WR : Lower Parel Workshop Adopts Drone Technology For Disinfection As Part Of Monsoon Precautions

Keeping pace with modern technology, W. Rly has added another feather to its cap by adopting Drone technology at Lower Parel Workshop for keeping a tab on susceptible areas infested with various vectors and disinfecting such areas which are beyond the reach of human eyes & hands. This has helped to keep the diseases at bay and has ensured to provide a safe & healthy working environment to the staff engaged in the daily maintenance work of coaches. Shri Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Rly has appreciated this innovative application of drone technology and has congratulated Shri Tarun Huria – Chief Workshop Manager of Lower Parel & his team of co-ordinators consisting of Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineers – Shri D.N. Gangwar and Shri Arun Kumar Singh as well as the concerned employees & workers for this commendable work.

The Lower Parel Workshop is geographically situated in one of the low lying areas of Mumbai and always faces the problem of water logging during monsoon season. Hence, Lower Parel Workshop adopts a systematic approach every year to maintain cleanliness and hygienic conditions inside the workshop premises which includes priority work such as cleaning of roof top, valley gutters, down take pipes, drainage line & complete yard. Also, to avoid accumulation of water, heavy duty pumps are installed to remove water from pit lines and the materials kept out of the shed are covered with waterproof tarpaulin sheets. With the onset of the monsoons, another most important factor which needs attention is to prevent transmission of vector-borne diseases by effectively controlling the mosquito vectors or interrupting the human–vector contact, especially in the wake of the current Corona virus pandemic. Spraying the right insecticide at the right time can control the larvae and adult population.

Normally, all shops and sections are disinfected by spraying liquid pesticides & fogging using hand operated sprayer. However, it has certain limitations as it does not cover elevated areas such roof top, etc. In order to overcome this difficulty, in a first-of-its-kind-effort, Carriage Repair Workshop teamed up with BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to carry out large-scale drone disinfection of inaccessible mosquito-breeding spots in the Workshop premises, since the last week of June 2020, to eliminate vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Speaking about this technology, Shri Tarun Huria – Chief Workshop Manager of Lower Parel said that this Aerial Microbial Disinfection is being used for the first time in the railway workshop for the disinfection of mosquito breeding and other vector-borne diseases in areas that are usually inaccessible, such as the roof of the sheds and buildings and valley gutters.

Two drones are used for the attack. The strategy involves employing one drone to carefully survey the inaccessible breeding spots and the other drone to spray the disinfectant. The drones carry out disinfection of the entire Workshop premises by flying to the inaccessible places as high as 500m, spraying over 15 litres of disinfectant for nearly 12 hours every day. The disinfectants being employed are also effective against 65 strains of virus, 400 strains of bacteria, and over 100 strains of fungi. The effort has brought in much-needed relief in the control of mosquito larvae and adult population for the Workshop staff and those residing in the vicinity. The entire activity is video recorded to ensure that all inaccessible breeding spots have been covered. Such a technological approach for disinfection using drones has been employed for the first time, not only in the history of Western Railway but in fact over the entire Indian Railways.

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