The Western Railway (WR) has launched a three-month-long drive to remove over 1,100 encroachments along its tracks. The move comes at a time when the WR is running fewer local train services for specific essential workers from stations with single entry and exit points.
On the suburban network, officials said, there were several areas with broken or no boundary walls and encroachments. And these spots, they said, had become easy access points for unauthorised travellers to enter the suburban system. With fewer Railway Protection Force (RPF) deputed during the three-month nationwide lockdown, WR officials said, encroachments along tracks had also increased manifolds. Unchecked dumping of garbage on the tracks, mostly in areas with heavy encroachment, had also become a cause of concern.
Marred with several such problems, the WR has chalked out a plan to take up systematic removal of encroachment along the tracks. About 35 soft encroachments between Vile Parle and Santacruz and several others close to Bandra have already been demolished. Between July and September, the WR will remove over 1,000 such structures between Borivali to Virar, officials said. The maximum number of encroachments, around 270, between Kandivali and Malad, would be removed in September and residents of these structures would be relocated, officials said.
A senior official from WR said, “The encroachment drive has various objectives from ensuring cleaner railway premises to having a complete access control system.”
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