Mumbai: Railways to deploy boats, drones this monsoon to rescue passengers, monitor water logging on tracks

This monsoon, the railway is making arrangements for mechanised boats and drones to move on rail tracks. This is their back-up plan to rescue passengers stranded on rail lines, trains and platforms in case of severe water logging. The drones will be used to measure the extent of damage from water logging.

The authorities are also working out the possibility if they can be flown while light showers to inspect the probable measures to avoid severe water logging on tracks and clear drains. The Central Railway (CR) is procuring five mechanised boats that shall be placed at railway stations to cater the stretches prone to waterlogging each year. They will also have two drones for monitoring purposes.

Sources in CR said that in order to ensure timely relief to the stranded passengers during water logging, they have procured these mechanised boats as part of Flood Rescue Team. “A total of 15 male and female RPF officers and staff constituting in three different teams have been trained by NDRF,” said a CR official on condition of anonymity.

Likewise the WR are also procuring such mechanised boats. As for the drones, the rail authorities will use them to track activities at railway stations, mid-sections, ghats and areas where accessibility is an issue during rains. “We have tied up with agencies which will help us monitor such stretches at time of need,” said a Western Railway official.

If one remembers, last year the CR had to deploy mechanised boats to rescue people stranded inside local trains at Masjid and Sandhurst Road stations. Likewise drones were used on ghat sections especially in Badlapur and Vasai-Virar sections in previous monsoons when trains were stranded on mid-sections and government and rail authorities needed eyes to approach and rescue.

The railway authorities have also created a 50-member fully equipped quick response team trained by NDRF to be deployed at vulnerable railway stations.

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