Mumbai: Monsoon readiness on track as never before!

Updated: 21 April, 2020 07:11 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Utilising the lockdown, Railways have undertaken maintenance, cleaning and repair works in Mumbai that were not earlier possible

Railways have started repair and maintenance work on the tracks in full swing
Railways have started repair and maintenance work on the tracks in full swing

With almost no rail movement in view of the lockdown, the Railways have started monsoon-related work in full swing. The prolonged halt in train services has given them a long window to complete all the work, which otherwise would not have been possible. The only other option is to have a major rail block, which again inconveniences passengers immensely.

In a city where trains run almost 24x7 — that is by the time one of the last suburban trains of the day starting from CSMT reaches its destination, the first train of the day is already on its way to CSMT — there is hardly any time for major works to be undertaken.

At many places, booms and masts holding up overhead wires have been cut and removed to ensure safety
At many places, booms and masts holding up overhead wires have been cut and removed to ensure safety

Speaking to mid-day, Central Railway's chief public relations officer, Shivaji Sutar, said, "The time is being utilised to carry out important safety, asset maintenance and other critical works. All of this is being done by following rules of social-distancing and santisation."

He further said that the Railways had completed the first round of drain cleaning for 30 kms and this had never been achieved in such a short span of time. In addition to this, the first round of cleaning 150 culverts had been completed, he added.

The next important work that was taken up and completed was overhauling of pumps located at various spots across the city. They are usually placed in low-lying areas where water-logging happens, as they help pump out the water on tracks so that trains run smoothly. At 96 locations, track point motors have been sealed and made waterproof. Monsoon-related work at Kurla and Vidyavihar, which are prone to water-logging, has also been taken up on priority.

A major work of inserting a box drain under the rail tracks near Karjat has also been taken up. Since the waterway of the existing bridge does not help in managing the incoming water flow during monsoon, rail tracks near Karjat get flooded during heavy rainfall. The new drain box will fix the problem once and for all.

Other monsoon-related works that have been completed include cleaning up of roof valley gutters at Dadar, Byculla and Ghatkopar stations, repairing the pipeline at Kurla level crossing, pumping lines and underground drains at Kalwa.

Bridge repairs, upgrades
Repair work of road-over-bridges (ROBs) has also been undertaken at different locations. Dismantling of the ROB at Dombivli in co-ordination with KDMC has also been taken up, which otherwise would have required a rail block to be carried out.

British-era infra upgraded
In Kasara section, about 17 booms and 34 upright masts holding up the overhead wires have been cut and removed. These masts were about 70 years old and some of them were even from the British era. It was important to do away with those booms from the safety point of view as they had rusted.

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First Published: 21 April, 2020 06:50 IST

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