2,500 CCTVs, extra staff to help WR manage crowds in monsoon
This monsoon, Western Railway (WR) will carry out “live, constant monitoring” of the passenger flow at crucial platforms and railway stations using 2,500 CCTVs. Additional railway staff, including Railway Protection Force (RPF), will be deployed to manage crowds and special precautions will be taken on stretches known to accumulate water, like Grant Road to Lower Parel and the Vasai-Virar section.
Overcrowding during the monsoon and waterlogging during periods of high tide accompanied by heavy rainfall have posed challenges to WR over the years. In 2018, for instance, local and outstation train services on WR were affected for nearly 30 hours on July 10, 2018, near Nalla Sopara railway station due to waterlogging.
This year, WR plans to monitor railway stations at Andheri, Dadar, Jogeshwari, Nalla Sopara and Virar to prevent stoppages, delays and overcrowding. In addition to the monitoring done by control rooms and the CCTV cameras installed in WR stations, additional railway staff and RPF personnel will be deployed at crowded stations.
“The probability of overcrowding at railway stations during heavy rainfall increases. This year we have decided that live constant monitoring will be done apart from the ones happening in the control rooms. The railway personnel will then be deployed to the crowded locations,” said a senior WR official.
Further, motormen have been directed to operate local and outstation trains with special precautions on the stretches between Grant Road and Lower Parel; Dadar and Matunga Road, and the Vasai-Virar section.
“These sections are the ones wherein there is quick water accumulation. This is why we have directed the control room to move local trains from Grant Road and Lower Parel section towards Bandra station [during heavy rainfall]. This will be done before the water level rises to 100mm,” said the WR official.
Among the measures undertaken to ensure trains run smoothly on the WR network are three new culverts, being constructed at Virar railway station in collaboration with Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). VVMC will also de-silt the existing culverts.
In July 2018, local and outstation train services on WR were repeatedly affected for nearly 30 hours near Nalla Sopara railway station due to waterlogging between Nalla Sopara and Vasai railway stations. The water level on the track had risen 460mm, making it impossible to run trains. Approximately 2,000 passengers of outstation trains were stuck and had to be rescued by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police and fire brigade personnel.