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How Indian Railways is gearing up for Mumbai's monsoon challenge
3 min read.Updated: 08 May 2020, 01:26 AM ISTTamal Nandi
Indian Railways'Western Railway zone have taken additional steps to ensure smooth operations of the Mumbai local trains during monsoon season
Every year there is flooding due to heavy rains over the Mumbai suburban section of Indian Railways
Indian Railways' Western Railway zone in order to keep the wheels of all trains running and to ensure uninterrupted services during ensuing monsoon, pre-monsoon preparation works are going on despite ongoing nationwide lockdown due to covid-19 pandemic.
Western Railway has continued its pre-monsoon preparations, in hope of when the nationwide lockdown due to covid-19 is lifted, there will be ease in running train services without any problems.
Every year there is flooding due to heavy rains over the Mumbai suburban section. Indian Railways have taken additional steps to ensure smooth operations during monsoon season.
The works include the cleaning and desilting of culverts, desilting of side-drains, installations of high-power diesel & electric pumps, special maintenance of infrastructure, etc. Cleaning of culverts will be completed by 10th June, 2020 and cleaning of drains will be completed by 5th June, 2020.
Western Railway has also taken-up monsoon-related maintenance work of its EMU suburban rakes which include detection & plugging of possible leakages in EMU coaches and their electrical equipment, smooth movements of windows & doors etc. Work of cleaning of roof of coaches and insulators has also been taken-up.
Insulation testing of various signalling gears will be completed before onset of monsoon and wherever required, repairs/replacement shall be carried-out.
The Monsoon attention of EMU rakes involves sealing of lookout glasses in motorman/guard cab, sealing of roof joints in coaches, sealing of high voltage equipment entries on the roof and sealing of equipment in the underframe. With bare minimum staff at EMU Car Shed, Mumbai Central due to the coronavirus lockdown, the dedicated staff has worked tirelessly to complete this work on 29 rakes and the remaining is planned to be completed by 31 May, 2020.
Western Railway zone plans to provide 153 diesel and electrical pumps at places where required. The installation of these pumps will start from 10th May, 2020 and will be completed by 5th June, 2020.
Railways are carrying out the work despite the availability of only 10-15% work force of the regular field staff, it has been ensured that important works regarding pre-monsoon preparation have been going on as per the target over the Mumbai Suburban section of Churchgate-Virar.
Pre-cleaning joint inspection with respective municipal corporations, i.e., MCGM, MBMC and VVCMC, of the existing 55 culverts has been completed. Cleaning work of 6 culverts has been completed despite the shortage of workforce due to coronavirus lockdown. The work will be completed by 10th June, 2020.
According to a railway official "Till now 2,50,000 cubic metre of muck/garbage has been removed by deploying JCB, Poclain, manual labour and specially modified EMU muck train for carrying the muck. The work is aimed to be completed by 30th May, 2020".
The lifting of tracks by 50-150 mm is to be carried out over 32.581 km of tracks by using track tamping machine. This work is in progress and will be completed by 30th May, 2020. The railway has provided 10 automatic rain gauges. It also plans to provide 36 flood gauges; the work is in progress and will be completed by 25th May, 2020.Additional waterway is being provided in order to ensure smooth discharge of rainwater during monsoon in Vasai-Virar section by using micro tunneling method.
A joint inspection of track circuit and yards is also being done between Churchgate and Virar section and will be completed by 30th May, 2020.
Inspection of Powai Lake, Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake has been completed jointly with state officials.
To ensure running of trains during monsoon, special attention is also being given to maintenance of overhead electric equipments. This includes cleaning of insulators, checking of protective screens on FOB/ROB, protection of contact and catenary wires and earthing. Till now, a total of 1,395 insulators have been cleaned.