Chandrapura-Dhanbad Rail track in danger due to Mine Fire

Dhanbad: The Dhanbad-Chandrapura railway line crossing through underground mines fire zone is in danger and immediate measures needed to be taken for smooth movement of trains and safety of passengers, a high level expert team has said.

The track is East Central Railway’s (ECR) main corridor for passenger and freight trains. Over 24 passenger and express trains including Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express, Dhanbad-Kerala Alappuza Express, Ranchi -Gorakhpur Mourya Express, Garib Rath Express, Ranchi-Bhagalpur Vananchal Express ply on a daily besides coal rakes.

Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner A Dodde today said the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) officials had been asked to present technical reports for preventing accidents on the railway track which is under Dhanbad rail division of ECR.

Following it, senior scientists of Central Institute of Mining Research Fuel (CIMRF) and experts of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL), DGMS, Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and district administration inspected the railway line yesterday and directed initiating immediate measures, he said.

Eighteen miners had died and five are feared trapped under the rubble at Lalmatia open cast mines in Godda district of Jharkhand following the cave-in on December 30 last year.

The Jharkhand government had asked the deputy commissioners to take precautionary measures in their respective districts.

Dhanbad Rail Division (DRM) manager M K Akhori said the railway track near Sinidih, Sendra Bansjor and Anagarpathra is in danger from fire in BCCL mines for the last two decades. Poisonous gas is billowing out in South Govindpur railway siding.

“Fire is on under the railway track. Efforts are already on to check it and ensure safety of the track for smooth movement of rail traffic,” he said.

Mine fire in Dhanbad is about a century-old problem. The Dhanbad-Jharia rail line is already routed out due to the danger from fire, Akhori said.

“Besides collieries of BCCL, over 98,000 families and railway tracks are under threat,” he added.