Imphal, March 15: Always ready with innovative ways to protect the environment, the Indian Railway has once again swayed its magic wand in the state of Manipur. Taking a major step towards preventing the Ijei River from pollution during the construction of a railway line, the Indian Railway has come up with a unique initiative to produce bricks from the waste soil that is usually being dumped in the river during construction.
Indian Railways is making continuous efforts to live up to the expectations of the villagers residing near the Ijei River in Manipur. At a facility located alongside the Ijei River in Noney, thousands of bricks are being constructed every day which is subsequently helping railways in its secondary projects, that is to bring in an effective cost-cutting method.
This task, initiated by the government, was taken up in the wake of the locals expressing their displeasure after railways used the flowing streams of water to dispose of soil that was excavated during the course of construction of the line. Gautam Singh, the DY Chief engineer explained, “As we started the cutting of fuel during the construction we were not able to find a spot to dump the waste. This was the main problem in the hill areas of Manipur as rivers are getting polluted. So we took the decision to adopt this measure”. The residents residing would intake water directly from the river which affected their health.
Construction of the railway lines, through hilly terrain, ended up dislodging and excavating a lot of soil that can't be dumped in streams and rivers as many villagers depend on the water bodies. Making bricks out of it solves the issue of excess soil and potential water pollution. 3000 bricks are being produced in eight hours as a part of the process. The bricks constructed here are used for various constructions and maintenance works of the Railways, like pitching of slopes, building embankment staircases and drain-linings.
The Railways decided to convert waste soil into traditional bricks, to be used in its construction project of the 111 km line to provide Imphal rail connectivity, scheduled for completion by 2020. The track is to have 47 tunnels, covering a distance of 63.2 km, and 131 bridges.
The construction of bricks has helped the railways in saving money too. Earlier the Railways would buy traditional bricks from factories and transport them to the site which used to be a costly affair. The experiments were conducted by NIT Silchar in their lab which led to a successful formula, the conversion of unused soil into bricks.