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Relief material for Kerala waiting for a train in Ghaziabad

NGOs and groups have now put the relief materials in storage rooms as trains to transport the them have not been booked yet.

noida Updated: Sep 03, 2018 09:50 IST
HindustanTimes, Ghaziabad
Relief material,Kerala flood relief,Train
The material had to be stored for a long time as connectivity by rail and road was hampered and airlifting was not economically viable. (HT PHOTO)

Relief material for the flood-hit people of Kerala collected by different groups in Ghaziabad has been lying unattended due to the lack of railway connectivity for the past 10 days.

Various NGOs and groups have now put the material in storage rooms as trains to transport the material have not been booked yet . According to the district administration, there are several truckloads of material lying unused with various groups across the city. Two truckloads of relief material have been donated directly to the administration.

“I have about 60 cartons of clothes, dry food, footwear, blankets and other materials that have been lying unused for more than 10 days now. We don’t know what to do with them till transportation is arranged,” Shivani Jain, from the all-school parents’ association, said.

Jain has received relief material from various trans-Hindon areas. Another resident, Rishi Raman, runs an NGO called Bhartiya Seva Samiti that collected a large number of clothes, food items and medicines.

In collaboration with other groups from Delhi and Noida, Raman had sent four truckloads of relief material by road over 20 days ago. He said he has another 30-35 cartons of relief material left that need to be transported. “We have stopped collecting more relief material till we figure out a solution,” Raman said.

He added that while the amount of material is not large enough to be sent through trucks, the district administration has also been making efforts to arrange transportation through railways. “We spoke to the station in-charge again and it seems we will be able to book a train coach in the next two-three days. Relief material from Muradabad has recently been dispatched and we will be able to send our material soon as well,” Sunil Kumar, additional district magistrate (finance and revenue), said.

According to Kumar, the material had to be stored for a long time as connectivity by rail and road was hampered and airlifting all the material was not economically viable. The administration was informed that much of the relief material had to be stored at Thiruvananthapuram, as it could not be transported ahead in different parts of the state. Now, with better railway connectivity, trains have started taking relief material to cities and towns across Kerala.

“I am in touch with the groups that have collected relief material and will be informing them as soon as we have arranged transportation. The BJP unit of Ghaziabad is waiting with about 10 truckloads of material while the Sikka mall management informed us that they have one truck. There are many other small groups that are waiting for the material to be dispatched,” Kumar said.

Some groups are now mulling whether the material for Kerala can be sent to other flood-affected areas in eastern Uttar Pradesh or Uttarakhand. “People have donated for Kerala floods and we cannot ethically divert the material without permission. Also, asking every single person is difficult. We hope that arrangements are made soon,” Raman said.

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 04:23 IST