Mumbai gasps as local remains shut for 16 hours
The city’s lifeline was severely hit late on Monday evening after train services on Central Railway’s (CR) main and Harbour lines came to a near standstill for over 16 hours, owing to incessant rain and flooded tracks. Local trains on both lines, which were disrupted around 11pm on Monday, resumed by 4.30pm on Tuesday. Train services on Western Railway (WR) were operational with a delay of 15 minutes till Vasai Road and 45 minutes beyond that, as the tracks were waterlogged.
On Wednesday, trains on CR will run according to the Sunday timetable, which means over 20% of trains will be cancelled.
“If need be, special suburban services will be run by CR on Wednesday,” said Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson of CR.
Late on Monday night, owing to lack of communication within the Railways, over 1,000 people were stranded across CR, as the tracks were waterlogged between Dadar to Thane and Wadala to Mankhurd.
Thirty-two local trains on CR’s line heading to CSMT and Kalyan were stuck between Kurla and Thane owing to flooded tracks Commuters were forced to walk on the waterlogged railway tracks, while railway personnel helped them reach the nearest railway station. However, a commuter who was stranded between Kurla and Vidyavihar said, “The citizens were helping each other, but the administration authorities were missing.”
A senior CR official, on condition of anonymity, said that all stranded locals will undergo thorough inspection on Tuesday night. Car sheds at Kurla and Virar were also waterlogged.
Meanwhile, local trains on CR during the first half of Tuesday remained suspended on its main line and Harbour line owing to waterlogging near Sion railway station. Services were operational between CSMT and Andheri on the harbour railway, between Thane-Vashi and Panvel on the trans-harbour line, between Mankhurd-Panvel, Belapur and Nerul-Kharkopar and Thane-Kasara, Karjat and Khopoli. Outstation passengers were also hassled after their trains were held over on the fast railway line corridor between Dadar and Bhandup on Monday evening.
“We had booked tickets on the Devagiri Express for Parbhani, but it got cancelled. So we booked a flight for Nanded, but that too got cancelled,” said Yogesh Suryavanshi, a passenger stranded at CSMT. Meanwhile on WR, 30 outstation trains heading towards Mumbai were halted between Virar and Surat railway stations.
Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of WR said, “We are fully prepared for heavy rains.” He said that more than 600 officials and supervisors were deployed at various stations to carry out restoration and to facilitate passengers.
Lack of communication between BEST and railways added to commuters woes. No special buses were operated. Over 179 buses broke down and 74 were stuck in waterlogged areas.