Central Railway (CR) General Manager Subodh Jain blames the lack of open spaces in the city for flooding of tracks in suburban section.
Flooding of tracks during the rains is a perennial problem in the city. How does CR plan to tackle it this monsoon?
The flood-prone areas change every year depending on the pattern of constructions in the city. Flooding in the city depends on the level of tides. The water flow reverses during high tide, which causes floods in the city and on the railway tracks. Conversely, during low tide, the rain and drain water flows out smoothly into the sea.
What is the connection between construction in the city and flooding on the tracks?
As construction in the city is increasing, the open spaces are reducing. The open spaces used to act as buffer during high tide and would hold back rain water. However, they are vanishing and even roads are concretised so their level is increasing. Therefore, the only low-level open space available in the city is railway tracks, where the water fills up.
Irrespective of the odds what are the measures taken by CR to ensure smooth functioning of the trains?
One round of cleaning is already complete and the second is in progress. Plastic debris and scrap in the railway premises have been removed. This is a continuous process. After the first big shower, we will conduct the cleaning process again. Water level indicators are repainted in red, yellow and green to clearly show the water measurement. Motormen operate the train at normal speed if the water level is green, slow down if it is yellow, and stop when it reaches red.
Have any measures been taken to drain out the flood water?
In six locations, 36 pumps are being deployed (15 by MCGM and 21 by railways) to prevent water logging. These pumps will be manned round the clock. Track lifting has been also carried out at some locations. Around 450 unauthorised encroachments have also been removed from the railway area, which could have led to water logging. At stations prone to heavy flooding such as Kurla, we have also installed a digital axle counter (DAC) as a back-up for the signalling system.