In an alarming development that raises serious concern over the quality of railway construction in Manipur and safety concern, the newly constructed broad gauge line track No 1 of the North East Frontier Railway’s Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal line at Khongsang railway station was found sinking, posing great danger to travellers.
A stretch of at least 50 metre was found sinking while around 70 metres wide halfmoon shape crack was found on the ground affecting track No 1 and 2, towards Tupul side at around 550 to 600 metre from Khongsang railway station.
The Tribeni Construction Limited team led by one engineer Surojit Ojha has been working to fix the sinking railway track portion.
Speaking to the media, Surojit Ojha expressed concern and warned that the situation might worsen if there is heavy rainfall for three to four days.
It may be mentioned that the place receive heavy rainfall during the rainy season, which begins as early as April/May in this rainforest region, and landslides caused by heavy rains are common.
At least 2.6 feet sank from the normal line and in order to control further sinking, the construction company is making sand beds down the hillock, he added.
Responding to media queries, the site engineer said that the construction company is making layers of loose soil/mud rolled over to harden the layers by roller machines.
When queried, Khongsang Railway Station manager Sinreap Gangmei said that the railway track sank on April 14 and travellers have been facing great inconveniences.
He said that since the commissioning of the Khongsang railway station in October 2022, no maintenance has been sanctioned. Toilets, urinals and station areas remain unhygienic without any maintenance, he said, adding that he spends from his pocket cleaning the surroundings and toilet blocks from time to time. The staff quarters constructed are also substandard, he added.
The Khonsang railway station manager also mentioned that acute shortage of staff is another main issue at Khongsang railway station, Thingou station and Oinamlong sub-station.
Speaking to a local news channel, Sangrung (Khongsang) village railway welfare association president Guanglinlung Phaomei said that their members have been voluntarily conducting cleaning of the station due to the dirty condition.
The association was formed to look after the station to lead and guide the passengers if required and to maintain cleanliness in the station, and bring development to the village, the president said.
If any passengers require any help, he or she could reach out to him on his mobile No 8413928254, he added.
The association president also appealed to all passengers or travellers to help in maintaining cleanliness at Khongsang railway station.