Indian Railways has geared up its entire machinery in a big way to ensure and manage smooth and safe railway operations in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’.
The Railways, as part of preparedness for cyclone-related disaster management, has set up an emergency control cell at the Divisional/HQ level with officers from operations, commercial, engineering, electrical, signal/telecommunication and security branches in each shift, to monitor round the clock and take necessary action in connection with train operations.
War room at board level has also been activated and monitoring of all locations is being done round the clock. Safety counsellors in each shift are also nominated to assist with the emergency control.
Additionally, all field officers are available as directed by officials. The officers manning the emergency control have been directed to liaison with the field officers and supervisors for smooth train operations and to keep a close watch on the movement of the cyclone and forecast issued by IMD and plan for train operations accordingly.
Health Unit, Chennai Division has also geared up its disaster management action plan and formed two teams.
Team A, including doctors and other on-duty staff, are expected to board the self-propelled accident relief train (SPART) at the platform as soon as the message arrives and will report to the officer in-charge at the disaster/accident spot and start the relief work.
Team B will report casualty and a part of the Team B will proceed by road. Remaining will stay back to inform all concerned, maintain communication with medical team A, chief medical service office, to inform local railway hospitals, the railway hospital in Perambur and local private hospitals for emergency preparedness.
Southern Railway and other concerned zones have also issued a list of general instructions and emergency contact numbers for the masses in case of any exigency.
Phone numbers of railway officials, medical teams, emergency vehicles, commercial control for public enquiry, tower wagon drivers along with list of DG sets, pumps, submersible sewage pumps etc. are available at various stations.
Water logging prone locations have also been identified and various corrective actions have been taken at all such locations.
— The main focus should be on prevention of loss of life and on minimising the damage to railway assets. For this, if essential, all train operations, both passenger and freight, on the target section can be suspended in consultation with HQ.
— Cyclone will be preceded/accompanied by incessant rains. ln sections where trains are to be run inspite of incessant rains, monsoon patrolling should be ensured.
— The resources need to be kept ready, fully fuelled up and with full complement of tools, spares, accessories and rations.
— Adequate number of breakdown staff of track, traction and signal and telecommunications to be kept prepared to attend to restoration work.
— All DG sets needed for power supply to signals, stations and other vital installations/offices, should be kept prepared with fuel stocks for enabling 72 hours of continuous running with arrangements for running longer if required kept ready.
— Sufficient number of diesel locos, fully fueled up, to be kept ready for facilitating movement of trains required for attending to emergencies.
— As soon as the threat of the cyclone is apparent, all LC gates in the cyclone prone sections to be kept with booms lowered, to prevent damage to the booms. For this, it is essential that the concerned district collectors be kept informed so that traffic using these LC gates can be appropriately regulated/diverted.
— Hoardings/banners in the vicinity of stations, as well as in the vicinity of the track in the mid-section to be removed wherever feasible.
— Colonies to be kept a watch on by officers/officials to assess the need for evacuation and arranging appropriate relief. Divisional Railway Manager to nominate officials for this purpose. A supervisor should be deployed at such locations to ensure that while basic comfort of the residents at these locations is ensured.
— Information should be given in time to the passengers in the event of cancellation/partial cancellation/rescheduling/diversion of trains.
— lt should be ensured by evening of one day prior to the expected landfall of the cyclone that in tall isolated structures like OHE masts on bridges/S&T towers/lighting masts, all anchor bolts are fully tightened. lf required additional guy wires can be provided.
— A closer watch to be kept on locations which faced maximum damage during the previous cyclones.
— High rise buildings all along the anticipated zone of impact are vulnerable to damage and actions like closing of all windows, removal of hoardings in the vicinity etc., may be ensured by evening of one day prior to the expected landfall of the cyclone.
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