The Central Railway is worried about the housing societies that share borders with rail lines. This is because the authorities found that at a few locations the boundary walls have been broken to let water pass onto rail tracks which are on a lower level than land. Some of these locations include Sion, Matunga, Vikhroli, Thane etc.
In case of heavy incessant rains, it leads to water logging. According to Central Railway officials, the housing societies which are built along the rail lines and share boundary walls have been found to have damaged portions of this boundary wall. “It has been found that these housing societies have purposely broken the boundary wall and created an opening for water to flow onto the rail tracks. In case of heavy rains, there will be water logging on rail tracks as topographically it lies on lower plains than the buildings and other structures along the rail system,” explained a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.
Sion, Matunga and Kurla are some of the prominent locations where water logging is inevitable and every monsoon season the trains struggle to ply or come to a halt owing to severe water logging. “Just because a few housing societies or buildings get flooded during rains; these residents cannot damage the boundary wall for water to flow onto the rail lines. It is a matter of lakhs of commuters and public travelling in local trains who are affected by this and it is unfair for them,” said another CR official.
In fact, earlier last week, the Central Railway authorities held a meeting with a few of the housing societies and representatives of the area locality management (ALMs) to come out with an amicable solution. “We showed the CR engineers about the issues faced by us. There is no proper drainage system and the societies here face water logging,” said a resident of Sion who was part of the meeting held with the rail authorities.
According to the local residents, there are around 280-300 buildings only around Sion-Matunga stretch that faces water logging each monsoon. The rail authorities claim that some of these housing societies create a hole on the boundary wall for water to flow. The stretch on Matunga-Sion-Kurla is known for water logging each monsoon and Central Railway faces a lot of trouble despite cleaning nullahs and putting up high powered water pumping machines. The Mithi River flows close to the rail lines here.
The CR authorities claim that they are extensively cleaning drains until May 31 by which time pre-monsoon works can be officially carried out. They claim that CSMT-Dadar section has been improved and that at locations of Sion, Kurla, Bhandup, Vikhroli etc. next to nullahs, they have asked BMC to remove cofferdams which usually blocks water and garbage from leaving the rail premises during rains. Some of these cofferdams are located at Sion, Kurla, Bhandup, Vikhroli etc that has huge nullahs connecting running perpendicular to the rail lines.
On the Matunga-Sion-Kurla works are underway which includes micro tunnelling. Part works at Sion are expected to be completed by October. At Kurla carshed nullah, downstream widening work has been recently completed while micro tunnelling has already been completed in the railway area. This nullah goes upto Tilak Nagar station and further meets Mahul creek thus reducing problems at Kurla LTT as well. The CR will take up micro tunneling at 7 locations before next monsoon, which also includes Matunga, Sion and Kurla.
On May 22, the officials from Central Railway and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) jointly inspected the entire Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Mulund route in a railway inspection train of CR. Later that week another round of inspection was also carried out.