Soaring temperature, shortage of labour and tricky terrain has slowed the pace of restoration of derailed wagons and one-kilometre track near Khed on Konkan Railway, obstructing the movement trains, including Shramik specials, on the route. Officials said they were racing against time to restore the tracks by Tuesday midnight.
The Rajdhani Express bound for Thiruvananthapuram that will leave New Delhi on Wednesday is set to pass through the route on Thursday.
Nine wagons of a goods train, carrying fertiliser, from Mahul in Mumbai for Mandya in Karnataka had derailed between Diwankhawti and Khed stations Sunday afternoon. The derailed wagons had reportedly split into two, with three wagons moving towards Khed and six others stuck between an elevated plain on either side of a single track.
Officials from Konkan Railway said they had to struggle to get labourers to unload around 1,200 bags of fertilisers from each of the wagons. Chief PRO of Konkan Railway, LK Verma, “A tricky terrain, labour shortage amid coronavirus pandemic along with the extensive damage to the tracks, has caused a restoration hurdle.”
A few workers from nearby Khed, officials said, were brought in to begin work on three wagons, while two more coaches carrying 400 workers to unload the six other wagons had arrived from Madgaon Monday evening, more than 24 hours after the derailment.
The fertiliser bags, officials said, have been placed along the tracks and covered with tarpaulins to save it from rain, which had further delayed the work.
According to Verma, nearly one-km track was damaged due to the accident of which about 500 metres were fixed until Monday evening. Work to remove six wagons, stuck between an elevated land patch, had posed a major hurdle, he said.
High temperature, recorded at 40 degrees Celsius, also had rendered the rail pieces too hot to touch, an official overseeing the restoration work said.
Until Tuesday evening, six wagons were removed with the help of cranes, while work was on the other three.
Meanwhile, two Shramik specials trains — one from Thivim to Udhampur in Jammu on Sunday, and another from Madgaon to Udhampur on Monday — had to be diverted through South Western Railway (SWR) thereby increasing their running time by nearly 12 hours.
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