Mumbai: Central and Western Railway Launch Auto Rain Gauges and Drones Ahead of Monsoon

Mumbai: Central and Western Railway Launch Auto Rain Gauges and Drones Ahead of Monsoon

Western Railway (WR) authorities have implemented 10 new automatic rain gauges (ARG) in the suburban portion of Mumbai. Officials said that four more ARGs will be installed in partnership with the India Meteorological Department (IMD). These gauges will allow WR to have real-time data on rainfall without human intervention. 

WR said that it will also use drones to keep an eye on regions that are susceptible to flooding, including the Borivali-Virar portion of the railway lines. Similarly, Central Railway (CR) has installed two ARGs - one at Igatpuri and one at Lonavala. CR officials said that they have obtained drones and boats in anticipation of the monsoon. 

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Officials explained that the ARGs will notify them of heavy rain while also giving an advance warning of potential waterlogging on railway tracks. Sumit Thakur, Chief Public Relations Officer at WR said, “Through this system, we will be able to monitor rainfall measurement without human intervention, online and on a real-time basis as machines will transmit data directly to our control room.”

Central Railway is also preparing to introduce heavy-duty water pumps starting June 2021 to allow quick draining of stormwater and consequently ensure uninterrupted functioning of railway services. 

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As for preparedness measures, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has trained the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) and the Flood Rescue Team (FRT) of the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Officials said that five mechanized rescue boats have been deployed with strategic positioning bracing for any scenario. 

Chief Public Relations Officer of CR, Shivaji Sutar said, “There will also be drone monitoring by the RPF staff for timely inputs to the control office in case of calamity or heavy rain.”

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