Rain washes away Matheran train tracks at 21 spots

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:38 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Central Railway promises to get train back on track by December; calls for work orders worth R6.23 cr to repair extensive damage to tracks

The Central Railway (CR) on Monday called for work orders worth R6.23 crore to restore the 112-year-old Narrow Gauge Neral-Matheran railway promising to bring it back to life by December. This year's monsoon has ravaged the line like never before with no trains uphill at Matheran even to ply locally between Matheran and Aman Lodge stations. There is complete damage at 21 locations, with rail tracks having been washed away.

The CR has also asked the local collector for land to built maintenance lines at Aman Lodge so that the Aman Lodge-Matheran railway, which is crucial to the daily life of residents, can be up and running.

Record monsoon this year has washed away tracks in several places

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, against an annual average of 3,038mm, Matheran has recorded 5,217mm rainfall so far this monsoon. "There is serious damage, the likes of which has not happened before, at 21 locations. The problem is that there are no trains up at Matheran.

They are usually brought downhill to Neral at the maintenance shed and now they are stuck there. Even if there are a few wagons up at Matheran, they cannot be run until they are checked by the maintenance team. We plan to build a few pit lines at Aman Lodge so that trains there can be maintained. This is what we have sought land from the collector for," a senior divisional official said.

Record monsoon this year has washed away tracks in several places

Local residents said they were upset with the CR for not keeping their promise of maintaining the line. "The Aman Lodge-Matheran railway is crucial for Matheran residents. All essentials are brought by road till Dasturi naka and from there till Matheran station by train. With the train down, residents now have to depend on mules or horses," Shamsher, a local resident said.

Matheran votes for the train
Residents of Matheran had initially said they would boycott the elections since the train was down. "We met the Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Kumar Jain who said the line at least between Matheran to Aman Lodge will be functional by December. They were working hard at it. Which is why we called off the election boycott and have voted in the name of the train," Manoj Khedkar, former president of Matheran Hill Station Municipal Council told mid-day.

Record monsoon this year has washed away tracks in several places
Record monsoon this year has washed away tracks in several places

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  • 1/17

    Maharashtra Assembly Elections took place today and citizens made sure that they exercise their right to vote. Senior citizens, differently-abled people also came ahead to voter booths and cast their vote for the parties of their choice.

  • 2/17

    Even the policemen came forward to help the senior citizens in casting their vote.

  • 3/17

    School and college students helped the authorities by volunteering while the voting was going on. They guided the voters to their respective polling booths. Pic/Chetna Sadadekar

  • 4/17

    80-year old Dombivli resident voted during the Assembly Elections in Mumbai. Pic/Anamika Gharat

  • 5/17

    However, as the elections began at 7 am, it was seen that the number of voters was less compared to the ones who turned up during the Lok Sabha elections in the first three hours. 

  • 6/17

    It was not just politicians, candidates, Bollywood celebrities who exercised their franchise but even the common man made it a point to visit the centres to cast their votes.

  • 7/17

    Narmada Joshi, 74, Tushar Joshi, 51, were the first ones to vote at MCC College, Mulund. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 8/17

    Proper ramps were arranged for the elderly at various polling booths in order to help them in casting their vote with ease. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 9/17

    Many citizens helped the differently abled in exercising their franchise. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 10/17

    In Maharashtra, till 10 am, it was the Jalna district which saw the highest percentage of voting with 9.65 per cent. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 11/17

    86-year old Anand Mehta cast his vote at St.Anne's high school in Bandra. Pic/ Sneha Kharabe

  • 12/17

    A 102-year old man came to vote with his 60 family members.

  • 13/17

    The voter turnout in Maharashtra till 6 pm was 55.39 per cent while in Haryana it was 61.72 per cent.

  • 14/17

    Out of 288 Assembly constituencies in the state, Radhanagari witnessed the highest voter turnout of 70.89 per cent while Ulhasnagar witnessed the lowest at 26.27 per cent till 5 pm.

  • 15/17

    There are 96,661 polling booths in Maharashtra for citizens to cast their votes. 

  • 16/17

    In pic: Differently abled senior citizen exercises right to vote.

  • 17/17

    The counting of votes in both Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly polls will take place on October 24.

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