Mumbai: Western Railway Rain Gauges to Avoid Virar Flooding

Dredging, desilting of drain & nullahs running parallel connecting Vasai-Vaitarna creek is also been undertakenIt seems that the railways have learnt a lesson from the last monsoon when Mumbai was cut-off from Gujarat and Delhi for three days due to excessive flooding on the water tracks. To better rain prediction Bhayander station will get a rain gauge. This will help the Western Railway authorities to get real-time data on rainfall rather than being dependent on the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for the same.The WR today installed the first such automatic rain gauge at Bhayander station, which will cover the Vasai-Virar belt which is more low lying. The gauge will be fitted with a solar panel to enable it to function even in the wake of power breakdown in the event of excessive rains. This data will be directly sent to their railway control room from where they monitor trains."Through this equipment, it is possible to monitor online the rain-fall on real-time basis, without human intervention. We have planned to install such rain gauges at five other suburban stations before May 31," said Gajanan Mahatpurkar, spokesperson, Western Railway. "We can take prompt decision regarding train-operations as well as rake-stabling".The stations where rain gauges shall be installed would be Ram Mandir, Mahalaxmi, Bandra, Dahisar and Mira Road. The officials added that whenever the rains would cross danger mark, then automatically the rain gauge will reflect it on their system. This will help the train controllers to determine the schedule of trains and inform the motormen/guard about the same. It shall then be relayed to the passengers inside coaches through passenger information system. Last monsoon, there was severe water logging on tracks on Vasai-Virar belt with rainfall of nearly 400mm.Among other steps taken to reduce flooding at Vasai- Virar is as follows. Dredging and desilting of drain and nullah running parallel to the tracks and connecting to Vasai-Vaitarna creek has been undertaken with 60% percent completion with May 30 as a deadline for work to finish. Desilting of culverts crossing track has been undertaken by using suction pump/desludging machine. Approximately 70% of culvert have been cleaned and rest are targeted to be completed by May 25. 3 new underground drains are to be constructed between Vasai-Virar section for facilitating flow of storm-water during monsoon. Two of these will be completed before May 30. IIT Mumbai had been consulted for hydrological survey of entire topography of Virar-Nallasopara section and report has been received and being studied for further implementation.

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