New Delhi: Railways has cancelled 81 trains and diverted two more in view of cyclone "Fani", which is likely to affect 19 districts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, besides Kolkata.
The railways said that it will grant full refund to passengers for the cancelled or diverted trains if the tickets are produced for cancellation within three days from scheduled date of journey.
Some of the trains which have been cancelled include Howrah-Chennai Central Coromandal Express, Patna-Ernakulam Express, New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express, Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram Express.
The national transporter has also issued directions to the Divisional Railway Managers of all zones that frequent announcements are to be made at important stations for sensitising passengers about the cancellations, short termination and diversion of coaching trains in both directions of the Bhadrak (Odisha)-Visakhapatnam section.
"The full refund shall be granted to the passengers for the cancelled/diverted trains if the tickets are produced for cancellation within three days from scheduled departure of trains. Dry Food items, janata khana and water bottles in sufficient quantity are to be made available at catering stalls of all major stations. Due to dislocation of train services, the situation may warrant transhipment of passengers. Local transporters are to be contracted for hiring of road vehicles for meeting exigencies as and where necessary," the instructions to DRMs stated.
The railways have also said that sufficient amount of cash must be available at major stations for granting refunds to passengers and meeting other exigencies. Frontline staff are to be advised to be extremely polite while dealing with passengers and leaving no scope for complaint, it said.
"Emergency control is to operated round the clock with helpline number for guiding passengers. No staff are to be allowed to go on leave for next three days," it said.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's top body to handle an emergency situation, on Wednesday reviewed the preparedness for "Fani", which is likely to hit south of Puri in Odisha on Friday, a home ministry official said.
Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house evacuees while troops of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and 78 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been requisitioned for deployment.