AHEAD OF monsoon, the Central Railway (CR) on Tuesday said that this year, despite heavy rains, water would not enter the railway tracks that could suspend train services.
According to the Railways, civic planning authorities, including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), have assured complete co-operation to them. Last year, after it rained heavily on August 29, train services had stopped at Sion station on the main line and Chunabhatti station on the harbor line of the CR. Senior Railways officials had said that while pumps could drain out the stormwater from the tracks, the water from the road outside entered. As many as 50 rakes of CR were marooned then.
The CR plans to run fewer train services if it rains heavily this year. “In a co-ordination committee with the state government and BMC on Tuesday, we discussed the status of monsoon preventive measures. The BMC commissioner has assured the Railways that his priority will be to ensure train services run smoothly,” said D K Sharma, CR general manager. “It is in the interest of BMC that trains run. The corporation has assured that they will protect the tracks first and then the roads. If trains move, crowd movement will remain unaffected,” Sharma added.
The ongoing Metro construction work is likely to create over two dozen flood-prone areas in the city, the BMC had cautioned. Civic officials have claimed that their efforts to control flooding are likely to come to naught, as Metro work has allegedly choked drainage lines and “disturbed” the storm water drains at some areas. “Officials of MMRDA also assured that water from the roads will not come inside the tracks despite construction of different Metro lines in the city,” Sharma said.
The CR plans to monitor low-lying areas closely by installing additional water pumps. “We are tying up with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to understand the wind pattern and 48-hour forecast of trains. The IMD will provide their weather stations outside certain railway stations to measure weather parameters.”
The CR officials said that a senior Railways officials will be posted in the BMC to check on the water levels in the roads. They have directed that all foot overbridges be covered with sheds. However, three bridges made by the Army, including at Parel, Ambivali and Currey Road, have covers with spaces in between. “The three foot overbridges are not completely water-proof. We will take concerned action on this,” Sharma said.