After trains new railway network stopped during downpour, commuters want better serviceUpdated: Sep 06, 2019 02:50 IST
Mudslide between Belapur and Targhar led to local services on Belapur-Kharkopar line being suspended for the entire day on Wednesday, affecting more than 7,000 commuters who travel on the route.
While the mudslide took place between 11am and 12pm on Wednesday, services resumed on the corridor only on Thursday morning. This was because the Central Railway (CR) was unable to fix the issue.
This is the first monsoon after the local service was inaugurated last year and commuters said monsoon preparedness was not up to the mark.
AK Jain, senior public relations officer, CR, said, “ The train services were suspended because of mud sliding, which happened as it rained continuously for a day. The track is on an elevated area, hence the soil loosened, resulting in a mudslide. The issue has been fixed and normal services are running on the corridor since Thursday morning.”
Preeti Sawant, 30, an Ulwe resident, said, “As the services didn’t resume even till evening I chose to stay at my friend’s place in Nerul after work. Although it was raining heavily, the railway officials should have assessed the problem and should have been prepared for this.”
Services on the corridor was inaugurated in November 2018.
The new railway network has benefitted many who live in Ulwe.
After the mudslide, all 20 trains that run regularly on the corridor were cancelled.
“Train services in other areas were suspended because they were in low-lying areas and tracks were full of water. Belapur and Kharkopar line though is at a height got affected because of mudslide. The railways should look into it and ensure that such incidents are not repeated,” said Shweta Bahngare, 29, Ulwe resident and regular commuter.
There are two stations between Belapur and Kharkopar — Targhar and Bamandongri.
Owing to the suspension of train services, commuters used Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) buses and autorickshaw to travel. The Belapur-Kharkopar line took 21 years to be completed. The frequency of trains on this line is low, with a train every 30 to 45 minutes.