Pune railway station: Concrete sleepers develop cracks within three years

Installed at the cost of Rs 70 lakh as recently as 2011, several of the concrete sleepers already have cracks where rubbish gets deposited, leading to stench

If you’re a regular commuter at Pune railway station, chances are you’ve encountered the foul odour that often wafts up from the train tracks, and wondered why they arent cleaned better. But a closer look will reveal that the source of the stench is the rubbish and water wedged in the cracked concrete sleepers.

railway staff
Railways staff repair damaged sleepers on the tracks. Railway officials have said that Pune division has been undertaking regular inspections and repairs to prevent damage to the sleepers. Rubbish and dirt collect in the cracks in the concrete sleepers

As recently as 2011, Pune railway division had shelled out more than Rs 70 lakh to lay fresh concrete sleepers on an 800-metre stretch of tracks by platform 1. However, the concrete work has already begun cracking and chipping in several places, raising concerns over the quality of work undertaken by the railway division and the amount of money spent on it.

According to a source, the indifferent attitude of the engineering department is to blame for the unsightly condition of the sleepers, and the officials who carried out the concrete work should be held responsible.

“The engineering department is supposed to inspect the railway track every day, and repair or change the damaged sleepers. However now there are huge cracks in the concrete sleepers which create problems while cleaning the railway track, as garbage and water get deposited there,” the source added.

Yogendra Kumar Singh, PRO for Pune railway division, said, “When sleepers at railway tracks are damaged, cracks develop in them. Due to these cracks the process of cleaning is hampered to a large extent. Pune railway division has been regularly undertaking cleanliness drives. To make these drives a success the railway administration inspects the tracks and changes the damaged sleepers. We are working to carry out the repair work so that we can stop any further damage.”

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