Train passengers stranded by Assam floods being rescued

June 28th, 2012 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, June 28 (IANS) The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said Thursday that all passengers stranded by landslides at three places in Assam’s Dima Hasao district will be evacuated soon.

Another 20 to 25 days, however, would be required for resumption of train services in the Lumding-Silchar Hill section of the railway, officials said.

According to NFR, about 1,600 passengers were stranded at Lower Haflong, about 400 at Harangajao and about 500 at Maibong areas of Dima Hasao district as torrential rains triggered severe landslides at several places blocking tracks of at least three trains.

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) general manager R.S. Virdi said stranded passengers were being transported to safer locations.

All 500 passengers stranded at Maibong had been brought safely to Lumding on Wednesday. Till Thursday evening, only about 214 passengers were left at Lower Haflong station.

“We are taking all measures to bring out the remaining 214 passengers from Lower Haflong under proper security and safety arrangements. We are also expecting to evacuate all the 400 passengers at Harangajao very soon. By Thursday, the track up to Badarpur is also expected to be cleared. The army is helping us in the rescue of passengers,” Virdi said.

“The extent of damage is so large that at least 20 to 25 days will be required to restore the tracks. There are breaches at 90-odd places along the hill section, and a dozen of them are very serious,” he added.

A massive crack has also developed in the tunnel number 17, making it unsafe for trains.

Disruption of train services along the hill section is a regular occurrence in the rainy season.

“Every year there are landslides in this section. It has to do with the topography and terrain of the region. We expect some relief after tracks in this section are converted to broad gauge,” Virdi said, adding that 2013 has been set as target year for broad gauge conversion of the section.

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