The condition of Bhanwar Tank Rail Tunnel under Bilaspur Railway Zone of Chhattisgarh has become so dilapidated that any major accident can happen here any day. Despite the passage of more than 115 years, this historic tunnel is still being used today. The tunnel built during the British era was made according to the old trains and their sizes. At present, big engines, big bogies and large types of transport vehicles pass through here, due to which the condition of this tunnel is getting worse. In spite of all this, Bilaspur Railway Zone, which earns about Rs 36,000 crore every year only from freight transportation, instead of rectifying this very serious condition, is turning a blind eye and inviting a major accident.
The design of this tunnel, built about 115 years ago, is like a round and big pipe. The rounding must have been made according to the engines and bogies of the trains running at that time. Now hi-tech LHB coaches have arrived, they have started rubbing against the walls of the tunnel on shaking. That’s why trains are taken out of this tunnel at a speed of 10 so that even if the coaches get rubbed, there is no damage. The cables for halogen lights in these tunnels are open from place to place. There is also a danger of the coach hitting the walls of the tunnel that if the coach collides and comes in contact with the open wire, then the current can also spread.
331 meter long tunnel built 115 years ago, very important and the highest in the state
On the oldest route of trains going from Raipur to Katni i.e. North India, there are high hills and very dense forest between Bilaspur to Pendra. On this railway track, about 5 km away from Bhanvartank station, on the down line, the very important and 331 meter long tunnel built at the highest point in the state, built 115 years ago, has now started cracking. The walls of the tunnel made of bricks are showing cracks, the plaster has started falling off.
Due to being more than 100 years old, now the bricks of the tunnel have started dissolving.
Old bricks have started dissolving in many places. Due to being old, the size of this tunnel is also not sufficient for new LHB coaches. Due to dilapidation, the railway has started taking trains out of this tunnel at a speed of 10-15 km per hour, so that there is no danger.
In 1966, during the doubling of the line, a second tunnel was built here on the up line. Its age is 59 years less than the old tunnel and the length is 109 meters more (total 441 meters). The new tunnel is so straight that it is visible through. Due to this, the condition of the tunnel is much better than the other tunnel and to make it even better, a proper proposal has been prepared by the railway administration. But such negligence for this historic and more than 100 years old tunnel is beyond comprehension.
(Input: Manish Sharan)