Mumbai: Rainfall throws public transport out of gear
BL Soni

Incessant rainfall threw public transportation out of gear over the weekend. The movement of BrihanMumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus continued to be affected till the first half of Sunday. And, both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) cancelled services once water began collecting on the tracks.

Initially, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had sounded an orange alert, which was later upgraded to a red alert following heavy rainfall. The city recorded more than 200mm of rainfall for the second time in two days. The impact was felt by the suburban railway network, which came to a standstill.

For instance, at 6am, there were no trains operating on the Churchgate-Dahanu route of WR due to waterlogging at multiple locations, such as Prabhadevi, Mahim, Charni Road, Bandra, Dahisar, Vasai and Virar. Likewise, on CR, water had collected at Dadar, Parel, Sion, Kurla, Bhandup, Wadala, Chunabhatti and Tilak Nagar. Trains on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Thane/Vashi/Goregaon were not operating.

Between 12am and 5am, according to CR officials, Kanjurmarg received 227mm of rainfall, followed by Thane at 217mm, Sion at 180mm and Chembur at 157mm. Between 12am and 7pm, the same locations received 262mm, 262mm, 191mm and 171mm of rainfall, respectively. By 10am, CR managed to start services on CSMT-Kalyan and Mankhurd-Panvel corridors. Services continued to be halted on the CSMT-Mankhurd/Goregaon sections owing to waterlogging at Wadala and Chunabhatti. “By 11am, we started services on the CSMT-Kalyan/Karjat/Kasara and CSMT-Panvel corridors. By 1pm, we had to short terminate 22 long distance trains and cancelled 11 trains,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, CR.

The WR authorities claim that, at around 6am, 400mm of water above the rail level on Virar-Nalasopara up and down slow lines was recorded. On the up and down fast lines, water collected was 75mm above the rail level. WR started the first down local from Churchgate and up local from Borivali at 6.40am.

“Due to heavy rainfall last night and subsequent waterlogging at various locations between Prabhadevi-Dadar and Virar-Nalasopara, suburban and long distance trains were affected. All pumps were operational at waterlogged areas and the situation was being closely monitored,” said Sumit Thakur, chief PRO, WR.

BEST buses were also affected due to waterlogged roads, swept away cars and two wheelers and diversions. By Sunday evening, the authority diverted their buses on 124 routes. There were 37 roads that were flooded and diversions were made. 34 spots were operational by evening. The BEST officials said that there were 24 buses that were stranded at waterlogged roads and later towed to bus depots. 10 buses were still being repaired.

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