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CR to fence segments to curb animal hits on tracks

Dec 26, 2023 06:46 AM IST

Following the death of a bovine on December 25, Railway authorities have commenced the construction of barricades on a four-km stretch of the Byculla-Parel route, with plans to cover a total of 47 km in various patches

MUMBAI: In a bid to mitigate delays caused by animal accidents on the railway tracks, Central Railway (CR) has initiated a comprehensive plan involving the installation of fences and barricades along vulnerable stretches. Following the death of a bovine animal that was struck by the Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat train on December 25, the railway authorities have commenced the construction of barricades on a four-km stretch of the Byculla-Parel route, with plans to cover a total of 47 km in various patches.

Western Railway, on its part, has already completed the installation of a 557-km cattle barrier made of metal fencing on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. (ANI)

“Work on the Byculla-Parel route began a few days ago,” said Shivraj Manaspure, chief PRO of Central Railway. “We are systematically identifying 47 km in segments for the construction of these barricades. Our approach involves a thorough analysis of locations, community education, counselling and the construction of fences to minimise incidents of cattle deaths.” CR will build either cement-concrete walls or metal fencing depending on the need.

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Western Railway, on its part, has already completed the installation of a 557-km cattle barrier made of metal fencing on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. This successful initiative, starting from Virar and extending to Ahmedabad via Surat, is set to be replicated throughout the country.

Addressing the concerns in Mumbai’s suburban section, CR officials noted that cattle intrusions often occurred near slums, areas with dumped garbage, dairy farms alongside the tracks or on green areas that provide pastures to cattle. Officials have directed inspectors to take action under the Railway Act against the owners of animals found on railway premises.

Data from April to November this year reveals 417 cases of cattle being run over on the entire CR network, including the Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur and Bhusawal divisions. In Mumbai alone, there were 70 cases, with hotspots identified on stretches such as Kasu-Nagothane, Apta-Jite and Roha-Nagothane.

During the same period last year, there were 93 cases in Mumbai, contributing to a total of 468 cases across the CR jurisdiction. To address the issue, the general manager of CR recently assessed the impact of cattle accidents, particularly with Vande Bharat trains operating from Mumbai. As a pilot measure, modifications to the pneumatic pipe orientation in Vande Bharat coaches have been implemented to prevent animal entanglement post-collision.

In the latest incident on December 25, the Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat train collided with a bovine animal before Thivim between 12.25 and 12.30 pm. Rail staff promptly disembarked to disentangle the animal, allowing the train to depart for Madgaon by 1 pm. The detached hull of the Vande Bharat train was reportedly secured inside the first coach near the toilet.

Railway’s steps to keep cattle off tracks

* Regular whistle-blowing to scare away animals

* Monitoring food waste disposal to avoid gathering of animals

* Counselling people staying close to railway lines

* Track-cleaning

* Fencing along tracks

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