New Delhi: Turning the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic into an opportunity, the Indian Railways cleared the backlog of 200 projects of critical importance in key sections.
The railways suspended passenger train services on March 25 and that allowed it the chance to complete pending maintenance works, including yard remodelling, repair and re-girdering of old bridges, doubling and electrification of rails and renewal of scissor crossovers.
According to the Railway Ministry, these projects were pending for several years and often presented as bottlenecks. These maintenance works also required long stoppage of traffic. "Such projects were take up during the lockdown, considering it once in a lifetime opportunity to execute them without affecting the train service," the Ministry said.
The works included, rebuilding of 82 bridge, building 48 limited height road under bridge to replace level crossing gates, construction or strengthening of 16 foot overbridges, dismantling of 14 old foot overbridges (FOBs), launching of 7 road overbridges, five yard remodelling, commissioning of doubling of one project and 26 other projects.
The railways said it completed yard modification work in Jolarpetti in the Chennai Division on May 21, which helped ease out curve, enhance the speed up to 60 kmph and facilitated simultaneous reception and dispatch. It also dismantled old unsafe FOB at Ludhinana on May 5.
"Dismantling of this 135-meter abandoned FOB over 19 tracks and seven passenger platforms was due since 2014," the Ministry said.
Work of re-girdering of bridge on Tunga river in the Mysuru division was completed on May 3. Dismantling of unsafe deck of Kopar Road ROB near Dombivali in the Mumbai division was completed on April 30.