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18 trains cancelled, as railways suffers Rs 47 crore loss due to floods in Bihar; toll up to 514

A whopping Rs 26.60 crore has been lost to infrastructure damage of railway property due to floods in Bihar, while more than Rs 20 crore has been lost in passenger revenue due to cancellation of trains.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2017 12:02 IST
Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Hindustan Times, Hajipur
Bihar floods,trains cancelled,ECR
Railway tracks at Jogbani in Bihar’s Araria district were submerged in floodwaters on August 13. (HT file photo)

Eighteen trains passing through Bihar under the East Central Railway (ECR) division were cancelled on Tuesday due to floods, which had resulted in a revenue loss of Rs 47 crore for the railways and claimed 514 lives in the state so far.

Among some important trains cancelled were the 12236 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, 14056 Delhi-Dibrugarh Brahmaputra Mail, 15648 Guwahati-Lokmanya Tilak Express (to Mumbai), 15484 Delhi-Alipurduar Mahananda Express and the 15619 Gaya-Kamakhya (Guwahati) Express.

All these trains were to originate on Tuesday and most from the north-east and New Delhi were to pass through Bihar on Wednesday.

A total of 509 trains, either originating or passing through ECR, have so far been cancelled between August 13 and 29 due to floods.

“Till August 26, ECR’s loss has been Rs 26.60 crore due to infrastructure damage of railway property, while more than Rs 20 crore has been lost in passenger revenue due to cancellation of trains on account of floods. We will be able to assess the exact extent of damage only after flood waters recedes,” ECR general manager DK Gayen told Hindustan Times.

Passenger safety being of paramount importance, the railways is keeping a close vigil of tracks and bridges at vulnerable locations.
-DK Gayen, general manager, ECR

He said Samastipur was the worst affected railway division. “Train services between Samastipur and Darbhanga have been stopped since August 19, as Bagmati water level has crossed the danger mark at bridge number 16 between Hayaghat and Thalwara stations. Train operation on this bridge has become unsafe, as piers are no longer visible and river water has touched the bottom of the bridge girder due to unexpected rise in Bagmati water level.”

The problem was further compounded on August 23 when another bridge (number 1) on Burhi Gandak river became unsafe due to rise in water level, he added.

Gayen said a couple of ongoing projects, including the gauge conversion of Raxaul-Narkatiganj section and the laying of new railway line between Biraul and Harnagar, would be delayed by 3-4 months due to floods.

He also said that it could take a few months for full restoration of train services.

On post flood safety, Gayen said the railways was keeping a close vigil of tracks and bridges at vulnerable locations, as passenger safety was of paramount importance.

Bihar floods, which have claimed 514 lives so far, showed signs of improvement, with water levels in all major rivers going down.

Principal secretary, Disaster Management Department, Pratyaya Amrit, said Kishanganj, Araria and Purnea districts were free of flood water, while Katihar was still partially affected. “Restoration work in these areas are on we will stop distribution of food packets in panchayats of these areas in the next couple of days,” he added.

Around 171.64 lakh people in 2,371 panchayats under 187 blocks in 19 districts had been affected by the floods.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 10:59 IST