The Western Railway (WR) and the Central Railway (CR) claiming that they are ready for the monsoon and are confident that there will be no flooding on the railway tracks during the season, considering the rainfall is normal.
Both Railway Zones have improved their infrastructure over the past one year by raising tracks at vulnerable points, repairing overhead equipment and fixing train coaches and have even come up with new measures to allow the Mumbai locals to continue to function without interruption.
“The aim is to ensure uninterrupted services as long as rainfall is limited to 250 mm in 24 hours and 75 mm in three hours. Last year, the railways were prepared for 200 mm of rainfall in 24 hours and 60 mm in three hours,” said Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO WR.
“The first round of cleaning and desilting of culverts, desilting of minor drains, and installation of high-power diesel and electric pumps have been completed. Apart from that, to keep smooth flow of water, more rounds of cleaning will be done during monsoon,” Bhakar added.
WR and CR have also taken up monsoon-related maintenance work of its EMU suburban rakes (local trains) which include detection and plugging of possible leakages in EMU coaches and their electrical equipment, smooth movements of windows and doors, and the likes. Work of cleaning of roof of coaches and insulators has also been taken up.
A total of over 1000 trees have been trimmed by WR and CR whose branches were alongside the tracks infringing with OHE in order to avoid tripping in monsoon. “During the months of April and May, CR completed the monsoon precautionary measures on its suburban networks as well as in ghats thoroughly,” said Shivaji Sutar, Chief Public relation officer of CR.
“Apart from that, this year CR decided to deploy 525 MSF (Maharastra Security Force) and 220 RPF jawans as Quick Response Teams which is almost 50 per cent more than last year,” said a senior officer of the CR. Last year around 500 security personnel were deployed by CR in its suburban section for crowd management and other emergency issues.
Re-roofing of platforms at nine stations of CR have also been completed including CSMT suburban platforms, Tilak Nagar, LTT, Mankhurd, Sion, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Masjid, Sandhurst Road, and Reay Road. Apart from that, keeping in mind the rainy season, the covers over platforms of Panvel, Sandhurst Road, Reay Road, Cotton Green, and Diva have also been extended.
Capacity augmentation of the waterway by CR Pipe pushing via micro-tunnelling has been done between Kurla and Vidyavihar stations. Two pipelines with 1.8 metre diameter and 70-metre-long have been pushed, increasing the capacity of culvert. Augmentation of waterway of existing bridge with insertion of RCC boxes between Vadala and Raoli junction section will also increase the waterway capacity.
Similarly, the waterway is also augmented at Tilak Nagar bridge with insertion of RCC boxes at Tilak Nagar station creating a 4.9 metre extra opening to increase the waterway capacity. The CR also completed the long-pending work of replacement of steel girder with PSB slab of the important Waldhuni Bridge.
CR has decided to deploy 48 per cent more high voltage pumps as compared to last year at several vulnerable locations of its suburban rail network with the help of BMC. Last year, only 98 pumps were installed in the suburban section of CR .
“We identified 17 vulnerable locations for water logging during heavy rains and provided more than 143 pumps (by Railways and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai). The locations identified on main line are Masjid, Mazgaon yard, Byculla, Curry Road, Sion, Kurla, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar, Nanipada, Thane, Dombivali, and on Harbour line are Sewri, Vadala, Chunabhatti, Koparkhairane ” said an officer of CR.
Ghat Section – Boulder scanning and dropping
18 tunnels were inspected in North East ghat section, between Kasara and Igatpuri. After boulder scanning was done, 40 boulders were identified and dropped. Moreover, 50 watchmen are being deployed at 14 locations and 75 patrolmen are being deployed at seven beats to keep watch 24×7 and to avoid any disruption to traffic during monsoon.
Similarly, in South East ghat section, between Karjat and Lonavala, 52 tunnels were inspected and boulder scanning was done. Moreover, 74 watchmen are being deployed at different locations and 54 patrolmen are being deployed at identified beats to keep a watch 24×7 and to avoid any disruption to traffic during monsoon.
CR has also constructed tunnel portal extensions of its two big tunnels (tunnel number 48 and 31 located between Karjat and Lonavala) of south east ghat section. This will prevent the falling of boulders on the tracks. Last year due to boulders falling and landsliding, rail traffic between Mumbai and Pune was severely affected.
10 km additional drain on suburban section of WR
“Additional drains of about 10 km have been provided at different locations between Churchgate-Virar section at flooding prone locations. These drains have been connected to the city drainage system. These drains helped in big way in fast discharge of water from track area and yards,” Bhakar said.
33 percent more pumps between Churchgate and Virar
A total of 191 high capacity pumps have been installed this year to increase pumping capacity by 33 per cent as compared to last year in suburban section of WR . These pumps will be activated as soon as the rainfall begins in the suburban region. These will be maintained and run on trial basis everyday to avoid failures during rains.
WR lifted track at 15 vulnerable location in low lying areas of WR suburban section, track and OHE has been lifted from 100 mm to 250 mm. This will help in avoiding submergence of track during heavy rainfall. Similarly, old cast iron pipes with leakages and breakages have been replaced with wide and covered RCC waterway at two location in the Churchgate-Virar section at Bandra and Prabhadevi.
By doing this the discharge capacity of this waterway system has increased by 300 per cent. Additional waterways have been provided by micro-tunneling at three locations in Goregaon-Malad and Nallasopra-Virar section. These locations have been identified after flooding of tracks during last monsoon.
Apart from this, work of provision of additional waterway in Bandra (near culvert no 24) and Vasai yard is also in progress and is expected to be completed by July 10, 2020. Besides, drone survey is also being carried out by WR for entire Churchgate-Virar section and major nallas in Vasai-Virar section to monitor the obstructions in waterways and cleaning and dredging of nullas.