The residents of Nehru Nagar in Kurla East have raised an alarm with the railway authorities on the hazard that slums along Trombay-Kurla railway tracks are posing which may result in catastrophic consequences endangering the lives of thousands of people living around.
This line caters to goods trains transporting highly inflammable, explosive and dangerous goods like LPG, crude oil, chemicals etc.
On December 25, the Central Railway (CR) authorities had written a letter to the illegal slum dwellers asking them to clear out within seven days.
The letter states that the slum dwellers will have to get these slums demolished from the railway land within seven days and if they don’t, then the railway authorities will do it and the cost shall be borne by the slum dwellers.
The locals claim that these have spooked the slum dwellers illegally occupying the railway land, who are approaching local politicians for bringing some respite.
On the other hand, the residents from Nehru Nagar, who have been fighting against this illegal encroachment is happy with this stern action.
“The railway authorities have issued notices to these slum dwellers on December 25 asking them to clean the encroachment within seven days. This rail line is used to transport dangerous and inflammable goods and items but the encroachment there is a big issue. There are around 500 illegal slums spread on a stretch of 4 km along the rail line. The slum dwellers also apparently dig out ballasts below the tracks which could also lead to the derailment,” said Abhijeet Kulkarni, president, Jaago Nehru Nagar Residents Welfare Association.
The railway authorities agree that these slums can prove to be a hazard for the Goods and Oil/Chemical tanker trains plying on the single track Trombay-Kurla railway line and in catastrophic consequences endanger the lives of people living around.
In the past, the resident association had written a letter to the Central Railway authorities that the slums have multiplied over the years and many have been converted into multi-storey structures by slumlords without any fear of law or the concern for the safety of the nearby residents.
Slum-dwellers sit on the tracks; their kids play and some even use this space to hawk goods.
Every time the goods train navigates through this narrow corridor, the locomotive pilot is forced to slow down the speed to barely 10 kmph or less due to the presence of humans and the structures jutting out within inches from the train. About 150-200 buildings in the areas of Nehru Nagar, Shivshrusti, Qureshi Nagar, Kasiawada and Chunabatti areas would be at risk due to an unfortunate incident.
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