GUWAHATI, March 27 - Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is continuing freight operations round-the-clock to ensure supply of essential commodities and a total of eight rakes were unloaded on Thursday and another 44 freight trains entered the zone today.
�Although the Ministry of Railways has decided to extend the cancellation of passenger train services across the country till midnight of April 14 as part of the measures taken in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, essential staff of NFR are working day and night to run freight train services throughout its jurisdiction ferrying essential commodities like salt, sugar, foodgrains and petroleum products, among other items, for the public distribution system. Moreover, NFR is also carrying items like potatoes, milk, vegetables, fertilisers and foodgrains transported by private businessmen so that there is no shortage of these commodities in the market for the need of common people,� said Subhanan Chanda, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR.
He added, �A total of eight freight rakes loaded with essential items were unloaded at various goods sidings of the NFR zone on Thursday, while one rake of coal and two rakes of petroleum products were loaded for transportation. Freight trains loaded with foodgrains were unloaded at Batnaha, New Jalpaiguri and Malda Court sidings under the Katihar Division and Udaipur in Lumding Division. Salt was unloaded at Barpeta Road under Rangiya Division, while wheat was unloaded at Silchar and sugar at Jirania stations under Lumding Division. In addition, potato was unloaded at New Tinsukia under Tinsukia Division. An additional 44 freight loaded trains entered the NFR system today.�
Chanda said that a few female staff working in the mechanical department of Katihar Division volunteered to manufacture face masks from home.
�To cope with the situation as face masks have become a scarce commodity in the market and with the railway staff discharging essential duty for the nation defying all odds amidst the scourge of Covid-19, yesterday 80 face masks were made for distribution and this effort will be continued,� said Chanda.
Similarly, in Lumding Division, railway staff and members of Women Welfare Organisation have stitched 2,500 washable masks and distributed them to the NFR�s frontline workers.
�They are also making hand sanitisers for use by our essential duty staff,� said the NFR CPRO.
Apart from loco pilots, guards of trains and trackmen on track patrolling duty, a number of signal and telecommunication maintenance staff, station staff, staff at control offices and goods offices, level crossing gates and RPF personnel are on duty to ensure that trains carrying goods reach their destinations safely and supply of essential items for the nation does not get affected.
�Close coordination is being maintained with the state governments of this region so that the rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly and without any delay amidst various restrictions imposed in the wake of Covid-19,� Chanda said.