The week started on a stressful note for officegoers in the city, as they had to battle a technical glitch on the western railway (WR) and showers, along with the usual Monday blues.
The WR services on all four suburban lines between Churchgate and Bandra stations were thrown out of gear for almost an hour owing to a problem in the power supply at 11.20am, which the authorities blamed on the theft of batteries from their Mahim sub-station.
Commuters panicked as they heard a loud noise and saw electric sparks in the overhead wire circuit between Dadar and Elphinstone Road stations. At least 60 services were cancelled and more than 100 delayed till late evening.
This is the second major disruption on the city’s lifeline in the past one month.
Last month, all services on the six lines between Ghatkopar and Vikhroli stations on the central railway (CR) were disrupted owing to a similar issue, hassling lakhs of commuters.
Commuter groups are angry with the callous approach of the authorities. “There was an issue with the power supply, the day the rains arrived in the city,” said Subhash Gupta, a commuter activist.
“Eighteen batteries were stolen from the Mahim sub-station, so there was no back-up supply to the circuit. Consequently, the overhead wire could not be charged,” said a press release issued by the western
“The railway protection force and government railway police is looking into the incident,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson of WR.
The WR officials and technicians restored the power supply at 12.10pm.
With no trains, many commuters took to the tracks. Some decided to take the public transport, but the rain and traffic snarls only added to their struggle.
“A Churchgate-bound train was suddenly cancelled at Bandra station, without any announcement,” said Deepak Rakshe, a Malad resident.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) operated 35 extra
buses for commuters stuck owing to train disruption between the island city and the western suburbs.