Guwahati, May 16: Indian Air Force (IAF) and Assam Rifles (AR) personnel were pressed into action as the northeast Frontier Railway authority rescued 1600 stranded passengers at various locations in Lumding-Silchar hill section of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) here trains services have been completely disrupted because of landslides caused by incessant rainfall in the last few days.
Railway communication to South Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram has been totally disrupted even as the railway has started track restoration work.
New Haflong station is completely inundated with debris. The empty passenger train standing at the station has been washed off from the tracks due to a massive landslide.
The number of breach locations in the affected hill section have increased to 53 today (26 locations were identified yesterday). However, the restoration works at 11 locations have already been completed.
Incessant rain on Monday led to further landslides and water logging at several locations in Lumding - Badarpur hill section of Lumding division of the NF Railway apart from the ones which were already washed out yesterday.
Around 1600 railway passengers stranded at Ditokcherra station had already been rescued yesterday and were sent up to Badarpur and Silchar. Out of the 1600 passengers, 119 were evacuated by the Indian Air Force.
Stranded passengers of train No. 15615 at New Haflong were moved to Maibang station by buses. 204 passengers had left for Guwahati from Maibang yesterday. Around 169 stranded passenger left for Guwahati from Maibang station at 4.30 am today.
About 571 more stranded passengers at Ditokchera station have also been rescued today. The last evacuation special from KM 135 up to Badarpur and Silchar moved at 7:30 pm.
With this evacuation of all the stranded passengers has been completed. Coordinated efforts at all the affected stations and coordination with local administration, Assam Rifles, Indian Air Force and NGOs have shown results in these tough and demanding weather conditions.
The Railways while having put efforts in rescuing the stranded passengers, has also ensured sanitation and medical facility for them. Food and drinking water was provided to all the stranded passengers regularly.
Railway Staff at Daotuhaja station have taken shelter in station premises because of floods. Efforts are being made to provide them with food and water.
N. F. Railway has also arranged to refund the ticket fares to the affected passengers. Refund amounting to Rs 8 lakhs has already been made for 1006 passengers. Remaining affected passengers can claim their refunds on IRCTC website (for e-tickets) and at PRS counters of the concerned stations (for window tickets).
Meanwhile, the railway is working on war footing to ensure connectivity to the affected region