Taking lessons from this year’s floods in Gujarat where many stranded people had to be rescued from trains, the Western Railway is planning to purchase ‘inflatable rafts’ in order to be better prepared for the monsoon next year.
According to Western Railway (WR) officials, inflatable rafts were used for the first time during the rescue operation in Vadodara division in the first two weeks of August.
“Looking at the efficiency of inflatable rafts in reaching stranded people in flooded areas, we have decided to purchase more of these. As of now, we are ensuring that there is at least one raft each in all six divisions of WR,” said Ravindra Bhakar, spokesperson, Western Railway.
Following torrential rain in the area, tracks were destroyed at 29 places in Ahmedabad. Hundreds of trains were cancelled, diverted or short-routed to avoid areas such as Vadodara, Rajkot, Godhra and Anand. The railway staff even had to rescue stranded passengers from trains.
Officials said that the Western Railways managed to restore all the destroyed tracks. “Including Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Jamnagar divisions, we have managed to restore more than 100 km of railway tracks which were destroyed due to heavy rain. At Viramgam-Mehsana route, we sent 75 track men to start the restoration process with adequate raw material. Similarly, at Maliya Miyana-Samakhyali track, we sent around 250 track men to get the tracks in order as soon as possible,” said Bhakar.
The Western Railway recently also awarded RPF personnel for bravery who had participated in the rescue operation on August 15.