Mumbai: BMC, Railways point fingers over flooded tracks

At a recent meeting, officials from the railways and civic body identified nullahs and culverts on both the railway lines that caused flooding of tracks during monsoon, but lack of funds has stalled progress

Will the recently concluded high-level meeting between the railway authorities and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials pertaining to flooding of railway tracks during rainy season yield result? The only thing Mumbaikars can do, is pray and hope for the best.

Flooded tracks at Kurla station is a common phenomenon during every monsoon. File pic
Flooded tracks at Kurla station is a common phenomenon during every monsoon. File pic

Sources, who were present at the meeting, claimed that the BMC, Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) authorities identified four nullahs and several culverts that are prone to waterlogging every monsoon, and need immediate attention. The discussion revolved around cleaning and maintaining the nullahs and culverts, and managing funds for the project.

Nullahs of concern
Authorities stated that the three nullahs on the Central line Somaiya nullah near Vidyavihar station, Nanepada nullah near Mulund station and the Kurla car shed nullah, and one on the Western line V H Desai nullah in Dahisar needed immediate attention, as they wreak havoc on train schedules every monsoon due to flooding.

Sources in the BMC claimed that the civic body was supposed to commence widening work of the Somaiya nullah in October, wherein the stretch between Vidyavihar station to Tansa pipeline was to be expanded.

They added that the BMC had even forwarded a proposal to the CR regarding the same. When contacted, CR officials denied receiving any such proposal. This ill-maintained nullah results in waterlogging between Vidyavihar and Kurla stations every rainy season.

The Kurla car shed nullah aggravates waterlogging at Kurla station. CR officials blamed the construction of a building next to the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, for further elevation of the road. “The area has become like a saucer, resulting in accumulation of water. This makes the situation precarious during monsoon,” said a CR official.

While the BMC officials blamed CR authorities for not commencing the work post-monsoon, the latter blamed it on the paucity of funds. “The BMC has to deposit R9.54 crore for the completion of pending work, and we have informed their authorities about the same,” said a railway official.

Sources in the CR claimed the money was needed to lay additional pipes of 1,800 mm diameter under the car shed and the main line tracks. However, records revealed that the civic body has already paid R3 crore to the railways.

On the Western line, a nullah that runs parallel to Dahisar station in the west starting from Dahisar subway to the creek needs maintenance urgently. During the meet, BMC officials and WR authorities decided to inspect the nullah together.

The authorities also discussed small culverts passing below the tracks at various locations, most of which are choked due to dumping of plastic, garbage and muck. CR identified the culverts that require immediate attention, and the BMC has already paid Rs 20.71 crore for their cleaning.

Important locations where culverts were identified are Dhobi Ghat in Sion, Swadeshi Mills between Kurla and Sion, two culverts at LBS Marg in Kurla and one at Chunabhatti station.

These need to be reconstructed into 2x1-metre box culverts. The other locations where minor work needs to be carried out are Wadala, Kurla railway colony between the car shed and Tilak Nagar station Nanepada in Mulund, Currey Road and Chinchpokli.

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