PALAKKAD: The 12-hour hartal called by the UDF and LDF affected post-flood relief operations as unloading of materials from parcel vans both at the Palakkad and Shoranur junctions came to a grinding halt. It also brought to a standstill the sorting of materials at the two godowns and their transportation to other districts.
The Railways had announced that relief materials could be sent free of cost via parcel vans from any part of the country till September 15. Sources said Palakkad division has so far handled 750 tonnes of relief materials, which arrived in 33 dedicated parcel vans from different parts of the country and also from stations under the Thiruvananthapuram division.
A state government directive to the Divisional Railway Manager, Palakkad, had stated that since there were not enough free godowns in Ernakulam and nearby stations, materials could be unloaded at Shoranur and Palakkad and later transported by road to the needed destinations.
At the Kinfra Industrial Park godown in Kanjikode, Palakkad on Monday, eight officers from the PWD and Revenue Departments were unable to do any work due to lack of volunteers. Nearly 150 volunteers have been engaged in the sorting job daily.
“On Saturday, two wagon loads of onion (big), dal and wheat flour were brought to the Kinfra godown from the Shoranur goods yard, where it was unloaded after being sent from Jharkand. On Sunday, we loaded and dispatched four of them — one each to Kodungallur, Vaikom, Paravur and Kuttanad. Today, since it’s hartal, we were idling our time away,” said an officer at the godown.
Hundreds of onion sacks, rice bags, water bottles, big volume of sugar, cooking oil, wheat flour, utensils, plastic items, clothes and medicines have been kept at the godown.
“As far as the sacks are concerned, we load them into the trucks. But in the case of loose and multi-packet items, they’re sorted out by volunteers and then packed before being loaded. NSS volunteers from various colleges have been carrying out the task,” said another officer.
“At the Shoranur parcel van office, 17 wagons of relief materials have been unloaded by students from nearby colleges and schools. Three more wagons are waiting to be unloaded. As far as Railways is concerned, we need to empty our parcel vans in minimum possible time. The consignments are sent to godowns at Palakkad and Kullapully. One load of hay (maize crop) arrived from Ahmedabad. Though the Animal Husbandry Department raised a claim for it, since the district magistrate is the consignee, we could hand it over only to the local administration,” said an officer at the Shoranur station.
Volunteers fail to turn up
At the Kinfra Industrial Park godown, PWD and Revenue officers were unable to carry out work as volunteers did not turn up
Nearly 150 volunteers have been engaged in the sorting job daily at the godown