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Northern Railway scores century in a day: Converts over 100 coaches into COVID-19 isolation units

Banking on such progress, Railways has also increased its overall target to now convert 5,150 coaches, over 10 per cent of which is being made by this zone.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi | Updated: April 8, 2020 5:20:48 pm
As many as 50 train coaches are in the process of being converted into isolation wards for the COVID-19 patients at the Coach repair factory in Pune’s Gorpori on Monday. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

Surpassing its earlier record, Delhi-based Northern Railway has scored a century in one day, converting more than 100 coaches into isolation units Wednesday, the highest for any zone in India doing this work. Banking on such progress, Railways has also increased its overall target to now convert 5,150 coaches, over 10 per cent of which is being made by this zone.

The day’s target was set in the morning’s plan. Since the earlier record by the same zone was the conversion of 85 coaches on April 4, the top bosses had kept a three-figure target. By 4 pm, the zonal railway, which was also the first to create the prototype of this isolation unit in India, completed conversion of 105 coaches.

“The entire team is charged up. It’s all hands on the deck for us. We have surpassed our own targets as well as targets originally set for us in the work plan. This will go a long way in India’s preparedness for fighting the outbreak,” Arun Arora, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer of Northern Railway, who is spearheading the work, told The Indian Express.

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This takes the total tally of coaches converted by this railway alone to 515 — making some 50 rakes of 10 coaches each — ready for deployment, the highest for any zone in India. Initially in the plan of making 5,000 isolation coaches for COVID-19 preparedness for entire Indian Railways, Northern Railway had been given a target of converting 370 coaches. It surpassed that a few days ago and was asked to continue to make more. The conversion work is happening across 134 locations across India.

coronavirus cases, coronavirus isolation wards, india coronavirus cases, karnataka coronavirus cases, coronavirus news, latest news, indian express The internal view of a train coach turned into an isolation ward in Mysuru. (Photo: South Western Railway)

So far, Indian Railways has completed conversion of over 3,000 coaches and the contribution of Northern Railway in that is the highest among all zones.

Northern Railway has also had breakthrough in getting its samples of coverall suits tested and approved by the DRDO lab in Gwalior, ahead of all other zones. So far, entire Indian Railways has committed to making some 13,200 coverall suits by April 30. For this, 5,600 kg of cloth has to be procured.

Read | Indian Railways coaches can now house 40,000 Covid-19 patients

A couple of days ago it was asked to share its knowhow of making the coverall suits to all the zones to follow. It has shared tutorial videos, designs, bill of materials etc with others. And following its success, it has also been made the centralised procurement arm for Railways for the raw materials to be sourced for the coverall from the four authorised sources approved by the government.

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