Pune-Mumbai rail passengers demand urgent safety measures
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Pune-Mumbai rail passengers demand urgent safety measures

The landslide incident on the tracks at Monkey Hills on August 21 is third in three months

pune Updated: Aug 22, 2017 09:03 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune mumbai,ghat,train
Railway authorities removing the boulders that fell on the Hubli-Lokmanya Tilak Express injuring three passengers.(HT Photo)

Passengers and railway activists regularly travelling on the Pune-Mumbai section have expressed the need for urgent measures to be taken to prevent landslides along with procuring more sturdy and robust coaches for trains plying on this route.

On Monday, passengers travelling in the Hubli-Lokmanya Tilak Express train had a narrow escape after a boulder hit the train due to a landslide at Monkey Hill near Khandala.

“The boulders fell on a sleeper coach of the train. One of the boulders was stuck on the rooftop of the coach while another fell inside the coach tearing the roof of the coach, injuring three passengers,” informed officials.

Passengers from Pune regularly travelling to Mumbai said that such incidents of landslide are very common near the ghat section at Monkey Hill and authorities must take immediate steps to prevent such mishaps and ensure safe passage of trains on this route.

A passenger Deepak Kumar said that urgent measures should be taken for ensuring safety of passengers while travelling in ghat sections.

Another passenger Mansiha Singh said, "I frequently travel to Mumbai from Pune and incidents of landslide and trains getting late are very common during monsoon. The Monkey Hill ghat section is a very difficult section and landslides are common here. Some measures like fencing can be undertaken if possible as landslides are a major safety concern for the passengers travelling on this section."

Activist from Karjat, Nitin Parmar said, "The landslide that happened on Monday was a result of incessant rains in the ghat section near Monkey Hill since Friday night. The mountains in this section are very tall and hence fencing it to avoid landslides might not be practical."

Parmar stated that to ensure safety of passengers, new coaches that are more sturdy and robust should be introduced. He said that just a month back the locomotive of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Hyderabad Express had derailed after it was hit by a boulder on the line between Thakurwadi-Monkey hill stations.

Boulders fall on train in Khandala ghat, three passengers injured

Three passengers of the Hubli-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) express train were injured had a narrow escape as boulders came crashing on a coach of the train while it was passing through Khandala ghat between Mumbai and Pune early Monday morning. The incident took place around 5.15 am between Monkey Hill and Thakurwadi section of the Khandala Ghat

Railway sources said the injured passengers were admitted to primary health care center at Kalyan and senior railway officials rushed to the spot.

The boulder fell on a sleeper coach of the train. One of the boulders was stuck on the rooftop of the coach while another fell inside the coach tearing the roof of the coach and injuring passengers. The train was brought to the nearest station in the same state.

CR spokesperson said that the train was inspected after reaching Thakurwadi station. From there, it was brought to Karjat station, where the mechanical department team removed the boulders from the train, before it departed to LTT.

According to passengers, the train was travelling towards Mumbai when it got hit by boulders which had become loose due to heavy rains followed by landslide. The incident left the train run one hour late but no other trains were severely affected.

Sources said that in the past two to three months many trains have been delayed on this section. On July 18, 2017,the engine of Hyderabad express travelling from Mumbai to Pune got derailed on this section. Koyna express travelling from Mumbai to Kolhapur was also delayed on July 22 on this route due to poor tracks. On July 19, many long distance trains were delayed after a boulder came crashing in front of Sinhagad express travelling towards Mumbai.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 08:58 IST