Konkan Railway Trackman Old Papers | 56956

 

Konkan Railway Trackman Old Papers:

Drawing up their plans in an office, E. Sreedharan's team had yet to realise what kind of terrain they would have to battle, and though some surveys had been conducted, there was no data for the entire stretch in Maharashtra – a route which involved half the length of the line. Besides, the task was formidable. With a total number of over 2,000 bridges and 91 tunnels to be built through this mountainous terrain containing many rivers, it was the biggest and perhaps the most difficult railway engineering project on the Indian subcontinent at the time.

There were challenges posed by the terrain and the elements. Flash floods, landslides and tunnel collapses affected work at many places on the project. The region was also thickly forested, and construction sites were often plagued by wild animals. Despite these problems, work on the project continued, and an effective system of decentralisation enabled better efficiency. The entire stretch of 740 kilometres (460 mi) was divided into seven sectors - Mahad, Ratnagiri, Kudal, Panaji, Karwar, Udupi - of approximately 100 km each, headed by a Chief Engineer.

Contracts for the project were awarded to some of the biggest and most reputed construction firms in India, including Larsen & Toubro, Gammon India and AFCONS. To enable quicker construction, several innovative practices were adopted. Piers for major bridges were cast on the riverbanks itself and launched using cranes mounted on pontoons.The technique of incremental launching of bridge spans was used for the first time in India. Since it would take too long to complete the project using locally available tunnelling technology, nine hydraulic tunnelling machines were imported from Sweden in order to bore through the hard rock of the Sahayadris. The biggest challenge, however, came from the nine tunnels that had to be bored through soft soil.

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