Emergency flights for tens of thousands stranded by virus in South Asia

Topics Coronavirus | Railways  | Lockdown

More than 160,000 wagons carried supplies in the last four days, including 100,000 with essential commodities, to ensure there is no shortfall during the countrywide lockdown, the Railways said Friday.

On March 23, a total of 26,577 wagons were loaded with essential commodities, which included 1,168 wagons of food grain, 42 wagons of fruits and vegetables, 42 of onion, 42 of sugar, 168 of salt, 20 of milk, 22,473 of coal and 2,322 of petroleum products.

On March 24, a total of 27,742 wagons were loaded with essential commodities, which included 1,444 wagons of food grain, 84 of fruits and vegetables, 168 of salt, 15 of milk, 50 of edible oil, 24,207 of coal and 1,774 of petroleum products.

The next day, 23,097 wagons were loaded and on

March 26, 24,009 wagons were loaded with essential commodities.

Officials said each wagon has a capacity of carrying 60 tonnes.

"Close coordination is being maintained with state governments so that rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay amidst various restrictions imposed in the wake of Covid-19," the national transporter said in a statement.

"To monitor the uninterrupted movement of essential commodities over Indian Railway system, an emergency freight control is working in the Ministry of Railways. Freight movement is being closely monitored by officials at a very senior level.

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