Pune: Encroachments on railway tracks have been a big hurdle for the railway authorities in carrying out their maintenance work for the past several years. Many accidents have taken place due to the poor maintenance of the tracks.
There have been encroachments around the railway tracks near the Pune, Ghorpadi, Shivajinagar and Dapodi stations within the Pune division.
According to the Railways, around 500 metres of track maintenance work is in limbo due to massive encroachments on either side of the railway tracks. People are also risking their lives by building their homes adjacent to the tracks.
“People are living in a large number of huts on or around the tracks and this is a big hindrance to rail opera. Due to encroachments, the condition of the tracks has worsened and its maintenance has been difficult. Shunting-related operations on the tracks at these places have been completely stopped due to activities of the encroachers,” said Manoj Jhawar, spokesperson of Pune railway division.
“At the same time, encroachments have severely affected rail traffic. Hence, it has become necessary to free the tracks from encroachments at these places. Only after the removal of encroachments the repair work of these tracks can be possible” he said.
Railway sources said encroachments are not a new phenomenon. They have been going on since decades. Whenever the railway authorities try to take action against them, politicians interfere and stop the action.
“Several railway accidents have occurred due to non-maintenance of the tracks. We are trying to maintain the tracks to avoid any untoward incident. The railway administration is very serious and concerned about such incidents. People’s safety is our priority but staying close to the track can be very risky. Citizens are requested to cooperate with the railway administration in the smooth operation of the railways,” said Jhawar.
Track maintenance work started
-Work of strengthening the surface of tracks, changing old tracks, signal equipment, track circuit systems, overhead wiring, etc, is being undertaken.
-In the first phase, the work of establishing automatic block signalling systems in the Kamshet-Talegaon section is being carried out.
-The work will be completed by the end of December. In the next phase, work from Talegaon to Pune station will be taken up. It is planned to be completed by March 2018.