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Rail services may take over week to restore in Bihar’s flood-hit areas, losses over Rs 70 crore

The devastating flood has affected 14 north Bihar districts and played havoc with the rail infrastructure.

patna Updated: Aug 17, 2017 17:20 IST
Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Hindustan Times, Hajipur
Rail services,Bihar flood,rail infrastructure
A goods train halts on the flooded tracks as railway employees inspect the damaged embankment along the Katihar-Guwahati line, in Katihar district of Bihar .(PTI photo)

East Central Railway (ECR) on Thursday said it would take more than a week to restore the fallen bridges within its jurisdiction and restore normal traffic, which has been affected by flash flood since Saturday.

The devastating flood, due to release of water from the reservoirs following heavy build up after rains, has affected 14 north Bihar districts and played havoc with the rail infrastructure.

Reports reaching the ECR headquarters at Hajipur said two rail bridges had already been washed away, while the track alignment and approach to another bridge had been totally damaged in Samastipur division. Due this, the Darbhanga-Sitamarhi, Sitamarhi-Raxaul and Raxaul-Narkatiaganj-Sugauli rail sections had been rendered useless, the reports added.

Confirming the damage to bridges, ECR chief spokesperson Rajesh Kumar told HT: “One rail bridge (91B) between Dheng and Bargania on Sitamarhi-Raxaul section was washed away on August 13, while another was damaged between Narkatiyaganj and Chamua.”

According to a rough figure, the flood has damaged more than 2 to 3 km of railway tracks in north Bihar, which may take a week to repair and restore traffic movement.

Similarly, a 300 metre railway embankment has been washed away between Bhairoganj and Karpokhara and one of the pillars of a bridge (number 304) has been damaged.

Officials said another 20 metres of approach road of bridge number 332 in Narkatiaganj has been damaged and is still inaccessible for repair due to the swirling waters. A 30 metre rail embankment on the Narkatiaganj-Sugauli section between Motihari and Bettiah has been seriously damaged.

“The entire Sugauli yard is submerged in water. The ECR is using rakes of boulders, sand-dust and other material to restore the section,” Kumar claimed.

With large stretches on all sections under water, officials said, work on repairing them could start only after the flood waters recede. Hence, a date for restoration of traffic could not be predicted, they added.

Reports said bridge number 18 on Darbhanga-Sitamarhi section too had been severely eroded between Kamtaul and Muraothe, where the Kamla Balan was flowing over the danger mark.

Meanwhile, railway sources estimated the loss to railway property and revenue after suspension of services of trains due to flood at over Rs 70 crore--a figure, which can only mount till the tracks are restored.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 17:20 IST