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CCTV cameras help avert two rail accidents on Pune-Mumbai ghat section

Late on Wednesday evening, a boulder fell on the railway line at Monkey Hill near Khandala on the Pune-Mumbai rail track, forcing the railway authorities to shut the line till the debris was cleared.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2019 07:29 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune trains,pune local,khandala train mishaps
The installation of the cameras was done for the first time last monsoon and plans are afoot to increase the number of cameras on this section. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

Two railway accidents that could have resulted from minor landslides on the Pune-Mumbai ghat section were averted recently due to timely alerts from CCTV cameras installed along the route.

Late on Wednesday evening, a boulder fell on the railway line at Monkey Hill near Khandala on the Pune-Mumbai rail track, forcing the railway authorities to shut the line till the debris was cleared.

This was the second incident of its kind within a fortnight and the railway authorities were alerted well in advance because of the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Monkey Hill ghat section of the line.

The installation of the cameras was done for the first time last monsoon and plans are afoot to increase the number of cameras on this section.

“This is the second incident this month in this rainy season and thanks to the CCTV cameras, we were able to avert both the accidents. Last year, there were 3 major landslide incidents in which we were able to identify the boulders through CCTV. Prior to that in 2017 when three landslide incidents happened on railway tracks, there were no CCTV cameras at that time. In one of those incidents in August 2017, a heavy boulder fell on the Hubli Express train and three passengers were injured,” said Central Railway senior spokesperson AK Jain.

He said that plans are afoot to increase the number of CCTV cameras by 200 next year so that maximum area can be covered under the CCTV camera range. This is in addition to round-the-clock manual patrolling in the Karjat – Lonavla ghat section.

“Once we get an alert from the CCTV cameras about any object or boulders falling on the tracks, the railway stations nearest to that spot are immediately alerted and the trains running on that route are given a message to stop. Also, in an emergency the power supply to the overhead wires is switched off,” he added.

So far, the Central Railway has installed 48 CCTV cameras in this 12km stretch of Bor Ghat section at 10 sensitive locations between Pune and Mumbai. This is primarily to receive alerts of landslide incidents happening during the rainy season.

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 06:35 IST