According to a press note issued by Ravinder Bhakar - Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, considering the flooding of railway tracks due to heavy rains over the Mumbai Suburban section every year, additional steps have been taken to ensure smooth operations during this monsoon season. Here are some of the important steps taken by Western Railway regarding its monsoon preparations:
Major Steps Taken For Monsoon Preparation 2020:
● Post-Cleaning joint inspection with respective municipal corporations, i.e., MCGM, MBMC and VVCMC is in progress. Out of the existing 55 culverts whose cleaning work is completed, post- cleaning inspection of 44 culverts has been completed. The inspection will be completed by 10th June, 2020.
● Pre-monsoon cleaning of 47 km of drain network has been completed. More rounds of cleaning will be done during monsoon.
● Additional drains of about 10 km have been provided in different yards and block section in Churchgate-Virar section at flooding prone locations. These drains have been connected to the city drainage system. These drains helped in big way in fast discharge of water from track area and yards.
● A total no. of 191 high capacity pumps have been installed this year to increase pumping capacity by 33% as compared to last year. These pumps will be as soon as the rainfall starts in the suburban system. These will be maintained and run on trial basis everyday to avoid failures during rains.
● Cleaning of 2,58,000 cum of muck, garbage, released earth has been completed over the suburban section. This has been carried out by deploying specially designed Muck special train, BRNs, JCB, Poclain and about 500 labours. It will help in smooth discharge/ flow of rain water during monsoon.
● At 15 identified sections in low lying areas, track and OHE has been lifted from 100 mm to 250 mm. This will help in avoiding submergence of track during heavy intensity rainfalls during the current monsoon.
● Old cast iron pipes with leakages and breakages have been replaced with wide and covered RCC waterway at two location in the Churchgate-Virar section at Bandra and Prabhadevi. By doing this the discharge capacity of this waterway system has increased by 300 %.
● Additional waterways have been provided by micro-tunneling at three locations in Goregaon-Malad and Nallasopra-Virar section. These locations have been identified after flooding of tracks during last monsoon. Apart from this work of provision of additional waterway in Bandra (near culvert no 24) and Vasai yard is also in progress and is expected to be complete by 10th July 2020. These additional waterways will provide big relief during monsoon, as it will help in discharge of water from east to west.
● A total of 650 trees have been trimmed whose branches were alongside the tracks infringing with OHE in order to avoid tripping in monsoon.
● Till now 5500 insulators have been cleaned as precaution against flashing of the insulator during monsoon showering. The fitting of the bridges were also checked where clearance are critical.
● Due to the bird breeding season, it had been observed that birds used to make nests in OHE structures. These nests have been identified during foot patrolling and live line inspections, thereafter such identified bird nests were then removed from structures. A total of 2300 bird nests have been removed over Western Railway.
● Most of the suburban section is having unregulated OHE and due to temperature variation, the over head wire of cross overs may get disturbed. To overcome this problem all the cross overs were checked hot line by tower wagon and adjusted in power blocks.
● In order to maintain earth resistance of Earth stations within permissible limits, the earth resistance of 422 earth stations were measured.
● WR has also taken-up monsoon-related maintenance work of its EMU suburban rakes which include detection & plugging of possible leakages in EMU coaches and their electrical equipment, smooth movements of windows & doors etc. Work of cleaning of roof of coaches and insulators has also been taken-up.
● Insulation testing of various signalling gears will be completed before onset of monsoon and wherever required, repairs/replacement shall be carried-out.
● The Monsoon attention of EMU rakes involves sealing of lookout glasses in motorman/guard cab, sealing of roof joints in coaches, sealing of high voltage equipment entries on the roof and sealing of equipment in the underframe. With bare minimum staff at EMU Car Shed, Mumbai Central due to the Coronavirus Lockdown, the dedicated staff has worked tirelessly to complete this work on 52 rakes and the remaining is planned to be completed before resumption of EMU services in a phased manner.
● With use of new technology, Western Railway was able to troubleshoot various issues that it faced during the rainy season. Here's how application of new tech, helped Western Railway:
a) Drone survey is being carried out for entire Churchgate-Virar section and major nallas in Vasai-Virar section to monitor the obstructions in waterways and cleaning and dredging of nallas.
b) Deployment of suction/desludging machine for cleaning of culverts.
c) HDPE pipes have been provided across the track in Mahim yard which has resulted in quick discharge of rain water from the Yard.
d) Installation of 10 Automatic Rain Gauge to have real time monitoring of rainfall and water level data and subsequent preventive actions on realtime basis.
e) Provision of additional opening in Mahim, Matunga and Dadar Yard.
Bhakar stated that other than these preparations, an advisory has been issued to Divisions for gearing up preparations for smooth Railway working and customer convenience amidst monsoon season. Garbage at stations, circulating areas, corners, isolated pockets will be cleared. Also regular cleaning of track area, open drain and CC aprons upto the extent covered in the housekeeping contract will be done. Our focus would also be on frequent cleaning of Platforms, Concourse, FOBs, customer interface areas, Waiting rooms, toilets and Catering units. Regular announcements will be made appealing public to keep Railway premises litter free and discourage use of plastic. All of the six Divisions have been asked to make arrangements for securing ATVMs, COTVMs, OCRs to prevent damage by rain water, leakage and seepage for ensuring uninterrupted ticketing facility. All advertising agencies under contract with Mumbai Division have been cautioned to inspect, secure and strengthen their hoarding structures, advertisement displays in Railway premises. Parcel offices and Goods offices are also advised to ensure claim prevention measures to avoid damage to goods and parcels.