Mumbai, Jan 25 (PTI) To prevent cattle run-over incidents, the Western Railway (WR) has commenced work of erecting metal barriers along the more than 620-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad trunk route, its chief spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Sumit Thakur, chief spokesperson of WR, told PTI that the work of erecting metal beam fencing on the busy route has commenced on the Ankleshwar-Bharuch section under the Vadodara division and it is going on in full swing.
After multiple cattle hit incidents involving the prestigious Vande Bharat Express between Mumbai and Gandhinagar, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 30 last year, WR had decided to install metal fences along the route to stop animals from straying onto the tracks.
Thakur said the metal fencing will cover a length of 622 km and the entire project will cost Rs 245.26 crore.
“In all eight tenders have been awarded and the fencing work is progressing in full swing. The work is expected to be completed in the next 4 to 5 months,” the WR chief spokesperson said.
Once completed, the project will help in preventing cattle run-over incidents and ensure smooth movement of trains, he said.
According to the Mumbai-headquartered WR, they are using guardrails made of steel instead of building concrete walls for the fencing work.
The fencing is very robust as it consists of two W-beams that stand for wide flanges, which are thicker, that aid in resisting bend stress, it said.
Such fencing is used alongside highways and expressways, especially at accident-prone areas, to provide protection to vehicles as well as pedestrians, the Railway administration pointed out.
WR said cattle run over incidents adversely affect rail operations, increase the possibility of accidents and cause loss to Railway property. Such incidents also endanger the lives of cattle and cause financial loss to their owners.
Thakur said in the meantime, Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel under the Mumbai Division have identified vulnerable locations and carried out frequent awareness and sensitization campaigns to prevent cattle hit incidents.
“Besides, RPF has conducted meetings with sarpanches of all villages located in the vicinity of railway tracks,” Thakur said.
Western Railway has appealed to cattle owners and grazers to not let their domesticated animals come near the railway tracks. PTI KK RSY RSY