Central Railway install yellow metal covers with locks on gutters between tracks

Nov 03, 2018, 08:00 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

The first experimental stretch near Masjid Bunder station is already serving its purpose. Railway officials said that if this succeeds completely, then the annual ritual of desilting might be passe

Central Railway install yellow metal covers with locks on gutters between tracks
The open drains between tracks used to be choked with garbage; (right) The bright yellow metal covers installed between Sion and Matunga have proved beneficial so far

Central Railway's war against clogged drains has now entered phase two. Following the success of keeping the drainage stretch between Sion and Matunga garbage-free by building impregnable metal covers over it, the Central Railway has now gone on to lock these covers. The first experimental stretch near Masjid Bunder station is already serving its purpose. Railway officials said that if this succeeds completely, then the annual ritual of desilting might be passe.

Earlier this year, mid-day had highlighted the Central Railway's experiments with garbage-free drains that it had built by borrowing ideas from international railways.
The bright yellow steel covers laid over a stretch of over 200 metres between Mumbai CSMT and Masjid Bunder are its latest experiment. These metal covers have very small outlets that can only allow water to flow in, with some small particles, a senior divisional official said.

"The drains that run parallel to the railway lines are crucial for the quick draining of water from the tracks. But these are mostly filled with plastic packets, bottles, even rail ballast which end up clogging the drains. It then requires a lot of desilting operations and expenses. While the bright yellow covers have already started becoming red with paan stains, they are at least keeping debris away," the official added.

Dumping of garbage by those living along the tracks, commuters and by rail contractors from pantry cars is a major issue along the lines. Central Railway Mumbai generates about 250 cubic metres of trash every day. Recently, the railways cleared 50,000 cubic metres of trash from the 53-km stretch of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Kalyan, accumulated over a period of six months and 30,000 cubic metres on the Harbour line between CSMT and Mankhurd.

In December 2017, a cargo train derailed due to mounds of garbage near the Parsik Tunnel, throwing evening peak suburban services out of gear. Following this, the Central Railway started a sustained drive to get garbage cleared. It also operates three or four special trains called 'Muck Specials' which run on three Central Railway routes after the local service shuts down for the day. They are usually old discarded local trains and open carriage wagons that are parked at important stations like Kurla, Thane and Kalyan and set out in the night to pick up debris.

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