The topography of the railway tracks on the Sion-Kurla stretch is like a saucer. Each year, water collects here during monsoon, which cripples train services on the Central Railway (CR). On June 9 too, heavy rainfall resulted in waterlogged tracks, which disrupted the services on CSMT-Thane line. What came forth in an inspection on June 10 was that the boundary wall partitioning housing societies in Sion along the rail tracks was broken and water flowed onto the tracks from there.
This has been the case for years, according to the residents. However, earlier this week, CR authorities plugged these holes. Residents fear that this will make matters worse for the residents of Sion and neighbouring areas. The New Sion Co-Operative Housing Society Limited, which comprises several buildings and row houses, has written a letter to Member of Parliament Rahul Shewale about the same.
The letter states, “We hereby inform you that the Railway authorities are closing all the main holes from where all the rain water passing through our society enters. This will affect the entire Sion (West) area during monsoon as water accumulates from Sion Circle, Sion railway station and Sion hospital. This rain water has been passing through these drainage lines since the British era.
Residents also blame that the high powered water draining pumps too weren’t fully functional at Sion and nullah cleaning resumed after last week’s rainfall. “This year, the nullah wasn’t cleaned behind Sindhi Colony area. There are 20 lanes at Sindhi Colony that lead to the boundary walls separating the railway lines. These have had holes from where water flowed into the drainage line of railways. This time, the nullah was barely cleaned. If the railways block the water path, then there will be all the more trouble for at least 100 buildings and over 270 row houses in this area,” said Hemant Thakkar, member, The New Sion Co-Operative Housing Society Limited.
The Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai) of CR Shalabh Goel confirmed that they are plugging these gaps in boundary walls. This problem came to light after a joint inspection was carried out on June 10 to identify issues on the stretches of Sion, Kurla and Chunabhatti due to rainfall.
The CR authorities say that this approach is wrong and the residents cannot damage the boundary wall. “By creating holes in boundary walls, water is entering our rail premises. This leads to severe water logging that affects train services on the CSMT-Kalyan route and inconveniences lakhs of passengers,” said a CR official.
Meanwhile, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have stated that they have inspected the location and that they will be holding a meeting with railways and residents to come up with a permanent solution. In the last few days, cleaning and muck removal work is underway. On June 9, the water level of Mithi River touched 2.8 meters. Usually anywhere over 2.3 meters, there is severe water logging.