Mumbai local train services resume after 15 hours
Local train services on Central Railway (CR) completely resumed for passengers on Thursday, after around 15 hours.
Public transport including local train services was disrupted owing to heavy rainfall on Wednesday in the city. Around 700 CR staff including railways engineers, pointsmen, train operating staff, Railway Protection Force (RPF), commercial staff and Government Railway Police (GRP) worked to resume local trains.
Train services on the harbour line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Vashi railway stations were suspended initially at 10.20am on Wednesday, due to waterlogging at Chunabhatti railway stations.
Train service between CSMT and Wadala railway stations resumed in the evening, but the services remained suspended between Wadala and Mankhurd railway stations due to waterlogging on the railway tracks.
Train services between CSMT and Vashi resumed only at 1.10am on Thursday.
“Even as heavy rains stopped in the evening on Wednesday, the water on the railway tracks was not receding. Despite using water pumps, many of which were not working properly, we had to wait for nearly five hours for the water levels to go down and trains could be operated safely,” said a senior CR official who did not want to be named.
Similarly, train services on CR mainline were also disrupted between CSMT and Thane on Wednesday due to waterlogging between Sion and Kurla railway stations.
“Services are running smoothly on all four suburban sections of Central Railway including main line, harbour line, trans harbour line and Belapur/Nerul-Kharkopar section on Thursday. Due to waterlogging near Kurla, Sion, Chunabhatti due to heavy rains and high tide on Wednesday, services on CSMT-Thane and Vashi section were suspended for a few hours in view of the safety of passengers,” said a statement from Central Railway.
Union railway minister Piyush Goyal took a monsoon review meeting via video conference on Thursday evening. Goyal reviewed the monsoon preparedness of both the Central and Western Railway.
“While reviewing the preparedness of the suburban railways , the minister advised the railways to partner with Institutions like IIT-Bombay to study the efficiency of technical and civil work initiatives of railways in handling monsoon rains. Drones were used for survey and monitoring of cleaning of nullah in Borivli-Virar section and suction/de-sludging machines were used to ensure deep cleaning of culverts,” stated a PIB release.
Passenger associations have, however, questioned the monsoon preparations carried out by the railways and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). “Monsoon has just started and in the first rainfall all the claims of BMC and railways were washed away. Local train services were suspended for more than 15 hours only on the first day of rain. If this is the situation and the blame game between BMC and railways continues then the passengers will have to suffer throughout monsoon,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.