GUWAHATI: The NFR (Northeast Frontier Railways) is all set to introduce 150 isolation coaches to be used as 'COVID Care Centres' in seven cities across seven districts of Assam. Each such coach will have 14 to 16 beds totaling 2,400 beds. Patients from the neighbouring districts can also be accommodated in the coaches stationed in a particular district.
Of these 150 'Isolation Coaches', six cities will have 20 such coaches totaling 320 beds. The distribution of these 20 coaches each are: Paltan Bazar and Kamakhya in Kamrup (Metro) district; Rangiya junction in Kamrup rural; old Dibrugarh station in Dibrugarh; Raha/Chaparmukh in Nagaon; Mariani junction in Jorhat; Badarpur station in Karimganj/Cachar.
On the other hand, Tinsukia station in Tinsukia district will have 10 such coaches totaling 160 beds.
The Principal Secretary of the Health & Family Welfare department has already directed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of these seven districts to act as the 'Nodal Officers' at the district level; adding that they will be the signatories to the district-specific MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the NFR.
Broadly, the medical aspects are the responsibilities of the State government while availability of the coaches in usuable condition is the repsonsibility of the Railways, added sources.
Talking to The Sentinel, NFR Maligaon PRO Nripen Bhattacharyya said, "Altogether 40 coaches with 20 each for our stations at Paltan Bazar and Bardarpur are ready from our side."