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