Citizens and commuters were in for a havoc situation when they started their daily travel from western suburbs to their offices in town on Tuesday due to the heavy rains. The railway tracks were water logged at major junctions like Malad, Goregaon, Andheri, Santa Cruz and Bandra while the roads witnessed huge traffic jams, water logging and slow moving traffic. The continuous rains led to water entering houses of local residents too.
Commuters were stuck at Andheri and Santa Cruz and could not even reach Dadar either by railway or road so reaching the town side was an impossible task. The western railway line was submerged in the rain water at all the stations. Trains that were delayed by over two to three hours were not moving ahead of Andheri. The railway stations were crowded with hundreds of people waiting at platforms, foot over bridges, ticket counters, and railway tracks.
Commuters, after waiting for three to four hours, started walking on the tracks. Rajesh Jha, a commuter, said, “All the indicators showed a single time of 00:00 and the trains were not moving beyond Andheri. There was no point of waiting as the trains were crawling and it was impossible to reach my office at Churchgate. The trains were packed and we were stranded for over sir hours even if we wanted to return home we could not.”
Sudden announcements, diversion of routes and reluctance of authorities added to the panic. Shika Singh, a commuter said, “I entered a Churchgate train at Goregaon and suddenly they changed the train to a Virar local. All of us just jumped out of the train as it was suddenly going in the opposite direction.” While another commuter added, “There was no place to move at the railway stations on the Western line as all of us were hoping that a train would arrive. There was no prior information about cancellation of trains.”
While the situation via road transport was clogged with water logging, traffic jams, buses stuck at various junctions and cabs and auto rickshaws refusing to commute. Aishwarya Bane, a commuter said, “I took more than two hours to reach Powai from Borivali. There were no cabs available at all and autorickshaws were refusing to ply. There was no point entering a bus as buses were stuck due to water logging and heavy traffic.”
The Western Express Highway (WEH), the major route connecting the suburbs to the island city, witnessed slow moving traffic. “The unpreparedness of the Brihanmunicipal Corporation (BMC), railway and transport authorities the and state government paralysed our lives in just few hours. Secondly, the authorities were clueless about any warning of such a disaster,” a commuter said.