Western Railway commuters braved a manic Monday yesterday, after an overhead wire snapped at Borivli station. This resulted in crowds spilling onto the highways, even as auto rickshaws refused to ply due to heavy traffic, all the way till Andheri. App-based cab aggregators were also charging as high as 4.9 times their regular fare.
The trouble began after a pantograph of a Borivli-Churchgate slow local train – which left from platform 2 – got entangled with the overhead equipment (OHE) between Borivli and Kandivli at about 6.30 am. Sources said that the train had not even reached platform 8, located towards the Kandivli end, when the incident occurred. “Yesterday, maintenance work was underway over there. It is possible that its completion might not be clean and some chunks would have remained, leading to the pantograph entangling with the overhead wire,” said a WR official.
Although the other three lines – fast line towards Churchgate and slow and fast lines towards Virar – were operative, the trains leaving from platforms 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 at Borivli remained affected. “The trains were running from platforms 4, 5, 6 and 6A, until the problem was resolved at 9.20 am,” said R Bhakar, chief PRO, WR.
Commuters crowded the railway stations on WR during this period, while the train services between Virar and Andheri were packed to the rafters. People had to leave the trains, as there was no room for them to enter, especially considering the peak-hour delay. WR operated 18 extra services to clear the rush, but they also had to cancel over 100 services during the entire day, while trains ran late by 10-15 minutes during major part of the day.
Not just this, even the road transport was affected on Monday, one of the reason being the train trouble.
Sources said a stranded heavy vehicle near Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR)led to heavy traffic on the Western Express Highway. Commuters said there was bumper-to-bumper traffic was all the way till Dahisar checknaka.
Auto rickshaws refused to ply towards railway stations near Borivli as well, due to the traffic, claiming people wanted to take them instead of travelling from the crowded locals. Long queues could be seen at the share rickshaw stands, where the autos took a long time to arrive. Not only auto drivers but the app-based cab aggregators also had a field day. Commuters complained Uber and Ola surged their pricing drastically, with fares going up to nearly 5 times the regular fare.