**Bhubaneswar: ** As Odisha Government has already stepped up its rescue operations in Kerala in coordination with the State Government there, the stranded people from the State are being brought back home by special trains as their dynamic list has been prepared.
Speaking to media at the State Secretariat on Monday, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said, “Control Room phone number has been given to the public. Hence, we are receiving information from the stranded people and also from their relatives. Basing on the information, we have prepared the list of the people to be rescued from Kerala’s ravaging flood. That information and list has been shared to Kerala Relief Commissioner. Besides, a team of our Labour & Employment Department has been to Kerala. We have also shared the information and list with that team.”
He informed, “Special train arrangement has been made from Kerala and the Railway Coordination Department is engaged in this task. Those people willing to return to Odisha, necessary arrangements have been made. The list prepared is dynamic. It is being updated accordingly basing on the fresh information and also simultaneously shared with Kerala.”
“Yesterday we were informed that there was extreme rush when the train started there. So our State Government contacted Railway Board so that the passengers returning Odisha are not in trouble,” the Odisha SRC stated.
Odisha Labour Commissioner Anjan Kumar Manik informed, “One train was to leave early from Trivandrum, about 12 noon. Three more trains to leave in the evening, perhaps from Ernakulam. Most of the rescued Odias are near Ernakulam. Trivandrum train will be via Ernakulam. Our two officers are tracking it. Through Kerala Labour Commissioner and their Whatsapp group the information is being spread across Kerala. The first train is coming from Gochivali near Trivandrum station to Bhubaneswar. One more train at 12.45 pm from Trivandrum to Guwahati. If more Odias will board, more coaches will be added accordingly. This train will pass via Odisha.”
“Odias are spread across Kerala. All of a sudden, it is not possible to know the exact figure. For the time being, 4 bogies have been arranged. As per the need, more bogies will be attached. As per latest feedback, some Odias there are not willing to return to Odisha as rains have subsided and they prefer to return later on. Our two officers are coordinating the whole process there. As communication and mobile network problem is still there, exact figure of the people is yet be received. However, Odisha Government is taking all necessary measures to rescue them and bring back Odisha safe and sound,” the Odisha Labour Commissioner informed further.
Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy informed, “Sarash Mela was being organized at Alleppey in Kerala from July 14 to 24. Five females and 16 males had been to Kerala on July 12. On July 14, Mela was held. But from June 15 incessant rains started. By grace of Lord Jagannath, those participants from Nayagarh, Khurda and Puri are safe and sound. They have been rescued. Now they are sheltered at a school in Trivandrum. Tickets have booked for them. They will return on Wednesday.”
He stated, “In case of any damage caused, as they have insured and in case the insurance company doesn’t compensate, State Government will take necessary action.”
“This Mela is organized by the Central Government. It is held every year and our Odisha also participate every year. This year such an untoward incident has occurred,” the Agriculture Minister informed further.
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