Mumbai: Railways finally begin to pull down abandoned Vikhroli sub-station
mid-day impact: The action comes after an article that highlighted how dangerous structures continue to exist along Mumbai's railway lines, putting commuters at risk
Thanks to a mid-day article, the dangerous structure of the abandoned Vikhroli sub-station that stood with the support of metal props, is finally being pulled down just before the monsoon sets. After a simple survey, mid-day had highlighted in its March 19 edition, in 'Declared dangerous, but still standing,' how dangerous structures continue to exist along Mumbai's railway lines that ferry about 8 million commuters daily.
The old 1,500 V Direct Current (DC) sub-station between Vikhroli and Kanjurmarg stood precariously with the support of metal props, and had been marked dangerous in bold letters, warning everyone to stay away from it.
When mid-day visited the site in March 2019, it was occupied by urchins and drug addicts who used the place as their safe haven. It was a similar case with other abandoned DC power sub-stations at Mulund and Ghatkopar. These sub-stations fell into disuse after the Central Railway was converted into AC power traction mode in 2015.
When mid-day visited the sub-station site on Wednesday, half of it was demolished and workers were bringing down the remaining part. The structure will be gone in the next few days. It was dangerous because it was located between two railway corridors that ferry the densest of crowds — the mainline fast locals and the mail/express trains leaving Mumbai. While the main line ferries 858 local trains on weekdays, the mail/express line ferries over 50 trains daily.
Divisional railway officials said that they were reluctant to demolish the structure because it falls between two rail corridors, and transporting of debris was proving to be an issue. But now that it had become dangerous, there was no way out, and so they are pulling it down slowly in parts, so that it does not hurt anyone. The demolition will be complete in the next few days before the monsoon sets in.
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