New Delhi, Sep 3 (UNI) Indian Railways subsidiaries today contributed Rs 21.50 crore to the Rail Mantri Relief Fund for immediate help of the flood victims in north Bihar.
The subsidiaries, which contributed to the fund are CONCORD, IRCON, RITES (Rs 5 lakh each), IRCTC, IRFC and Railtac (Rs 2 lakh each), Rail Vikas Nigam and DFCCI (Rs 25 lakh each). Besides, IRCTC contributed one lakh bottle of Rail Neer.
The Cheques were handed over to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad by the managing directors of the respective subsidiaries at a press conference here.
Receiving the cheques, the Railway Minister described the flood in North Bihar unprecedented, which had caused severe loss to human life, property and livestock, besides rendering lakhs of people homeless.
He appealed to the people to make liberal contributions of relief material for the victims of this national calamity.
Mr Prasad said Indian Railways had made elaborate arrangements for transporting ''free of charge'' relief material, including food, clothing, tentage, fodder booked in favour of the District Magistrates of Purnea, Saharsa and Katihar.
Besides, 45 control rooms had been opened at the Railway Board here and at all zonal and divisional headquaters of Indian Railways for collecting and sending relief material. The Railway officials had been asked to work as nodal officers for carrying out the relief operations by the railways, he informed.
In addition, a Disaster Management Cell had been established at the Rail Bhawan, housing the Railway Ministry, which can be reached at 011-23382638 for any further inquiry for sending relief material, he announced.
Denying that he was doing any kind of politics on Bihar floods, he said ''I will do politics later. There is enough time for it.
But, immediate need is to send relief to the fllod victims.'' He maintained that there was criminal negligence on the part of the Bihar Government for not paying cognisance to the warnings about the danger to the barrage over Kosi.
The Railway Minister said two rakes of fodder had already been sent to the affected areas. Two more were being loaded and soon be despatched. Besides, 40 parcel vans laden with tents, clothes, medicines and drinking water had been despatched.
For making available potable water to the flood victims, two rakes of water tankers had been kept ready at Barauni and Danapur railway stations which would be sent to the affected areas, he added.
He said the Railways was carrying about 40.5 lakh people every day to the safer places. Till now, 180 trains both on broad gauge and metre gauge had been run free of cost to help about 3.65 lakh people.
UNI KAS ATI HS1842