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Over 500 tonnes of food grain lie on tracks as train derails

Ganpati travellers’ plans went awry as 14 trains on Konkan Railway were cancelled, after seven wagons of a goods train carrying food grain derailed near Karanjadi railway station in Mahad taluka, Raigad district, yesterday

Hundreds of tonnes of food grains were strewn across the tracks on Konkan Railway, after a goods train carrying them derailed near Karanjadi railway station early in the morning yesterday.

Also read: Seven wagons of Konkan Railway train derail

Passengers travelling to their native places in the Konkan region for Ganeshostav suffered due to cancellations, delays and diversion of trains. This is the second disruption of services on the route three weeks ago, boulders near Roha had fallen onto the tracks. Seven wagons of the train travelling from Kota to Kozhikode derailed near Karanjadi, in Mahad taluka, Raigad district around 6.30 am.

Around 250 workers spent a large part of the day removing the sacks and placing them next to the tracks
Around 250 workers spent a large part of the day removing the sacks and placing them next to the tracks

Each wagon can carry 80 tonnes of weight and seven such got derailed a total of 560 tonnes of food grain. Gunny sacks of the grain fell onto the tracks; at many places, loose grains went in between the ballast and the tracks. Authorities started clearing the track of the sacks.

Over 560 tonnes of sacks were strewn across the railway tracks – at some places, loose grains had also spilled out. Workers later removed sacks from the wagons and put it beside the tracks
Over 560 tonnes of sacks were strewn across the railway tracks – at some places, loose grains had also spilled out. Workers later removed sacks from the wagons and put it beside the tracks

Men climbed into the toppled wagons, removing each sack, transporting it on their shoulders and placing it along the tracks. The rains, which had played truant most of this month, decided to make things difficult for workers there. “We covered these sacks of food grains with tarpaulin sheets to ensure they do not get wet due to rains,” said Vaishali Patange, chief PRO, Konkan Railway (KR).

The derailment occurred approximately around 6.30 am in the morning, This is the second disruption of services on Konkan Railway in a span of one month
The derailment occurred approximately around 6.30 am in the morning, This is the second disruption of services on Konkan Railway in a span of one month

The sheets were sourced from the Gram Panchayat office. However, sources at the site said this trick didn’t help much, especially when it rained heavily and they got soiled. “These sacks will be loaded back into the wagons. However, the details will be decided once we re-rail the wagons,” said an official.

Nearly 250 workers were deputed to clear the tracks and re-rail the train. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar
Nearly 250 workers were deputed to clear the tracks and re-rail the train. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar

Plans spoiled
Accident relief trains, along with 250 men, were deputed to the site for expediting the work. Senior officials monitored the progress live from their control room in Belapur, using a remote camera. It took workers nearly 8 hours to re-rail the first two wagons. By 3.45 pm, more wagons were in the process of being re-railed.

Meanwhile, passengers at several railway stations in the city, who were supposed to board a train to their native places in Sawantwadi and other Konkan areas for Ganeshotsav, saw their travel plans go haywire. At least 14 trains were cancelled on Sunday, and others were diverted and rescheduled.

The Matsyagandha Express to Mangalore, which departs from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) usually at 3.20 pm, was delayed for approximately nine hours. Many trains were diverted and rescheduled; some were terminated on the run. Passengers who were stranded because of the termination were transported by road.

“As per the request of Konkan Railway, we are operating 75 additional buses between Mahad and Khed for the stranded rail passengers,” said a spokesperson for Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. The layover was made at Veer and Khed using these buses.

Some passengers had no clue why trains were running late. Lalbabu Rai, who came to LTT with his two friends at 12 noon, said, “I was totally unaware of the delay. I want to go to Mangalore, so I thought I’d take a train from here. Now, the rescheduled departure time is 12.40 am.”

Similar conditions were seen at Dadar terminus and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), from where trains depart towards Konkan region. Two more trains will be cancelled today, including a double-decker AC train that began on August 22. Work of clearing the tracks is still ongoing, and is expected to be completed by today.

Red tape issues
Every time there is an accident, services are severely affected on Konkan Railway, crippling the entire route. This is because it is a two-line railway. For years, the railways’ plan to double the lines on Konkan Railway have been mired in red tape. Sources said that studies have been undertaken for the doubling of these lines at selective stretches where it is required.

“The proposal of doubling the rail lines is still there. We are conducting a survey of these lines, for which even financial estimates are being studied. Once work begins, we can expect improvement in line capacity,” said a KR official.

This new line, however, wouldn’t be a completely new one; the tracks would be added in patches. Loop lines are being created near vital railway stations on the entire route, which would allow more than one train to halt at the same time. Loop lines allow the trains to wait at platforms, rather than being stranded mid-way for the line to be cleared.

“Until the railway authorities don’t create another line, the entire route will be affected during accidents. People face lot of problems and don’t get another ticket in trains or buses at the last moment,” said Chandrakant Sawant, member who represents the Konkan region in the Railway Pravasi Sangh, a commuters’ body.

Services affected

Cancelled Up trains on August 24
>> 12052 Madgaon - Dadar, Janshatabdi Express 
>> 01042 Karmali - CSTM special 
>> 10104 Madgaon - CSTM Mandovi Express 
>> 50106 Sawantwadi - Diva passenger 
>> 50108 Madgaon - Sawantwadi passenger 
>> 50104 Ratnagiri - Dadar passenger 
>> 02004 Karmali - CSTM Shatabdi Premium

Cancelled Down trains on August 24
>> 01003 Dadar - Sawantwadi special
>> 10103 CSTM - Madgaon ‘Mandovi’ express
>> 12051 Dadar - Madgaon ‘Janshatabdi’ express
>> 02005 LTT - Karmali special double decker
>> 50105 DIVA - Sawantwadi passenger was cancelled at Roha.
>> 50107 Sawantwadi - Madgaon passenger
>> 50103 Dadar - Ratnagiri passenger

Trains cancelled on

August 25
>> 02003 CSTM - Karmali ‘Shatabdi’ premium special
>> 02006 Karmali - LTT Double Decker premium special

Trains diverted
>> 12218 ‘Kerala Sampark Kranti’ express of August 23
>> 16345 Netravati express of August 24

Train rescheduled
>> 22150 Pune - Ernakulam express of August 24 was rescheduled to 9.35 pm
>> 12619 LTT - Mangalore ‘Matsyagandha’ express of August 24 was rescheduled to August 25, 12 am

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