Pune: As Kerala reels under the largest flood since 1924, help from across the country is being offered to the people of the state. As part of relief efforts undertaken by the government, the Pune Railway Division has decided to supply 7 lakh litres of drinking water to the state. Officials revealed this to Sakal Times on Friday.
“Railways has always helped citizens whenever they are in difficult situations across the country. We have decided to send a train with 14 wagons to help the people of Kerala. The train will depart on Friday night and will reach on Saturday night. Each wagon will contain 50,000 litres of water,” said a senior official from the Pune Railway Division. Two trains carrying drinking water will be sent from Ratlam.
The officer recalled that 50 wagons were sent to Latur, the drought-hit area, in 2016. The train was sent from Miraj to Latur. “In 2016, we sent a 50-wagon train carrying 50 lakh litre of drinking water from Miraj in Sangli district to Latur city. This was appreciated across the country,” said the officer.
He added that the Railways will send more drinking water to flood-affected areas in Kerala. Over a dozen helicopters, hundreds of defence personnel, NDRF teams and ordinary fishermen with their motor boats on Friday launched a massive rescue operation in Kerala, as rains subsided but the death toll touched 164 in 10 days. Six more deaths were reported on Friday. Although the intensity of rains has decreased in several districts since Friday morning, waters from the big dams in Idukki district continued to be let out, keeping 13 districts on red alert, except for Kasargode.
The Kerala government has declared a red alert in 14 districts of the state and opened 35 dams. The Mullaperiyar Dam, bordering Tamil Nadu, is overflowing but the neighbouring state has agreed to draw water from the reservoir.
Rising waters though forced them to submit to the authorities’ request. Few of the big houseboats were used in areas where there are no narrow waterways. Waters from the Periyar River and its tributaries kept many towns in Ernakulam and Thrissur submerged. The worst affected include Paravur, Kalady, Chalakudy, Perumbavoor and Muvatupuzha.