Disaster waiting to happen on Pathankot-Jogindernagar track

Nagrota Suriyam (NGRS):  Let alone the expansion of rail network in the hill state; how the railway authorities play with the security of hundreds of people who travel on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar track is proof enough of their lax attitude.

The department’s concern regarding the safety of passengers is evident from the fact that instead of replacing rotten wooden sleepers on the century-old track, railway engineers have come out with an innovative idea of using thin bamboos sticks to prevent the tracks from splitting.

Though the entire track is in a depleted state, the innovation has been applied at bridge number 254 near Nagrota Surian, which is at a height of 1,000 feet.

The rail fastening system, due to rotten wooden sleepers could give in anytime, resulting into an accident as screws, bolts and spikes fixing the plates with sleepers have either got lose or disappeared.

Experts say the rotten wooden sleepers could result in gauge-widening if they split under weight of bogies ultimately leading to derailment.

The sand drums placed on the bridge for balancing have also decayed, but authorities have turned a blind eye to all this. Locals rue that repeated complaints to the railway authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

Are you an engineer point out technical drawbacks: Railway official

Meanwhile, when raised the issue with Ferozepur divisional railway manager NC Goyal, his response was: “Are you an engineer? Who are you to point out such technical issues? If something happens, then we will see. We will be responsible for that.”

When confronted that it could result in a disaster, Goyal said: “Highly qualified engineers have certified the track and we will keep running the trains. Joined with bamboo sticks or any other thing, it’s none of your concern.”