Hubballi (Karnataka) [India], May 16 (ANI): The South Western Railway (SWR) is all prepared for Cyclone Tauktae as its coastal area may witness heavy rainfall, said an official on Sunday.
All Heads of Departments have been instructed by General Manager Gajanan Mallya to take measures to prevent loss to life and railway property. The frontline staff has also been instructed so that safe train operations are maintained.
The Disaster Control Cell at SWR Headquarters has been activated and an interdisciplinary team of Officers from various departments is manning the cell while monitoring the evolving situation closely on a 24x7 basis.
"The weather bulletins issued from India Meteorological Department (IMD) are monitored and weather warnings are disseminated in a timely manner to alert Station Masters, Trackmen, Engineers, Electrical and Signal/Telecom maintenance staff. All frontline staff have been alerted and sensitised to take all necessary precautions as per the Disaster Management Manual in anticipation of the heavy to very heavy rain owing to Cyclone Tauktae," Mallya said.
In the Hubballi division, both day and night monsoon patrolling has been stepped up in the coastal and Ghat Section (Vasco da Gama, Kulem-Castle Rock) as per norms.
SWR Headquarters have also deployed men at stations to attend to the falling of trees, earth, or boulders at locations and to clear the track immediately. All the bridges and susceptible locations in the jurisdiction of SWR are being worked out by the Engineering department and are also being frequently patrolled.
Mysuru division has been provided with 33 monsoon reserve wagons, while 30 wagons were provided to Hubballi division. Earth moving equipment (JCB, Hitachi) is also kept on standby for emergencies. One full rake Ballast train is also ready at Londa station. Released Sleepers are available at various spots in Ghat Sections.
Mallya has also stated that the frontline teams of Electrical technicians have been mobilised, and are on alert in various sections of the SWR zone to attend to Osthannoversche Eisenbahnen AG (OHE) failures, snapping of electrical wires and poles due to gusty wind arising from the cyclone.
The staff of the Railway Protection Force and trackmen of the Engineering Department are on alert and are monitoring vulnerable locations in their respective sections.
Trains will also be cancelled, if necessary, to prevent loss to life and property, based on weather warning reports and the prevailing situation. Close liaison is being maintained with the State Meteorological Department and adjoining Railway zones in managing the situation, said Mallya.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Administrator of Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli to assess the preparedness of States and Central ministries to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone Tauktae.
The incoming cyclone intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over the east-central Arabian Sea and is very likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday morning. (ANI)