After incessant rain disrupted suburban train services to Virar in July 2018 as the Vasai-Virar belt witnessed a flood-like situation, Western Railway (WR) officials on Monday said there will be special monitoring in the area this monsoon.
WR Chief Public Relations Officer Ravindra Bhaker on Monday said the WR will not find itself in the same situation as last year as it has already completed the desilting of 37 of its 53 culverts between Churchgate and Virar while the remaining 16 will be desilted by May 20. Bhaker added that a second round of desilting will also be carried out after a joint inspection of the first round in June.
WR has identified low-lying and flood-prone areas, which include tracks/yards of Grant Road, Prabhadevi (Elphinstone Road), Dadar, Matunga Road-Mahim, Bandra-Khar, Andheri-Jogeshwari and Vasai-Virar sections, where special monitoring will be done during monsoon.
Bhaker added WR has also compiled the data from the tide-table in which dates of high tides of more than four metres between June 1 and September 30 have been included. This, he said, will help in taking necessary action.
“Areas that are below sea-level and where chances of water-logging are high, we have planned to lift the tracks up so that local trains can continue to operate smoothly. In the Mahim Yard on the Harbour line and on Bandra-Khar Down slow line, work of lifting tracks has been completed,” said Bhaker.
“In Vasai-Virar, the lifting of tracks up to 200 mm is in progress and will be completed by May 25,” he said.
The WR has also installed about 154 high-power pumps at vulnerable low-lying locations such as Marine Lines, Mumbai Central, Dadar and Bandra.
The Central Railway (CR), on the other hand, claimed low-lying areas between Kurla and Sion, a 4-km stretch prone to flooding, will not see a repeat of last year. The CR has decided to lift up the track by up to 6 inches. A CR official said that 80 per cent cleaning of culverts has been completed and the remaining would be completed before June 1. Chief Public Relations Officer of CR Sunil Udasi said 95 pumps will be deployed in flood-prone areas.