The railway probe into the signalling system fire on the Central Railway (CR) line between Kurla and Vidyavihar last month,which disrupted services for days,is believed to have been pinned on the signalling & telecommunications department and the electrical department.
A panel of three senior administrative grade officials investigated the matter. Since then,officials of the two key departments are reportedly pointing fingers at each other and allegedly not signing the probe report,which is yet to submitted to the CR General Manager. The fire began when cables carrying electricity to overhead equipment (OHE) came in touch with signalling cables resulting in a short circuit.
Sources privy to the report said that at the spot where the incident occurred,OHE cables originating from electric substation had been laid down underground after construction of the rail overbridge of the Santacruz-Chembur link near Kurla railway station in 2009. Usually,cables run along tracks. Rules specify that power cables be laid down at least a metre below ground,but the power cable was allegedly around a foot below ground.
Besides this alleged lapse by the electrical department,the signalling cables were allegedly placed along power cables,thereby indicating that the signalling department was at fault,too. As the area where underground feeding cable of OHE was near the culvert, it could not be laid down one metre below the ground. Also,it was done three years ago. But the signalling department should be aware while laying signalling cable near the OHE cable, said an official.
Damaged feeding cable of OHE came in contact with the signalling cable. Excess power of 1,500 volts surged into the signalling cable,leading to the rout relay interlocking system (RRI) of Kurla signal transmission rack. It caused a short circuit there and RRI of signalling panel at Vidyavihar also met with a similar fate, the official said.
The CR General Manager is expected to soon convene a meeting of all principal heads of departments concerned to prevent such incidents in future.