Railway track restoration work on war footing


Team Udayavani, Aug 19, 2018, 11:14 AM IST

  • Railway gangmen working without a break
  • 42 landslips in three days

Sakleshpur: Since June 11th, when the rains started here, hundreds of landslips happened on the Western Ghats forcing the staff to rush to take up restoration work. For the last two months, the railway staff in Sakleshpur has hardly had a break from work.

In the last three days alone, 42 landslips have been reported in the region and every reported landslide will either cancel or delay the scheduled trains plying on the track.

Speaking about the present conditions, a railway gangman, who has been working in Sakleshpur station for the last 10 years said “Three days ago when we were clearing the track, water was gushing from the top. We were neck-deep in water while clearing the track in a tunnel.”

“I have never witnessed such a critical situation in my career. Working amidst heavy rains and high-speed wind are near impossible. At times, within minutes of clearing the track at one point, there is one more landslip in the same place,” he added.

There are four stations between Sakleshpur and Subrahmanya including Donigal, Kadagarahavalli, Yedakumari and Sirivagilu of which the most problematic area reporting the maximum number of landslips in about 25 km from Kadagaravalli and Siruvagilu.

“At least 100 workers are on the job every day in the recent days. We hire local workers for daily wages, besides our staff. But it has been very difficult to get workers too,” informed an official.

Among the landslips that happened in more than 40 places between Donigal and Sirivagilu stations, the staff has cleared only a few. The heavy downpour continuing in the Western Ghats is causing much hindrance in the restoration work.

On Saturday morning, a special train meant for maintenance of the track left Sakleshpur station to take up restoration work. The staff along with the assistance of the hired workers managed to clear rubble collected on the track near Donigal station. However, it is not clear how many more landslips have happened since Friday.

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