Mumbai Rains: Central Railway goes for a toss, Western Railway, bus services on track

Updated: Jul 03, 2019, 08:28 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar and Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Central Railway will run Sunday services, which means fewer trains than usual, for the next few days based on IMD's 'more heavy rain' forecast

The flooded Vikhroli bus depot
The flooded Vikhroli bus depot

The incessant rainfall and high-tide put Central Railway services out of gear for 16 hours over Tuesday and Wednesday owing to new flooding spots at Vidyavihar and Ghatkopar and the overflowing Mithi river. A handful of services were run throughout the day between Mumbai CSMT and Thane as Central Railway did not take out many of its trains but used the ones that had been marooned last night after salvaging them. Western Railway remained afloat and ran throughout the day with caution after minor hiccups in the morning.

Central Railway

So what went wrong on Central Railway? CR officials said that there were new flooding spots this year as water from Mithi overflowed on to the rail tracks. Areas like Vidyavihar, Tilak Nagar, Kurla harbour and Ghatkopar Vikhroli were flooded, leading to rise in water levels beyond normal. "After 10.30 pm on July 1, there was sudden and very heavy downpour recording unprecedented rainfall of nearly 400 mm in three-four hours combined with high tide leading to waterlogging in Kurla-Thane section of Central Railway. There were 32 trains that were held up. We sent teams to evacuate passengers in these trains," Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer of Central Railway said. Drinking water, tea, snacks, biscuits were provided to passengers stuck at stations and in trains.

SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 aircraft that skidded and overshot the main runway while landing. Pic/Ashish Raje

Additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Joshi said that even though the six pumping stations were functional, water logging occurred in various parts of the city since they weren't able to drain the accumulated water. "Since there was high tide, we couldn't drain the storm water in the sea or in the Mithi River which resulted in water logging at Sion and Kurla," she said. She added that until 1 pm on Tuesday, the BMC's disaster management department had received 3,593 complaints.

Western Railway

In the morning, Western Railway trains were running between Churchgate and Vasai but later as water receded normal operations begun. WR only managed to run uninterrupted services despite heaviest rainfall in a decade because of meticulous planning. "After installation of Automatic Rain Gauge at stations, lifting of tracks, drone survey of whole area to ascertain the flow of storm water, WR made a smart move of building three new underground drains through micro-tunneling, cleaning of culverts and side drains, deployment of suction /de-sludging machines. Monitoring was being done at highest level with officers personally monitoring the situation," Western Railway chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said.

BEST buses

BEST buses were running full steam. BEST spokesperson Hanumant Gophane said that though bus depots are flooded, there has been 90 pc attendance and BEST buses have been running continuously across major routes along arterial roads.

Mumbai Airport

At the Mumbai airport, after the skidding of a flight, the runway was shut for a 24-hour period. About 52 flights were cancelled and 55 diverted.

Railway forecast

In view of IMD's forecast of very heavy rainfall coupled with high tide on July 3, Central Railway will run suburban services in the Mumbai Division as per Sunday (holiday) timetable. A Sunday timetable has reduced number of services. If required, special suburban services will be run on need basis.

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