The Railway Board has cancelled 19 trains and diverted routes of seven after a mines fire reached close to tracks in the Dhanbad-Chandrapur segment, making it unsafe for use. The railway line in Jharkhand is being closed down from June 15 in view of a underground mines fire, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Dhanbad, Manoj Krishna Akhori, said today.
The Board has also suspended movement of goods train, including loading of coal at nine sidings, on the 34-km long Dhanbad-Chandrapura segment under the East Central Railway. The Railway Board on June 10 had declared the Chandrapura railway line “unsafe” due to its closeness to the Jharia mines fire.
The declaration came on the recommendations of the Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS). According to DGMS reports, 14 km out of 34 km long track are in the area affected by the mines fire. The DGMS had stated in its reports that the land around the coalfield has finally started caving in, and public utility assets, including the age-old railway tracks are no longer safe.
Akhori said a total of 26 trains are running on the line and as per the directives of the Board 19 trains have been cancelled while routes of seven have been diverted through Gomoh station. “We have sent a proposal to the Railway Board for an alternative route project as recommended by RITES in 2015”, the DRM said.
He said if the Board as well as the Ministry of Railways passes the alternative routes it would take four to five years to complete the project. “Mine fire has reached near the track. For safety of passengers we used to check fire status on every 10 metres per day. However, when the DGMS said it is dangerous then risk cannot be taken,” he said.
The seven trains which have been diverted are the Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express, Gorakhpur-Ranchi Mourya Express, Dhanbad-Alappuza Alleppey Express, Howrah- Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express, Patna–Hatia Patliputra Express, Dumka- Ranchi Inter City and Dhanbad- Ranchi Intercity Express, Akhori said.
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The DRM said the trains that have been cancelled are Ranchi-Bhagalpur Vananchal Express, Ranchi-Jayanagar Express, Ranchi- Howrah Intercity Express, Dhanbad- Bhubaneswar Garib Rath, Ranchi–Bhaghalpur Express, Ranchi-Kamakhya Express, Darbhaga-Secundrabad Express, Ranchi-New Jalpaiguri Express, Hyderabad- Raxaul, Bhopal–Howrah Express, Kolkata- Ahmedabad Express, Kolkata Ajmer Express, Surat-Malda Express.
The other six trains cancelled are Muri-Dhanbad, Chandrapura-Bhojudih, Howrah–Bokaro, Ranchi-Dhanbad, Chandrapura-Dhanbad, Jhargram-Dhanbad, the DRM said.