GUWAHATI, May 3 - The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to assist the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
�Several measures have been taken by the Indian Railways to boost the efforts of the Central and the respective state governments in the fight against COVID-19. Accordingly, we, in the NFR, which serves the Northeastern states as well as parts of West Bengal and Bihar, have adopted a multi-pronged strategy in this regard,� said a senior officials of NF Railway.
�Our zone is also lending a helping hand through innovations. The workshops and sheds in NFR are making innovative hands free wash basins for use of staff at work places and we are also involved in repairing and construction of hospital beds, side tables and hospital trolleys, among other items as per requirement,� he said, adding NFR is contributing to reinforce the health infrastructure in this region.
�NFR has modified 315 passenger coaches as isolation coaches, providing about 2,500 isolation beds which will be made available to the Health authorities as and when required. It has also equipped the existing Railway hospitals to meet the COVID-19 needs, earmarking 170 hospital beds as isolation beds, arranging about 800-bed quarantine facilities and recruiting additional doctors and paramedics to deal with any exigency,� said the official.
He said that as a part of the effort to equip its officials and staff with basic safety equipment, the zonal railway has produced more than 2,500 litres of hand sanitizers and over 76,000 reusable face masks for use by its on-duty staff.
�Masks are being made by staff working from their respective home at various locations like Agartala, Alipurduar, Lumding, Silchar, Katihar, Tinsukia and Rangiya, while hand sanitizers are being produced in the various depots and workshops. We are also making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the doctors and paramedic staff at our workshops,� the source added.
He said the NFR is transporting essential commodities to all areas under its jurisdiction to avoid shortages.
�We are making all-out efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities like sugar, salt and edible oil for consumption of the citizens during the nationwide lock down. With the active support from the respective state governments, the loading, transportation and unloading of these essential commodities are going on smoothly and during this period around 600 rakes have been unloaded in various goods sheds located at different parts of NFR,� he said.
He said NF Railway is operating parcel express trains as per fixed time table to destinations like Agartala, Dibrugarh, Dimapur and Mendipathar to facilitate transportation of essential goods in small quantities. More than 90 parcel trains have run till date to carry goods to different parts under NFR�s jurisdiction as per requirement.
The official added, �We are carrying out humanitarian efforts during these difficult times, like providing free meals to the needy section of society who lack means to cope with the lockdown situation. We have provided more than one lakh free meals till date.�
He said over 90 per cent of the employees of NFR and their families have downloaded the Arogya Setu App. The App had been launched by the Union government on April 2 to check spread of COVID-19 among the population.