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Cyclone 'Amphan': Railways decides to suspend special trains on Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur route

Disaster Accident

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

The East Coast Railway on Monday decided to suspend running of all special trains on the Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur route in view of the approaching cyclone 'Amphan'.

The railway line will be out of bounds for trains till further orders, the ECoR said.

In view of the cyclone forecast, the railway zone has decided to divert the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi-Bhubaneswar AC Special Train via Angul-Jharsuguda-Rourkela-Tata route bypassing the Bhubaneswar-Hijli (Kharagpur) route for four days.

The cyclone 'Amphan' intensified into a super cyclonic storm on Monday and is likely to move across the northeast Bay of Bengal and cross the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh between Digha and the Hatia island on May 20, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Shramik special trains have been suspended and will not be allowed to run on the Bhadrak-Kharagpur route, the ECoR said. Parcel and freight trains may be diverted via the Sambalpur-Jharsuguda route, it added.

All passenger trains were already suspended in view of the COVID-19 lockdown and only some Shramik Special Trains, one AC Special Train, freight and Parcel Express were running as per guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, an ECoR statement said.

Meanwhile, the ECoR is gearing up to meet the challenges from cyclone 'Amphan'.

Taking advantage of meteorological forecasts and also the experiences of devastation to railway property in last year's cyclone Fani, cyclone Titli in 2018, Hudhud in 2014, Phailin in 2013 and the Super Cyclone of 1999, the ECoR has planned early restoration of train traffic and railway tracks if affected by 'Amphan'.

A round-the-clock Disaster Management Cell has been opened at ECoR Headquarters at Rail Sadan here and at Divisional Headquarters at Visakhapatnam, Khurda Road and Sambalpur, the ECoR statement said.

The Railway zone has also taken steps for "no risk to train traffic" by positioning special teams for early restoration of tracks, signalling system and electrification safety of train operations in order to run trains after the cyclone even if there is no electricity supply, it said.

Diesel locomotives have been kept in position for utilization during failure of electric supply. As alert has been sounded in the coastal areas of Odisha, ECoR is keeping a watchful eye on all the stations between Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak in the Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur railway section.

General Manager ECoR has directed the concerned officials to be on full alert towards any incidents like flood situation near railway tracks and to ensure safety of trains and smooth train operations.

Accordingly, all precautionary measures have been taken. The catch water drains and side drains have been cleared of silt, vegetation and other obstructions to ensure free flow of rain water. The water ways of bridges have been cleared of vegetation and other obstructions, the statement said.

Close coordination is being maintained with the state government officials. Full Supply Level (FSL) in case of canals & Danger Level (DL) in case of bridges have been painted with bright red bands across each pier adjacent to the abutment so as to be clearly visible to the patrol personnel, stationary watchman and drivers.

Steps have been taken not to allow water to stagnate on the tracks. In station yards, the cross and longitudinal drains have been cleared/provided proper grades, the statement said.

Patrolling of railway tracks by personnel has also been planned to observe danger or interruption if any and protect the trains from any unusual occurrence. Stationary patrolmen and watchmen along with mobile patrolmen have been deployed in the vulnerable sections.

Instructions have been issued that whenever there is heavy rain, the sectional gangmen will organize patrolling of tracks on their own in their beat to make sure that the track is safe for passage of trains and ensure protection at all locations where washouts/slips are likely to occur.

Arrangements have been made to stock sufficient quantities of track and bridge repair reserve materials, like boulders, sand, cinder, quarry dust, ballast at identified locations.

Engineering relief vans and their equipment are kept ready. Bridge materials have also been kept ready so that they can be moved as per requirement, it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 18 2020. 21:41 IST