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Mumbai floods: Local train services stay off tracks for more than 24 hours

The commuters who were stranded at various places in Mumbai were irked with the way the entire situation was handled by the Railways, state government and city authorities

mumbai Updated: Aug 31, 2017 01:13 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai floods,Local trains,Central Railway
With few or no trains available, commuters walk on railway tracks at Kurla on Wednesday to get to their destination. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT)

It took more than 24 hours for the suburban trains in Mumbai to start running again after the services were discontinued during the heavy downpour on Tuesday. Though Western Railway managed to start operations late on Tuesday night, the services on Central and Harbour line had not normalised till Wednesday evening.

In fact, the reason why CR services resumed was because it did not rain much on Wednesday and not because of the efforts of the authorities. The commuters who were stranded at various places in Mumbai were irked with the way the entire situation was handled by the Railways, state government and city authorities on Tuesday and even on Wednesday.

Every day, three lines of Railways help about 30 lakh commuters to return home from their workplaces. As the services were suspended on Tuesday, at least 10,000 commuters were stranded at railway stations and in local trains. Hundreds of them spent the entire night at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Terminus (CSMT) as well as Churchgate station. By morning on Wednesday, most of them were hoping that the services would start and they could reach home. While Western Railway services resumed, other two lines didn’t prove to be of much help for first few hours. In fact, it took them most of the day to resume normal services. Commuters and associations of commuters blamed the attitude of the authorities.

The local train services on the WR resumed late on Tuesday. The services on Central Railway were restored in the morning between CSMT and Kalyan at 7.26 am and Harbour line trains also began operating soon. Barely a few trains were running, that too with much delay. However, the trains were stopped by the railway authorities at 12.03pm owing to failure of local trains which were stuck in different areas. Four trains were stuck in Central and three in Western, diesel engines had to be called to take the failed local trains to car shed.

Further, the situation escalated after a tree fell at Dockyard Road station of the Harbour Railway, which resulted in further shutting the services on the Harbour route. The local trains resumed on the Central Railway route from CSMT towards Kalyan at 01.30 pm, however the local trains coming towards CSMT did not resume till evening. The local train services on the Harbour Railway completely resumed only at 05.48 pm. The only relief for commuters was that the congestion on road had reduced.

Even after the local train services began on both the Central and Western Railway, there was a 30-minute delay on both the routes. There were bunching of local trains and speed restrictions in different parts. The local train services on the Western Railway were delayed for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, there was a complete shut-down of 38 hours between Kasara to Titwala section. This was after the derailment of nine coaches of the Duronto Express which was on its way to Mumbai from Nagpur. Senior Central Railway officers worked for completely for 38 hours to re rail the coaches and lay the railway tracks which had been washed off completely due to the landslide. The tracks were given safe by the engineering department at 5.00 pm and the services between Kasara and Titwala began.

Railway Activist have raised questions on the failure of railway minister Suresh Prabhu to speak and mention about the bad conditions of the local trains and the derailment. Subhash Gupta, railway activist, said, “Despite the derailment of Duronto Express and the heavy rainfall in the city which led to the complete halt of the local train services, the railway minister did not tweet or acknowledge it.”

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 01:12 IST