The Indian Railways turned the COVID-19 induced lockdown into an opportunity and completed over 200 pending maintenance works of critical importance.
Following the nationwide lockdown, the railways had suspended passenger train services on March 25. This gave the Railways a chance to complete pending maintenance works, including yard remodelling, repair and re-girdering of old bridges, doubling and electrification of rails and renewal of scissor crossovers.
"Such projects were taken up during the lockdown, considering it once in a lifetime opportunity to execute them without affecting the train service," the Railway Ministry said.
It added that these projects were pending for several years and often presented as bottlenecks.
The maintenance ranged from the rebuilding of 82 bridges, building 48 limited height road under bridges to replace level crossing gates, construction or strengthening of 16-foot overbridges, dismantling of 14 old foot overbridges (FOBs), launching of 7 road overbridges, 5-yard remodelling, commissioning of doubling of one project and 26 other projects.
On May 21, the railways completed yard modification work in Jolarpetti in the Chennai Division, which helped ease out curve, enhance the speed up to 60 km per hour and facilitated simultaneous reception and dispatch, it said. In addition, on May 5, it dismantled old unsafe FOB at Ludhiana.
The Ministry said that the dismantling of this 135-meter abandoned FOB over 19 tracks and seven-passenger platforms was due since 2014.
While re-girdering work of bridge on Tunga river in the Mysuru division was completed on May 3, dismantling of an unsafe deck of Kopar Road ROB near Dombivali in the Mumbai division was completed on April 30.