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In search of jobs on packed trains to Delhi

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2008 01:49 IST

With their lives and livelihoods destroyed, many flood victims from Bihar have been pouring into the national Capital over the past several days, looking for long-term relief.

The city's two main stations catering to trains from Bihar-Delhi and New Delhi have been witnessing a rise in the number of people at the counters seeking assistance and relief and squatting around.

While the inflow has not turned into a deluge yet, authorities have spotted the trend and have augmented the capacity of around 10 mail/express trains carrying people from the ravaged areas to Delhi. In effect, almost every train is bringing in around 160 people more than its capacity as the additional coaches are arriving jam-packed.

“Extra coaches have been added to several trains like Sampark Kranti, Magadh, Shramjeevi, and they are arriving packed to capacity," said Northern Railway spokesman Rajiv Saxena. "We have also deployed more people at the stations for assistance," he said.

While this was the picture in Delhi, at least 200 flood-hit families from Muraliganj in Madhepura district, who were rescued and brought to the relief camps in Purnia, left for Punjab and Delhi in search of a livelihood.

They spent just a day in their camps.

Their shared refrain was: now that our homes are gone and land turned into a riverbed, what is left to stay back for or hang on to?

Mohammad Abbas and Dinesh Thakur were on their way to Punjab with their families when HT popped the question: Why and why so soon?

"In order to survive, we must eat and in order to eat we must have money. Punjab is the place to earn it", said Thakur, who had been lured by NREGA work to return to his native village in Madhepura earlier this year.

Now that everything was submerged and they had survived, thanks to armymen, Punjab offered them the only practical option to stand on their own feet again.

MCD to donate Rs 10 crore

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will donate nearly Rs 10 crore for flood-affected people of Bihar. Mayor Arti Mehra and leader of the MCD House Subhash Arya said municipal councillors would donate one month's allowances for Bihar flood victims. In addition, MCD employees would donate a day's salary.

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