|The movement of both goods and passenger trains on the Kottavalasa - Kirandul (KK) line is likely to be affected for a couple of months due to extensive damage to the track and a pier of the bridge (No.249) due to boulder fall on the track between Chimidipalli-Borraguhalu on the K-K line.|
Chief Bridge Engineer of the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and team visited the affected site. They looked at the possibility of repairing the pier (pillar) but later felt that rebuilding the pillar was the only option.
“My assessment is that it could take at least three months for rebuilding of the pier. The bridge takes the load of a 25 tonne train and one can imagine the size of the boulder, which fell on the pier, damaging it. I felt as though a large chunk of the mountain got detached and fell on it with full force,” Divisional Railway Manager Mukul Saran Mathur, who visited the spot, told The Hindu on Sunday evening.
“The pillar could be seen slightly bent after the boulder fall. Measures have already been taken to run the freight trains on the Koraput-Rayagada line but given the capacity constraints on that line, I think that not more than 60 % of the affected-freight trains can be moved,” Mr. Mathur said.
He declined to guess on the loss due to disruption of freight traffic, saying it was ‘to premature to talk on the loss’. The priority would be restoration of traffic.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that around nine single rakes, each having 58 wagons, would bring iron ore from the NMDC mines to Visakhapatnam and there would be 12 outgoing empty jumbo (double) rakes on an average every day.
The partial cancellation of the Visakhapatnam – Kirandul Passenger till Araku would hit the tourist traffic, this being the peak tourist season.
The loss due to disruption of freight movement is estimated to be around ₹4 crore a day.
Train no. 58501 Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger, leaving Visakhapatnam on Monday, has been cancelled and 58502, leaving Kirandul on Monday, will be shorted at Koraput. Train no. 08511/12 Visakhapatnam-Jagdalpur-Visakhapatnam special express trains will run on diverted route via Vizianagaram-Rayagada-Koraput in both the directions on October 8, 9 and 10.