Major railway tracks restored in Kerala, Prabhu speaks on flight ops

New Delhi: Indian Railways has restored all major tracks that were damaged due to Kerala floods, informed an official on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu told that commercial flight operation from Kochi Naval Airport have started after war-footing efforts.

A senior official from Railway Ministry said, “Torrential rains in Kerala, consequent flooding and landslide had severely affected the three divisions of Southern Railway.”

Giving details of the three railway divisions, the official said, “On the Thiruvananthapuram division, 11 bridges witnessed water level rising over danger level where at three locations tracks got submerged in water. In Palakkad division, the water level rose above the danger level in 10 bridges while one got submerged. Similarly, Madurai division was also badly affected due to earth slip and falling of boulders. The railway team worked round the clock to do the repairs and all sections in the main route of Kerala were opened.”

The routes that have been declared fit after repairs include, Thiruvananthapuram and Nagarcoil section, Ernakulam and Kottayam, Ernakulam and Shoranur, Palakkad and Shoranur, Shoranur and Kozhikkode, Kollam and Punalur section.
However, the Punalur-Senkottai-Thrissur-Gururvayur branch lines are still under repair due to heavy damage.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said that operations at Kochi Naval Airport have started and flights have already started landing. He said, “We have geared up over selves to face this challenge. As Aviation Ministry we immediately started mounting more flights when the Airport of Cochin became non-operational because of flooding at the runway. We started getting more flights in-to Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut. A delegation has been sent to start work for resuming commercial flight operations from Kochi naval airport.”

The Union Minister also informed that free of cost service to deliver relief material for Kerala has been started. As Minister of Commerce and Industries, he has also informed industrialists and large donors that whatever relief material will be provided by them, in cash or kind will be directly sent to state government without any interference.

Earlier on Monday, Alliance Air made first landing at Kochi Naval base with relief materials. Alliance has announced for donating relief material. The Airline has also decided to waive-off charges for changing dates or cancelling tickets.