Mumbai: Central Railways gears up for monsoon with precautions

Anil Kumar Lahoti, General Manager, Central Railway, while addressing a press conference on Friday, said that monsoon precautions have been taken in detail so that the effect of monsoon on train services is minimum.

Shashank Rao Kamal MishraUpdated: Saturday, June 04, 2022, 06:27 PM IST
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Central Railway, which caters to around 38 lakh suburban commuters daily, is taking precautions so that the local trains are not affected when it pours during the monsoon and, to ensure this, engineering, electrical, mechanical, operations, signal & telecommunications, all work in tandem and have carried out monsoon precautions to ensure smooth services during the rainy season.

Anil Kumar Lahoti, General Manager, Central Railway, while addressing a press conference on Friday, said that monsoon precautions have been taken in detail so that the effect of monsoon on train services is minimum. CR HQ and divisional officials are also taking efforts to avoid inconvenience to the passengers and keep running wheels 24X7 during heavy rain.

Track Maintainers patrol scan for any dangers like rail breakage, fracture, etc. During the monsoon, certain sections of the railway line are identified and specified for patrolling by railway personnel to detect damage by floods such as breaches, boulder falls, settlements, slips and scours and immediate action to be taken to protect against rains when warranted.

52 such sections have been identified where patrolling is warranted, out of which 34 are in Mumbai Division ghat sections. Around 300 patrolmen have been deployed to patrol the identified sections during the full monsoon. All the patrolmen are provided with GPS trackers and their live locations are monitored in respective controls.

For systematic and effective patrolling, patrol charts are prepared by divisional engineers taking into consideration the train timetable in force such that all trains carrying passengers between sunset and sunrise get the maximum protection possible.

Each patrolman is provided with the necessary set of equipment. Besides, a Petrol Notebook is also given to them, in which, the timing of its reporting and movement are recorded by another person at the ends of the sections. The book is exchanged at each other’s jurisdiction limit.

Further, stationery watchmen at 114 locations are also deployed round the clock to guard vulnerable bridges, cutting and tunnel locations.

Central Railway Mumbai Division has also installed around 145 CCTV cameras at 29 vulnerable locations in the ghats to have a remote and continuous watch. 16 additional pumps have been provided at flood-prone locations.

Before the onset of the monsoon, in ghat sections (Karjat-Lonavala), Kasara-Igatpuri on the Mumbai Division and Dharakhoh and Maramjhiri on the Nagpur Division, the Central Railways have identified loose boulders at the top of the hill and on the slope. Such boulders have been pulled down before the monsoon begins this year. 625 loose boulders have been identified and have been taken down in total.

Railway also cleans, every year, the waterway of around 3,300 small bridges to avoid any flooding besides cleaning side drains all along the routes.

Around 999 km of side drains are cleaned before monsoon. 98 per cent of the cleaning has been done and the cleaning of the remaining side drains will be completed before the onset of the monsoon. 68 catch water drains have been cleaned.

In Mumbai suburban, 29 locations have been identified as flood-prone areas where Hight Pressure pumps have been deployed and will be operated as and when needed.

Further, the Traction Distribution wing has carried out maintenance of crossovers, turnouts, masts, cantilevers, etc. for smooth operations of trains by operating power blocks. The live line checking by Tower Wagon and foot patrolling of sections have been carried out to ensure the healthiness of OHE gears for the smooth running of trains.

Electrical General wing has carried out transformer cleaning and tightening of outgoing connections at TMS substation, power panel, lighting panel, rectifiers, etc.

Signal & Telecom wing carried out meggering of cables, sealing of point motors as part of monsoon preparedness, panel testing, point machine and signal unit repairs and replacement.

Readiness to face the challenge:

Around 170 wagons of boulders and quarry dust are kept in different locations spread over Central Railway to meet any exigency of washouts or subsidence of formation of slope failure due to extremely heavy rains.

Out of 170 wagons, 54 wagons are in Mumbai Division.

Mumbai Division released a monsoon precaution booklet which contains guidelines for railway staff, dates and times of high tides during upcoming monsoon. MSF Jawans + RPF Staff as quick response teams and an RPF Flood Rescue Team formed in collaboration with NDRF for any exigency.

Coordination with Other Government Departments & 24X7 Control Room:

There are 111 identified railway affecting tank and works (RAW and RAT) joint inspections which have been completed by railway engineers in coordination with the state government officials.

CR Control office is working round the clock to keep close liaison with Meteorological Department, Disaster Management cell and staff deputed at flood-prone areas for continuous monitoring and constant updates.

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