Two weeks after alert motormen foiled a suspected sabotage attempt at Diva, a similar incident took place at the track near Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai, when a five feet rail piece placed on the track came in contact with an outstation train.
The incident took place around 7:15 pm on Monday between Kalamboli and Taloja stations. The Pune-Santragachi Express starts from Pune, takes a halt at Kalamboli and Panvel before making its way to Santragachi station in West Bengal.
The motorman of the Pune-Santragachi Express failed to notice the rail piece in the dark, due to which it came in contact with the obstacle.
However, the driver averted a mishap by stopping the locomotive after hearing a screeching sound. The five feet piece had reportedly got stuck to the train’s cowcatcher and got dragged for a few metres.
According to experts, the train could have derailed if the rail piece, which was placed on one side of the track, had been placed across the total width.
After halting the train, the motormen and other staffers removed the rail piece from the track and the train resumed its journey after a 15 minute delay.
“The RPF has enhanced patrolling along railway tracks to prevent a repeat,” said Central Railway’s senior divisional security commissioner Sachin Balode.
Following the incident, an FIR against the unidentified miscreants has been registered at the Kalamboli police station.
“Pieces of rail are dumped along tracks and one was picked up by miscreants and kept on the track 1.5 km from Kalamboli station,” said ACP (Panvel) Prakash Nilewad.
The possibility of sabotage was not ruled out. “A section of the union has been protesting against the Railways over salary issues. There is a possibility that they could have done it,” added Nilewad.
On January 24, the driver of 12052 Janshatabdi Express had also averted a major mishap after spotting a 15 feet rail piece on the track between Diva station and Parsik Tunnel on CR.
The motorman had applied the brakes and stopped a few feet short of the obstacle.
The GRP, who is still investigating the case, has questioned over 150 people in connection. However, it’s been unsuccessful in ascertaining if the incident was a result of negligence or sabotage.
“We are still investigating the case. No arrests have been made yet,” said Samadhan Pawar, Deputy Commissioner of GRP, Central Railway.