Mumbai: It was one long night for thousands of passengers who were stranded on the 15 local trains that were stuck on the Down slow line between Kurla, Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar and onward. Most were unaware of what was in store for them that night.
All had boarded the trains blissfully unaware, as there were no announcements telling commuters that there was waterlogging after Kurla. The fact is by 11pm, news of waterlogging at Kurla, Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli had already begun doing the rounds.
Among the commuters were many journalists who travel back home late at night and had already begun tweeting to the Central Railway authorities apart from messaging them on other social media. The fact is, even if there is little officials could have done, at the very least,they could have disseminated basic information, but no such drill is in place, as is evident.
Commuters were stranded from 10.40pm to as late as 8am on Tuesday. What is equally harrowing to know is that the motormen, who put life into the city's lifeline, too were delayed and suffered immense stress to ensure the trains on slow tracks were taken to the nearest station, if not the final destination.
Rahul Bohra, a commuter who was stuck in one of the 15 trains said, " I am stuck between sion and kurla in titwala slow train. @Central_Railway @PiyushGoyal @PiyushGoyalOffc please help I am stuck since 2 hours."
Post-midnight, after a lot of pressure from commuters to share information and the outcry over lack of any announcement, "It's nature's fury... Moving trains in such rains in Kurla Thane section is safety hazard at this point of time... Suburban Train movement has been suspended till further advice. Inconvenience is deeply regretted," tweeted the railways.
Meanwhile, journalists shared information from their groups with the public and many responded, asking the railways to state clearly if those stranded should disembark from the trains and begin to walk. "
Are you asking us who are stuck in the train to walk on the track? Please clarify. Or should we wait in the train?" questioned Alka Dhupkar, a journalist from a leading tabloid.
Another commuter, rather upset with the lack of information questioned the railways and reiterated it was time for some solutions. "If this was known then at least the announcement should have been well in advance, people could have got down at station where the train halted. Now stuck, no way to go. @Central_Railway please come up with some solution," said Venkatesan, a stranded commuter.
The central railways meanwhile called upon the National Disaster Response Force, fire brigade, railway police force and local police near each station to rescue and evacuate commuters. Central Railways tried to calm the commuters, "We are trying our best. Unless water recedes, it's not safe to move trains."