M A I N   N E W S

Rail traffic to remain disrupted till next week
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Trains’ position at a glance

  • Howrah-Kalka and Chandigarh-Jodhpur Express cancelled till August 7
  • Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express to run up to Ambala till August 7
  • Amritsar-Dadar Express cancelled till August 13
  • Dhanbad-Ferozepore Ganga-Sutlej Express diverted via Jakhal and Bathinda

Chandigarh-Ambala AC buses

Northern Railway has decided to run airconditioined buses between Chandigarh and Ambala Cantt stations for Shatabdi Express passengers in both directions. These buses will depart at the scheduled departure time of the train from respective stations. The Shatabdi Express train fare remains unchanged under the temporary arrangement. The passenger does not have to pay any additional amount for the bus fare between Chandigarh and Ambala.

Chandigarh, August 5
Even as the Railways launched a massive operation to repair railway tracks damaged on account of heavy downpour in the region, resulting in cancellation and diversion of trains bound for Chandigarh, Kalka, Jammu and Amritsar, the train services to North India would remain disrupted till next week, officials said here today.

Train services on the Delhi-Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section are expected to be restored by Saturday evening, while on the mainline from Delhi connecting Amritsar and Jammu the traffic is expected to be restored by August 13, Northern Railway General Manager R.R. Jharuhar said at a press conference here today.

The railways has suffered a direct loss of over Rs 9 crore besides indirect losses resulting from cancellation of tickets consequent to cancellation and diversion of trains, he said after making an on-the-spot assessment of the damaged Ambala-Rajpura stretch on the mainline and the Ambala-Chandi Mandir portion on the Ambala-Kalka section.

He said the railways was also suffering losses due to curtailment of goods train services as the Ludhiana-Jakhal-Delhi section could take a limited load of passenger and goods trains.

“Priority is being given to run at least 26 coal specials to eight power stations in the region and same number of food grain specials for transportation of food grain to deficit states,” he added. The officer said trains had been partially restored till Ambala today after clearing the main yard there.

Some of the Chandigarh-bound trains, including the two Shatabdis, would run till Ambala while some long-distance trains, including Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadhbhavna Express, Howrah-Kalka Mail and Chandigarh-Jodhpur Express, and some passenger trains would remain cancelled till August 7, when the situation would be reviewed, he said. Mr Jharuhar said the expenditure on restoration work would be additional, adding that the loss in real financial terms was yet to be calculated as the priority was to restore normal train services on the two important sections of the Northern Railway.

The General Manager said the unexpected heavy downpour on the morning of August 3 damaged the Ambala-Ludhiana double line section in at least seven places, with heavy flow of water in the Ghaggar also flooding seasonal rivulets running along the railway line.

The total damage to track was 18 km in seven places on the mainline, including three bridges and washing away of embankments of tracks at the remaining four places, he said.

“Sixty rakes of material, including filling material, quarry dust and ballistic stone, was being transported from other places,” Jharuhar said adding that 1,000 labourers and 30 engineers had been deputed in round-the-clock shifts.

Mr Jharuhar said the Ambala-Chandigarh section saw damage to five bridges, including a 24-foot span bridge between Dhulkote and Lalru, which has been totally washed away.

“Repair work is on to place temporary service span on the spot,” he said adding that simultaneous work had been commenced at Chandi Mandir, near here, where a stretch of the track has been washed away.

Mr Jharuhar said 500 labourers under the supervision of 15 engineers had been deputed on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section. Simultaneous work on the restoration of signalling system and overhead electric wires was on in the two sections, he added.


Flood waters recede in Ambala, Patiala

Chandigarh, August 5
With no fresh rainfall in most parts of the northwest plains, the flood waters in the affected areas of Punjab and Haryana today receded, while the administration in both the states continued with rehabilitation job and assessing the crop and livestock losses.

The sky, however, remained partially cloudy at several places as the weather forecast here said light to moderate rains were likely to occur at a few places in Punjab and Haryana.

The city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana, however, experienced light rainfall tonight. The city received 10.6 mm rainfall yesterday.

There were also reports of rainfall from Hoshiarpur and its surrounding areas in the Doaba region of Punjab this evening.

The incessant rains had badly hit Patiala and Ambala regions in Punjab and Haryana respectively early this week, as several villages and fields were flooded or inundated with water causing loss of crops and livestock.

The Northern Railways authorities today said over 1500 labourers and 45 engineers were working overnight to repair the damaged railway bridges and tracks between Shambhu near Ambala and Chandigarh. — UNI


Tehri tunnel death toll 29
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, August 5
With the recovery of two more bodies from the T3 tunnel of the Tehri dam today, the death toll went up to 29.

Though the work of clearing the debris is in its final stages, one or two more bodies may still be recovered, Tehri district officials said. The rescue operations are likely to be completed by tomorrow, Tehri District Magistrate Puneet Kansal said.

The police has registered a case against Jai Prakash Industries. Three inquiries have been ordered to look into the cause of the accident.



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