Sabotage attempts continue to mar Indian Railways. The two incidents in the last 24 hours – one on Konkan Railway and the other on the Moradabad Division of Northern Railway throw Railway officials into tizzy.
MUMBAI: In yet another instance of mischief or sabotage, a fish-plate (equipment that joins two sets of tracks) was kept on the tracks between Rajapur and Vaibhavwadi on Konkan Railway. A goods train going from Mumbai to Madgaon in Goa passing on the tracks at around 3:15 pm hit the fish-plate but fortunately did not derail. The loco pilot of the train lodged an FIR with the local police. Senior officials are monitoring the situation.
Incidentally, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu travelled on the Konkan Kanya to Ratnagiri on the same tracks later in the evening.
Cut in track detected near Chandausi Railway station
A possible rail mishap was today averted after a cut in a track was detected between Chandausi and Moradabad railway sections in the district, in yet another incident of track damage.
The 32 mm cut in track was detected at 3:15 AM near Mohammadganj village following which senior officers were informed. An alert Railway Gangman on patrolling duty informed rail authorities about an attempt by miscreants to cut tracks between Chandausi-Bahjoi. Police and GRP have launched a probe into the incident.
Equipment used to cut it was also found near the track.
Senior officers and forensic teams have reached the spot and are probing the matter.
“At 06:45 am, keyman Soomveer of Gate No 1 reported attempt to cut rail by miscreants at km 72/4-5 in block section Chandausi-Bahjoi,” a railway official said.
Kankavali police registered a case against unidentified persons for causing danger to the railway passenger’s as well as train’s safety.
On February 9, four gelatin sticks were found on the railway tracks near Taloja in Navi Mumbai, but police said it looked like act of mischief rather than sabotage attempt.
A day before, discarded overhead equipment was spotted lying on the rail lines in Raigad district in Konkan.
On January 24, a seven-metre-long rail piece was found on the tracks near Diva station near Mumbai. The alert driver of Madgaon-Dadar Janshatabdi Express averted a mishap by applying the emergency brakes. On February 6, a huge piece of rail rod was found on the tracks between Kalamboli and Taloja stations at Navi Mumbai in Raigad district.
The incident comes just a couple of days after a key suspect in the Kanpur train derailment was arrested from Kathmandu after being deported from Dubai. A special team of Nepal police arrested ISI agent Samshul Hoda along with three others at the Tribhuvan International Airport on February 7.
Over 140 people were killed and dozens other injured when Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanput on November 20, 2016. A month later, fifteen bogies of Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed near Rura in Kanpur injuring over 40.
Earlier on February 9, an attempt was made to damage a railway track on Chandausi-Aligarh route near Chandausi railway station here.
On a tip off, police had detected equipment near track and on inspection found that attempts were made to damage the track.
There has been a spurt in incidents of damage to track in the country this year.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had told Lok Sabha recently that there had been seven “blast attempts” and three cases of attempted sabotage of rail tracks.
“There have been unusual activities in the last few days and some incidents were averted due to the alertness of railway personnel,” the Minister had said.
Railways have cited “outside interference” as the possible reason of derailment in more than 40 such cases this year.
Citing some recent incidents, a railway official had said “outside interference was found” in some cases near Kanpur, Mumbai, Hajipur and other areas where fish plates were removed and a large rail piece was placed on the track.
The recent rail accidents in Uttar Pradesh, which is scheduled to vote for Assembly election in seven phases starting February 11, have the security agencies working over time to safeguard tracks and other important rail installations. Investigations have pointed towards involvement of foreign terror groups.
The Railways was now in the process of putting in place latest technology like ultrasonic track detection system to find out fractures so that early warning can prevent mishaps.
Besides technology, Prabhu has said the Railway Protection Force has been asked to evolve a forensic strategy.