MUMBAI: In what can be called a vital step towards gauging waterlogging on tracks, the Indian Meteorological Department and Railways have jointly decided on Tuesday to set up radars that predict rainfall. This decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that was attended by all civic bodies and Rail authorities.
Sources who attended the meetings said that the IMD requested the Railways to let them install radars at select locations. “The IMD has asked us for land for these radars. I have asked my officers to identify the locations where it is needed and then we shall inform them,” said DK Sharma, General Manager, Central Railway.
This would ideally mean that when these radars are placed at rail premises, the IMD will be able to predict rainfall on rail lines and surrounding areas. All the rail officials from the headquarters to the station level will be on the IMD’s notification list so that everyone gets real-time information on the weather predictions. This will reduce the time of relaying information. The data generated will also help the Railways take necessary steps while operating trains on heavy rainfall days.
They will also take a last moment decision on whether to curtail the number of services on a rainy day and run 30 per cent lesser trains. The government has also stated that rail tracks will be given first priority over other things. This step has been taken as last year after rains, 45 rakes were marooned at different locations, which were exposed to water logging and needed heavy repairs.
This year, 60 pumps (18 by MCGM and 42 by CR), including two pumps of 1000 cubic m/hr capacity at Sion and Kurla have been provided. Two rounds of cleaning of drains and culverts have already been completed and the third round is in progress.
Also, 259 MSF jawans and 220 RPF and RPSF staff are part of the quick response teams wherein they will man 13 critical FOBs identified by the rail authorities. Mock drills have been conducted at important stations like Dadar, Parel, Currey Road, Chinchpokli, Ghatkopar, and Kurla. Sharma added that at seven identified stations, namely Mumbra, Kalwa, Thane, Mulund, Nahur, Currey Road, and Kurla, additional cover over sheds have been provided at the exit of FOBs. In addition, 14 FOBs have been constructed since last monsoon.
THEY AIM TO…
- Decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by CM Fadnavis and was attended by all civic bodies, rail officials.
- This would enable the IMD to predict rainfall on rail lines and surrounding areas.
- All the rail officials from the headquarters to the station level will be on IMD’s notification list.
Civic body, MMRDA will ensure water does not enter tracks, says Central Railway
Ahead of monsoon, the Central Railway (CR) on Tuesday said that this year, despite heavy rains, water would not enter the railway tracks that could suspend train services.
According to the Railways, civic planning authorities, including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), have assured complete co-operation to them. Last year, after it rained heavily on August 29, train services had stopped at Sion station on the main line and Chunabhatti station on the harbor line of the CR. Senior Railways officials had said that while pumps could drain out the stormwater from the tracks, the water from the road outside entered. As many as 50 rakes of CR were marooned then.
The CR plans to run fewer train services if it rains heavily this year. “In a co-ordination committee with the state government and BMC on Tuesday, we discussed the status of monsoon preventive measures. The BMC commissioner has assured the Railways that his priority will be to ensure train services run smoothly,” said D K Sharma, CR general manager. “It is in the interest of BMC that trains run. The corporation has assured that they will protect the tracks first and then the roads. If trains move, crowd movement will remain unaffected,” Sharma added.
The ongoing Metro construction work is likely to create over two dozen flood-prone areas in the city, the BMC had cautioned. Civic officials have claimed that their efforts to control flooding are likely to come to naught, as Metro work has allegedly choked drainage lines and “disturbed” the storm water drains at some areas. “Officials of MMRDA also assured that water from the roads will not come inside the tracks despite construction of different Metro lines in the city,” Sharma said.
The CR plans to monitor low-lying areas closely by installing additional water pumps. “We are tying up with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to understand the wind pattern and 48-hour forecast of trains. The IMD will provide their weather stations outside certain railway stations to measure weather parameters.”
The CR officials said that a senior Railways officials will be posted in the BMC to check on the water levels in the roads. They have directed that all foot over bridges be covered with sheds. However, three bridges made by the Army, including at Parel, Ambivali and Currey Road, have covers with spaces in between. “The three foot over bridges are not completely water-proof. We will take concerned action on this,” Sharma said.