Pipavav: Restoration of the badly-damaged railway track that connects Pipavav Port with Surendranagar began on Sunday. However, work was halted temporarily by people of Borala and Juna Savar villages of Savarkundla. They were demanding construction of a bridge there as the elevated tracks were obstructing the natural flow of rain water.
The 4km long track between Liliya and Savarkundla, which was washed away during flash floods last week, is key to resuming rail traffic from Pipavav Port to Surendranagar and north Indian states. The tracks have been laid on an elevated land about 10 feet higher than the ground level of these villages.
On Sunday, as soon as railway authorities began restoration work people from Borala and Juna Savar villages rushed to the spot and said they would not allow them to work unless they build an overbridge there.
“Because of the tracks, natural flow of flood water was obstructed causing flooding in Borala and Juna Savar. We demand that the authority construct a bridge so that flood waters can flow,” Kamlesh Kanani, a resident of Juna Savar village told.
Following the protest, railway authorities assured villagers that they will find out a solution and work resumed at the site. “We have assured villagers of a solution. We will put up pipes under the track to drain rain water as an alternate arrangement for now,” Jyoti Prakash Pandey, divisional railway manager at Bhavnagar, told media persons.
Railway officials however said that the construction of a bridge will take long time and requires many permissions and sanctions from the higher authority.
Meanwhile, AP Moller-Maersk group company Gujarat Pipavav Port on Sunday said in an official release that it had resumed port operations.
Last week, the port operations were suspended due to the cyclonic weather conditions and breakdown of power supply and communication.
“Certain sections of the railway line connecting Pipavav to Surendranagar have been damaged causing suspension of rail movement to and from the port. Port officials along with Indian Railways are working round the clock to resume the rail movement at the earliest,” the company said.
Over 5,000 containers have piled up at the port as they need to be transported by road.