Eastern Rly to run special trains
Kolkata: A day when the North Frontier Railway declared that it will take at least ten days to restore normal train services to North Bengal, the Eastern Railway announced three special trains for clearing stranded passengers.
An ER spokesperson said on Saturday that they have arranged to run three pairs of special trains between Howrah and Raiganj (via-Katihar).
The first one for Raiganj left from Howrah station on Saturday at 8.15 pm. It is expected to reach Raiganj at 8.45 am on Sunday." In the next two days on Sunday and Monday trains will leave at the same time from Howrah station," the ER spokesperson said adding that during the return journey, the special train will start from Raiganj at 9.30 pm on August 20, 21 and 22 and will arrive at Howrah station at 8.15 am on the following day.
These special trains will stop at Bandel, Burdwan, Bolpur, Ahmadpur, Sainthia, Rampurhat, New Farakka, Malda Town, Samsi, Harishchandrapur, Kumedpur, Labha and Katihar stations enroute in both the directions. The special train will have AC 2-Tier, AC 3-Tier, Sleeper Class and General Second Class accommodations.
Sources in the NF Railway said that with damage to railway tracks and collapse of a bridge at Kishangunj due to heavy inundation, services will not be normal till August 28.
The North Bengal State Transport Corporation chipped in to ferry stranded passengers to Siliguri, Raiganj, Malda, Chanchal, Buniadpur, Farakka by operating a good number of buses. Similarly, a good number also reached the Kolkata bus stand in Dharmatala from places like Siliguri, Raiganj, Malda, Chanchal etc.
The Bagdogra Airport also saw the departure of 3,143 passengers with as many as 19 flights operating. Though water level has begun to recede at some places, fresh incidents of inundation was reported from Malda as water from North and South Dinjapur is flowing into the district. Sources in the district administration said that the Fulhar and Mahananda rivers are flowing above the danger level. Harishchandrapur, Ratua, Chanchal, Gazole, Bamongola, English Bazar blocks are the worst affected. National Highway (NH) 34 has opened partially but NH-81 still remained inundated.