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N. F. Railway has installed Continuous Scour Monitoring Instrument in three of its important bridges. As a part of adoption of new technology to enhance safety of bridges, these devices have been installed at Saraighat Bridge over River Brahmaputra near Guwahati, Naranarayan Setu o­n River Brahmaputra near Jogighopa and bridge o­n River Teesta near Sevoke.

The system comprises of Scour Sensors for measurement of scour level at designated location and Telemetry Equipment for real time data transmission to Railway Engineers. Sonar Echo Technology has been used in the system.

SMS are generated twice a day (8 AM and 8 PM) and sent automatically to pre-fixed Mobile phones of concerned Railway Officials at Divisional and at HQ level.

Accurate current bed level is achieved automatically without human involvement from which safety of Bridge can be monitored by Railway Engineers o­n real time basis. The system has eliminated delays in obtaining Scour depth in these important bridges, which were earlier being done manually.

In addition to above, Continuous Water Level Monitoring System based o­n Radar Technology has been successfully installed in ten important bridges within N.F. Railway. This instrument will automatically and continuously monitor the water level in the rivers and send SMS to pre-determined cell phones at regular intervals.

It is to be mentioned that accurate scour monitoring is very crucial for maintenance of bridges, especially during the monsoons when floods are common. Heavy scouring of foundations caused by flood waters exposes the piers and abutments to damage, often causing the bridge piers to tilt or even collapse in severe cases. The device wil make monitoring of scour easier and enable the railways to take immediate corrective steps to protect the bridge foundation whenever the danger limit is about to be exceeded. The installation of the device will ensure that disruption to traffic movement is avoided and normal train operations continue over these bridges even during severe weather conditions.

All the above measures are expected to greatly improve the overall safety aspects for train running over the N.F. Railways in the coming years.

(Pranav Jyoti Sharma)

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