Kochi: They were flown in to meet emergency flood situation in the state using a military transport aircraft on August 17 and played a decisive role in saving lives of hundreds of people who got trapped in their houses inundated by flood waters in the next three days.
However, over 200 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force ((NDRF) were seen running from pillar to post for the last two days in their bid to find some transportation to return to their parent camps in Bihar and Odisha with the authorities failing to make any provision.
"The mission allotted to the force got over by August 20 morning. A squad of 150 personnel was returning to Bihar while another 66 wanted to travel to Odisha. The officers were seen attempting to get two coaches and luggage space in trains since then. The railways officials though were helpless with no prior direction doled out to them as is the normal procedure," said sources.
The personnel first approached Thrissur station and were directed to take up the matter with top railway officials. The divisional railway officers on their part acted fast when they came to know about the plight of the force personnel. However, the train operations through the division had only resumed and many trains to northern states remained cancelled for want of rakes.
"We managed to allot them one coach each in the Ernakulam-Patna Superfast Express (scheduled to leave Ernakulam on Tuesday evening) and the Thiruvananthapuram-Silchar Superfast Express (scheduled to leave Ernakulam by 9.20 pm).
The remaining personnel were allotted emergency quota in AC and non-AC coaches. Also a luggage coach was provided with them carrying over four tonnes," said a senior railway official when contacted....