Western Railway gears up to keep the wheels of all trains running and ensure uninterrupted services during monsoon. The pre-monsoon preparation works are going on in full swing despite ongoing nation wide lockdown due to Corona pandemic. Western Railway has continued its pre-monsoon preparations to ease in running train services without any problems.
Considering the flooding due to heavy rains over the Mumbai Suburban section every year, additional steps have been taken to ensure smooth operations during monsoon.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, these works include cleaning and desilting of culverts, desilting of side-drains, installations of high-power diesel & electric pumps, special maintenance of infrastructure and others. Cleaning of culverts will be completed by 10th June, 2020 and cleaning of drains will be completed by 5th June, 2020.
Despite the availability of only 10-15% work force of the regular field staff, it has been ensured that important works regarding pre-monsoon preparation have been going on as per the target over the Mumbai Suburban section of Churchgate-Virar.
Special Pre-Monsoon Action Taken and To Be Taken during Monsoon:
● Pre-Cleaning joint inspection with respective municipal corporations, i.e., MCGM, MBMC and VVCMC, of the existing 55 culverts has been completed. Cleaning work of 6 culverts has been completed despite the shortage of workforce due to Coronavirus Lockdown. The work will be completed by 10th June, 2020.
● Cleaning of 41 kms of drains to be completed by 5th June, 2020 out of which 5.5 kms (14%) of the drains have been cleaned.
● Western Railway plans to provide 153 diesel and electrical pumps at places where required. The installation of these pumps will start from 10th May, 2020 and will be completed by 5th June, 2020.
● Till now 2,50,000 cubic metre of muck/garbage has been removed by deploying JCB, Poclain, manual labour and specially modified EMU muck train for carrying the muck. The work is aimed to be completed by 30th May, 2020.
● Lifting of tracks by 50-150 mm is to be carried out over 32.581 km of tracks by using track tamping machine. This work is in progress and will be completed by 30th May, 2020.
● The railway has provided 10 automatic rain gauges. It also plans to provide 36 flood gauges; the work is in progress and will be completed by 25th May, 2020.
● Additional waterway is being provided in order to ensure smooth discharge of rainwater during monsoon in Vasai-Virar section by using micro tunneling method.
● Joint survey for cutting & trimming of vulnerable trees existing in the vicinity of track is being done by municipal & WR officials. Till now, 76 vulnerable trees have been identified and 158 trees have been trimmed. Necessary cutting & trimming will be completed by 30th May, 2020.
● A joint inspection of track circuit and yards is also being done between Churchgate and Virar section and will be completed by 30th May, 2020.
● Inspection of Powai Lake, Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake has been completed jointly with state officials.
● In order to ensure running of trains during monsoon, special attention is also being given to maintenance of overhead electric equipments. This includes cleaning of insulators, checking of protective screens on FOB/ROB, protection of contact and catenary wires and earthing. Till now, a total of 1,395 insulators have been cleaned.
● Due to the bird breeding season, it has been observed that birds used to make nests in OHE structures. These nests have been identified during foot patrolling and live line inspections which have been removed from the structures. Till now, 454 nests have been removed.
● 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 crossovers were checked hot line by tower wagon and 22 crossovers were adjusted in power blocks.
● 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 29 rakes and the remaining is planned to be completed by 31st May, 2020.
Bhakar stated, it is worth mentioning that despite a serious lack in the workforce, where only 10-15% staff is available on duty due to the nationwide lockdown, Western Railway continues to prove its excellent work style, by carrying out these important tasks. This reflects the true dedication and workmanship of the employees putting their sweat and blood to ensure smooth functioning of trains during the monsoon season, if the lockdown is lifted.