Unprecedented rainfall had occurred in the districts of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin during the 24 hours from 08:30 hours of 17-12-2023 to 08:30 hours of 18-12-2023 measuring in the range of 670 mm to 932 mm. This has impacted the train operation as track parameters have been breached on certain sections falling in these two districts and as result traffic has to be suspended. The details are laid out below:
·In the section between Talaiyuthu and Gangaikondan (7.71 kms) earth slip had occurred on the approach bank of a bridge in that section and ballast had also got washed away.
·Tirunelveli Station yard has got flooded due to overflowing of Nainarkulam tank.
·In Tuticorin station yard the water has risen one meter above the rail level due to abnormal rainfall
·In the section between Tattapparai and Milavittan (7.47 kms) the water has gone above danger level across nine bridges
·In the section between Srivaikuntam and Seydunganallur (12.16 kms) the ballast has got washed away.
Steps for Restoration:
The Engineering wing of the Railway in co-ordination with other departments is moving all the materials required for restoration and will keep them in readiness for early restoration of traffic in the above affected sections as soon as the rainfall reduces and water level recedes.
Restoration of traffic in the affected sections between Talaiyuthu and Gangaikondan of Tirunelveli – Madurai main line is expected to be restored by tomorrow evening. The restoration work in the branch lines of Tiruchendur and Tirunelveli, Maniyachchi and Tuticorin would resume after receding of water and complete assessment.
Measures for evacuation of Stranded passengers:
On account of suspension of traffic between Srivaikuntam and Seydunganallur, in the Tiruchendur – Tirunelveli Section, the Train no: 20606 Tiruchendur – Chennai Egmore Chendur Express, which had departed from Tiruchendur at 20:25 hours of 17-12-2023, was terminated at Srivaikuntam station, 33 kms from the Tiruchendur Station, at 21.19 hours.
There were around 800 passengers in that train. At 01.30 hrs on 18.12.23, with the assistance of District administration around 300 stranded passengers from thestationwere shifted to nearby Govt. School using 4 state transport buses and 2 mini vans for transport. Further transportation of 500 stranded passengers was not possible due to overflowing of bridge en-route.
NDRF team from Tuticorin was moved by road to Srivaikutam station, but they have been held up en-route due to heavy flooding and breaching of roads.
Southern Railway has reached out to both NDRF and State government officials to extend maximum assistance in evacuation of this passengers. Supply of food and water to all the stranded passengers remains the top priority now. Food packets have been supplied to 200 passengers in the school by the State Police. Also for 100 passengers stranded in the station food was provided by the local people..
Helicopter carrying 2 tonnes of relief materials left Sulur air base but could not make the drop due to adverse weather conditions, poor light and has now moved to Madurai. The helicopter will make its drop tomorrow morning at daybreak.
Every attempt is being made by Railways and State Government to access Srivaikuntam Railway Station with food, water and temporary lighting arrangements.
Railway administration is mobilizing adequate road vehicles for evacuation of these passengers tomorrow morning to the nearest railway station from where they will betaken by a convenient special train to Chennai.
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