Cyclone Tauktae has kept the railways on their toes too. There are well over 300 trees on the Central and Western Railways together falling under the Mumbai suburban network. They have been identified as hazardous and needs to be chopped before May 31. With cyclone Tauktae expected, it has got them worried. Already on Sunday, Konkan Railway was affected by tree collapses leading to trains getting delayed.
On the Central Railway (CR), there are well over 560 trees identified by the authorities on the entire Mumbai Division. Off these, there are around 250-odd trees falling on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Kalyan/Panvel section. Sources said that there are around 300 trees across Mumbai division that is yet to be taken care of including those in the suburban section.
“We have already begun cutting trees wherever possible. There are many trees that fall under private land and so it becomes time consuming in cutting them. We have approached the necessary municipal corporations as well to address it. With a cyclone expected, our staff are on-ground ready to tackle in case there are tree collapses,” said a Central Railway official on condition of anonymity.
On the Western Railway (WR), there are barely around 50 trees that remain to be chopped after being identified as dangerous and collapsible. They have already cut 12 trees and remaining is up for permissions.
“We are geared up for tackling cyclone Tauktae and have created a SOP that will be followed. Our ground staff are manning railway stations, control rooms and necessary equipment are kept ready to address in case of tree collapse, electric supply and OHE failures or any other problems arising due to this cyclone,” said GVL Satya Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Western Railway.
Their command control rooms at Mumbai Central and Valsad will be monitoring the cyclone. Western Railway has its jurisdiction in both Maharashtra and Gujarat where cyclone Tauktae is expected to hit. They have already cancelled 56 trains between May 15 and 21 owing to this cyclone. Tower wagons and accident relief trains too are kept on standby.
On Sunday, the Konkan Railway felt the aftermath of this cyclone as their trains were affected after tree collapses on the rail tracks and on trains.
“Due to cyclone Tauktae along the Konkan coast, tree falling on the track were reported at 5 sites between Madgaon and Thivim stations. Konkan Railway officials immediately reached the sites and cleared the sections,” said a spokesperson from Konkan Railway.
Due to this, trains like 06346 Thiruvananthapuram Central-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Express Special were running late by around 3 hours and 01114 Madgaon Junction-Mumbai CSMT Festival special was running late by around 1 hour.