Landslide halts rail traffic on K-K line

Ch.R.S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 09, 2017

Massive boulder damages bridge

Rail traffic on the Kottavalasa-Kirandul line connecting Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh is likely to remain disrupted for a couple of months because of the extensive damage caused to the track and the pier of a bridge following a landslide between Chimidipalli and Borraguhalu. The area experienced heavy rain last weekend.

Iron ore from Bailadilla mines in Chhattisgarh is brought to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant on this line. It also carries tourists to the picturesque Araku valley in the Visakhapatnam district.

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 felt that rebuilding the pillar was the only option. The pillar was damaged by a huge boulder during the landslide.

“My assessment is that it could take at least three months for rebuilding of the pier. 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, said on Sunday.

“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 per cent of the affected-freight trains can be moved,” Mathur said.

He declined to hazard a guess on the loss due to disruption of freight traffic, saying it was “premature to talk on the loss.” The priority would be on restoration of traffic.

Around nine single rakes, each having 58 wagons, 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 will 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.

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Published on October 09, 2017
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