South Central Railway has always been at the forefront in according highest priority to passenger safety. In view of heavy rains, the zone has further strengthened action plans to tackle heavy rains during the present monsoon season. 87 vulnerable sections and 915 bridges have been identified across the zone where precautionary measures have been enhanced with round the clock surveillance. The field staff is also fully equipped with protective clothing and devices to undertake uninterrupted patrolling. The action plan has been devised taking into account inputs from all the departments. Multi-disciplinary teams have been formed to monitor the train operations and infrastructure maintenance.
Some of the major areas given importance as part of the SCR’s monsoon action plan include:
1. Regular Monitoring of Track:
1. The zone has undertaken regular monitoring of track during the monsoon period to ensure working of pumps and water drains to prevent flooding and stopping of trains. The tracks are monitored on daily basis across all the divisions of the zone and the status is reported to concerned officials. Gang patrolling will be introduced during abnormal Rainfall / storm on receipt of weather warning.
2. Patrolling at vulnerable locations / Bridges:
Vulnerable locations have been identified on tracks and bridges across the zone where the patrolling has been enhanced and have been kept under continual surveillance during the entire monsoon season. During periods of abnormal rainfall or storm in any section, patrolling will be carried out till clear weather is restored. In addition, GPS trackers are also being used to monitor the patrolling.
3. Posting of Stationary Watchmen at Critical Locations:
Stationary watchmen are posted at identified critical locations such as bridges and approach roads of newly constructed bridges. The watchmen will continuously monitor the water levels and ensure safety of train operations.
4. Railway Affecting Tanks (RATs):
Around 1917 Railway Affecting Tanks have been identified on the zone which are being jointly inspected by the concerned Railway and State Government officials. State level meetings are also being conducted with Irrigation officials to review the status of the tanks and repairs. A close liaison is maintained with the State Government on the status of tanks during monsoon.
5. Water Levels of Reservoirs and Dams:
Divisional Railway officials are maintaining liaison with State Irrigation authorities to keep a close watch on the Bridges connected to dams and reservoirs so that prompt action can be taken by Railways during the release of excess water.
6. Weather Warning and Cyclone warning message:
Railway officials keep constant watch on District wise weather forecast, rainstorm and cyclone updates being released by the meteorological departments. The messages are promptly disseminated to all the concerned field staff to keep them alert.
7. Water level monitoring system:
22 automated water level monitoring devices are installed on identified major bridges which provide continuous data of water levels at these locations.
8. Keeping sufficient reserve stock:
Monsoon Emergency Reserve Stock materials such as sand, boulders, empty cement bags, tarpaulin sheets, girders and steel cribs etc to restore Track / Bridges are stacked on land as well as on goods wagons at nominated places in all the six Divisions to meet any eventuality due to flooding / breaches.
Shri Arun Kumar Jain, General Manager (In-Charge) has instructed all the Officials and staff of the Zone to be on high alert during this period to prevent any untoward incidents. He also directed the officials of all the six divisions to strictly implement safety precautions and reiterated that there should be Zero tolerance against breach of safety. The movement of passenger trains should be constantly monitored and the travelling passengers should be promptly informed and updated about the changes in train services, he added.