Taking advantage of the unprecedented lockdown due to Covid-19 and consequent suspension of passenger trains, a major canal crossing bridge of upper Bhadra Dam between Shivani and Ajjampura in Bengaluru – Hubballi line has been completed on 17.06.2020. The work of canal crossing was planned and carried out by Mysuru division of South Western Railway (SWR) under the leadership of Smt. Aparna Garg, DRM/Mysuru.
- The major work canal crossing for construction of precast RCC twin box and insertion by Box Pushing Method was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 14.72 Crore as a deposit work by the State Government of Karnataka.
- This was necessary to supply water to the districts of Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Tumakuru and Davanagere.
- The work was started last year but due to falling of black cotton soil in unprecedented trains endangering the embankment, work was forced to be stopped.
Shri Suresh Angadi, Hon’ble MOSR has taken keen initiative on request of Shri Narayana Swamy, Hon’ble MP, Chitradurga, and elected representatives of the region and advised South Western Railway to complete the work in the shortest possible time before the monsoons to help in irrigation of land which was livelihood of farmers of this region.
- The work was first proposed to be taken up by suspending train services on this line.
- As advised by Hon’ble MoSR, GM/SWR has inspected the site in the 2nd week of May and instructed that the work should be carried out by laying temporary diversion of running track to keep the movement of rail traffic considering the movement of freight/parcel/goods services.
- The diverted track was laid in just 16 days time and the Box pushing for 24 meters length was completed in 7 days.
- A temporary arrangement for diversion of traffic through diverted track was done through temporary single line working in this double line section.
- Both lines were re-commissioned in 3 days.
- Engineering Branch officers of Mysuru division, Shri Ravichandran, Sr.DEN/Co-rd and Shri Venkat Rao, Sr.DEN/N have been instrumental in completing the work in time.
- Shri A. K. Singh, General Manager (GM), SWR informed that in the challenging circumstances too, Railway staff have worked on war footing basis and could complete the canal crossing below railway track for flow of water from upper Bhadra dam.
The canal crossing below railway track will facilitate water from Bhadra dam to the four districts of Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Tumakuru and Davanagere. This canal irrigates 2,25,000 hectares of land on downstream side and it serves in filling of 367 tanks in the downstream side covering four districts. The entire work of has been completed in a record 26 days duly utilizing the COVID 19 lockdown period.
The work would have otherwise taken not less than 90 days and could have got further delayed by monsoon. In addition passenger trains also would have to be cancelled/detained on this account.
Source: South Western Railway-Press Release