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NFR gears up itself for the ensuing heavy monsoon season

N.F. Railway is committed to provide smooth travel for its commuters, to keep the wheels of trains running and ensure uninterrupted services, especially during the monsoons. Due to the sustained efforts and infrastructure upgradations, the train operations have become better in the past few years during the monsoons. It helped NFR ran train services smoothly and normally over allsections with minimum disruptions, despite heavy rainfall. NFR is undertaking several monsoon preparatory works o­n a mission mode along with proper upkeep & maintenance of the civil, mechanical, signalling, electrical assets & equipment, etc. The mobilization of materials to cope with the rainy season was carried out in the last few months over the entire jurisdiction of N F Railway spreading over parts of West Bengal, Bihar and the eight North-Eastern states under the jurisdiction of NFR having more than 6400 km of railway tracks.

The monsoon season is quite challenging for this railway. This Railway serves a difficult terrain close to foothills of Lower Himalayan ranges, carved by turbulent streams, fed by heaviest rainfall reaching up to about 7000 mm in a year. The Southwest monsoon period normally starts from mid of May and continues till mid of October every year except in the Lumding division where the monsoon period starts from mid of April. Due to this heavy rainfall landslides, rain cuts in embankments, overflowing of bridges etc occur frequently. A detailed strategy is adopted to ensure that the tracks are protected and kept in good condition so that safety of passengers is not compromised.

For this, NFR has formulated a detailed strategy for the safety of railway tracks. As part of preparations before the monsoon collection of materials at sensitive places, cleaning drainage systems, cleaning of waterways of bridges, marking danger levels in bridges etc. have been completed. While all preventive measures have been taken, NFR has also deployed patrolling teams to continuously watch more than 6400 Km of tracks in its jurisdiction for any defect that may arise due to heavy rainfall. This team patrols the track o­n the basis of rainfall alert issued by the Meteorological Department. These patrolmen are equipped with the latest and state-of-the-art equipment i.e. GPS tracker, luminous jacket, raincoat, and separate waterproof trousers, safety helmet, safety shoe high, powerful search/flashlights etc. The team is o­n full track patrol round the clock. Mobile phones have been made available with each patrol team to provide information to the nearest station about any situation that may affect the normal movement of trains. In addition to patrols, stationary watchmen have also been appointed o­n sensitive areas i.e. sites prone to landslides, bridges where water is flowing near danger levels etc.

Despite precautions, there are occasion when bridges are washed out, embankments are breached and landslides occur. To face such situation and to carry out restoration within minimum possible time, materials like boulders, sand, sandbags, various pre-fabricated components of bridges etc. are kept loaded in wagons and placed at strategic locations. Moreover, about 309909 cum of boulder, 17426 cum of quarry dust, 22000 cum of silt, 45000 nos. of sand filled bags and 289800 nos. empty cement bags are kept as monsoon reserve stock o­n ground.

NFRis ensuring continuous monitoring and all efforts are being taken for maintaining disruption free travel to ensure all-weather connectivity and safety of our esteemed passengers.

(Sabyasachi De)

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