Mumbai: Mumbaikars are faced with a Hobson’s choice: Either they endure trains stalled on waterlogged tracks or brave waterlogged roads. Waterlogging is chronic on the railway tracks at Kurla, Sion, Matunga, Sandhurst Road and other Central Railway (CR) stations, resulting in havoc and service disruption. This season, so far, trains have been proceeding very slowly or have halted in their tracks between these stations, causing immense delays. Despite drains and culverts being cleaned, drainage is not efficient, so CR has planned to construct sluice gates to help water recede quickly.
“We will be now building a sluice gate between the drains on this belt (Kurla-Matunga belt) to control the flow of water on rail tracks,” said an official.
However, railway drains are at a lower level than the ones on roads maintained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). These culverts bypass the tracks from west to east before flowing into the seas.
“If sluice gates are installed, then there will be increased waterlogging on roads adjacent to railway stations. Earlier this week, it was found that pumped out water was spilling back on tracks,” said a civic official.
The railway official said engineers are currently designing the gate, which will be nine square metres in size. “We want the gate to be light so that it is quick to shut and will not require too much power,” official said.
Due to heavy rains on July 9, the western line was badly affected. Train services between Virar and Bhayander were completely suspended due to tracks being submerged. However, central line train services were operational, though trains ran at restricted speed.