This monsoon, travelling in the local train on Central Railway (CR) is likely to be a trying task, especially between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Ghatkopar.
Even though the CR allotted at least Rs 1 crore for cleaning and widening the drains along this stretch, expect flooding along the tracks if it rains heavily.
The CR has started pre-monsoon work along the tracks by way of cleaning nullahs, removing the silt and widening them wherever possible. However this process, which usually starts from April 1, began a week late on April 5.
“If there is heavy rain, the stretch between CST and Ghatkopar will continue to flood all through the monsoon season because this stretch is mostly low-lying,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity. “The tracks on the stretch beyond Ghatkopar are new and therefore are much higher than the nullahs. There will be no flooding there.”
The stations most affected will be Kurla, Sion, Matunga, Dadar, Parel, Chinchpokli and Masjid Bunder. Kurla will be the worst affected because the Mithi river runs through it. Whenever the river overflows, it leaves no space for rain water to drain out.
“Even with nullahs, there isn’t much scope for widening them because the tracks become narrower as they move towards CST,” said the CR official.
In the first week of April, there was a pre-monsoon meeting between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and CR.
BMC agreed to pay for cleaning the nullahs and culverts on the railway premises and allocated Rs 59 lakh for the city and Rs 68 lakh for eastern suburbs. The railways, however, are confident of completing the work before the rains arrive. “We are sure of completing pre-monsoon work by May 31,” said CR Chief Public Relation Officer, S. Mudgerikar.
The CR asked for dewatering pumps from the BMC, to place them in areas prone to water logging. There are more than 30 culverts up to Kalyan that need at least 50 dewatering pumps to drain the water out during heavy rains.