Safety audit: 1K trees pruned, axed

South Western Railway (SWR) authorities, who often take up safety audit, find one common threat in trees alongside railway tracks. In the last six months, 1,000 such trees have been identified and have been pruned and axed, depending on the requirement, according to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rajkumar Lal.

Answering to media queries at his office on Friday, the DRM, who had recently conducted the audit, said in the last six months, 40 per cent of the trees identified as threat to safety of trains and passengers were either pruned or cut.

Lal said while the railway authorities are vested with powers to prune the trees on their own, in the case of cutting the rickety trees, the Forest Department will be approached to take up suitable action.

More such vulnerable trees were identified on Arsikere-Tumakuru route where 400 such trees were found followed by Talaguppa and Birur routes. As and when the trees are identified, they are painted and numbered.

On the other hand, afforestation activities are also taken up by planting saplings in different places, said Lal.

Lal reasoned most of the trees are 55 years old that have grown big, adjacent to railway tracks in most of the routes.

While on the signal front, that constitute another major safety aspect, there has been rarely any failure, claimed Lal, crediting the ground level supervisors and staff for it. As a result, on an average, three to four failures are reported, but still negligible when compared to other divisions.

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