Konkan Railway all set to face monsoon challenges

कोलाड Kolad (KOL): Konkan railway is all geared up to face the monsoon by completing all its planned safety works on its route from Kolad after Roha station of central railway, to Thokur, before Mangalore junction. Patrolling by self propelled Rail Maintenance Vehicles (RMV) will be done from sunset to sunrise between Kolad and Thokur. Excavators have been kept ready at all nominated points for quick movement in case of any emergency.

According to Konkan railway, special attention has been laid on geo-safety works, like flattening of slopes, rock bolting, shot-cretin inside tunnels, storm water drain cleaning/ lining, construction of RCC retaining walls, and loose scaling. As a result of the large scale geo-safety works executed along the railway line in last 10 years, the incidents of boulder fall and soil slip have significantly reduced, thus ensuring safe running of trains.

Konkan railway will conduct 24X7 monsoon patrolling to ensure safety along the track. About 700 personnel will be patrolling the Konkan railway route from Kolad to Thokur during the monsoon. Vulnerable locations will be patrolled round the clock and stationary watchmen will be deployed for 24 hours at critical locations. Speed restrictions will be imposed at vulnerable locations. Instructions have also been issued to the loco drivers to impose speed of 40kmph in case of heavy rainfall impairing visibility. All trains passing by KR route between Kolad and Thokur will be foot-plated by officers / supervisors during the monsoon. Self propelled ARMVs (Accident Relief Medical Van), with provision for operation theatre and providing emergency medical aid are kept ready all the time at Ratnagiri and Verna (Goa) along with ART (Accident Relief Train).

Mobile phones have been provided to loco pilots, station masters and other field officials, including Executives of various departments. Both loco pilots and guards of trains have been provided with walkie-talkie sets as well as every station on Konkan railway is equipped with 25 watt VHF base station. This enables wireless communication between the train crew as well as train crew and station master. Emergency Communication (EMC) sockets have been provided at a distance of average 1km along the Konkan railway route (spacing reduced to 400 metres inside long ventilated tunnels), that enables the patrolmen, watchmen and other field maintenance staff to contact station master and train controllers during any emergency situations in train operations. Satellite phone communication has been provided in ARMV situated at Ratnagiri and Verna stations for contacting headquarter control when ARMV is pressed in service. LED signals are being provided in a phased manner, to begin with, for improving signal visibility at difficult locations.

Geology of the Konkan region being such that the strata is formed of lateritic rocks (which is rock solid initially and over a period of years tend to loosen and flow like soil during monsoon), interspersed with red soil that destabilizes slopes, the strata is capable of throwing surprises during monsoon. Lateritic soil, which is porous, absorbs water which weakens the cuttings. Cuttings which have no history of failure suddenly collapse. It is a relentless fight against nature.

However with the measures taken above, Konkan railway aims to ensure a safe travel to its passengers in the coming monsoon.