Pune-Mumbai railway route sees 7 major landslide incidents in 3 months
This monsoon due to heavy rains and repeated landslide incidents in the ghat sections, trains running between these two cities got cancelled or were delayed several times in the last three monthsUpdated: Sep 18, 2019 16:21 IST
Pune Incessant downpour in the western Maharashtra region has not only broken rainfall records in various districts, but has also led to major traffic disruptions on the Pune-Mumbai railway route.
At least seven major incidents of landslides have been recorded in the ghat (hilly) section between Lonavla and Karjat this year since the first week of July. This is double the number of major landslides recorded in each of the last two years in the same region. In 2018 and 2017, the ghat section on the Pune-Mumbai railway route saw three cases of major landslides each.
This monsoon due to heavy rains and repeated landslide incidents in the ghat sections, trains running between these two cities got cancelled or were delayed several times in the last three months. Due to these cancellations, diversions and closure of the crucial high traffic route, daily commuters between Pune and Mumbai like students, people working in the IT sector and tourists, faced inconvenience.
“In the past three months, train services in the ghat sections were put on hold and trains were cancelled or diverted several times. The longest closure, according to senior officials, was in August, which was implemented for 14 days, as there were major landslides and heavy rains,” said Manoj Jhawar, Pune railway division spokesperson.
In order to avoid mishaps on the railway route during the monsoon season, train operations between Pune and Mumbai were closed for 14 days, starting in August. Operations resumed on August 19. The reason for closure was heavy rains, landslides and various incidents of boulder falling on the railway routes, due to which disruption were often reported in train services on the Pune – Mumbai corridor.
Small incidents of landslides are a regular feature in the ghat sections during the monsoon, but they are immediately cleared by railway workers. However, clearing up and repairing railway tracks after major landslides take time, according to central railway officials.
From the first week of July till September 7, major inter-city trains like Pune -Mumbai Deccan Express, Pune -Mumbai Pragati Express, Pune – Mumbai Deccan Queen Express, Pune – Mumbai Sahyadri Express, Intercity Express, Indrayani Express and others, were cancelled, whenever there was a landslide in the ghat section.
“On September 4 and 5, all major trains (CSMT-Pune Deccan Express, Pune-CSMT Sinhagad express, Pune-CSMT Deccan Queen express, Pune-CSMT Pragati express and CSMT-Pune Intercity express) were cancelled again due to heavy rains in the ghat section. It is a precautionary measure which the railway authorities take to avoid any mishaps. Currently, there are no trains which have been cancelled or diverted in the ghat section.” added Jhawar.
Passengers are unhappy with frequent cancellation of trains on the route. Kiran Pisal, a banker, said, “I often travel to Mumbai for official work and the fastest and most affordable means of transport is the train. However, in the last couple of months, trains were cancelled many times and I had to travel by road. On the expressway too, I faced traffic jams, which increased travel time.”
Measures to prevent mishaps
Falling boulders are a common problem in the treacherous ghat section between Pune and Mumbai. However, the central railway authorities have taken measures to deal with the issue. The major step taken by the central railway authorities is the installation of 48 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the 12km stretch of Bor ghat section at 10 sensitive locations on the Pune-Mumbai railway route. The work for installing 200 more CCTV cameras is underway and completed by next year, said central railway officials
First Published: Sep 15, 2019 17:27 IST