Downpour continues in Mumbai; roads flooded, trains delayed for a second consecutive day in the financial capital.
MUMBAI: Due to incessant heavy downpour since yesterday night, rail traffic had to be stopped on UP & DOWN fast lines at Nallasopara as water level were high on rly tracks with heavy water accumulation in the adjoining areas also flowing on to the tracks. However, the slow UP & DOWN lines were working. There was no water logging anywhere in Western Railway except at Nallasopara and trains were running with delay. Later, the water level on rly tracks further rose to 460 mm from 200 mm at Nallasopara making it impossible to run trains between Nallasopara & Virar.
Hence, the train services were suspended between Nallasopara & Virar and were run upto Vasai Road. Services of AC local were also suspended. Thereafter, the services between Bhayander and Vasai Road also had to be suspended due to technical problems at Vasai Road with trains running on all lines between Bhayander and Churchgate.
Immediate action for restoration work
Efforts were on full swing to clear the tracks of water at Nallasopara and to resume services between Vasai Road and Virar.Shri A K Gupta, GM – Western Railway, Shri Sanjay Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division were positioned at Mumbai Central control room. Other senior officers were also closely monitoring the situation & restoration/relief works in view of traffic suspended due to heavy water logging on tracks between Bhayander & Virar. Senior Officers including Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Central, Chief Track Engineer – W.Rly & ASC/ RPF alongwith Shri Rupesh Jadhav, Mayor of Vasai – Virar Municipal Corporation were present at Nallasopara interacting with passengrs & extending all possible help.
Mobilisation of Resources & Execution of Restoration Work
As water level had risen above 400 mm, the power supply of Shatabdi Express which was stranded at Nallasopara station was switched off as a precautionary measure so that as soon as water recedes to safe level, the train could be brought back to Mumbai Central. Several out station trains arriving Mumbai were indefinitely late to arrive in Mumbai and stranded at several intermediate stations.
Arrangements were made to provide food packets/snacks/water to passengers of several long distance trains that had been regulated at various stns at/beyond Virar. Help of local NGOs was also sought in providing food & water. In all, 16,300 food packets were arranged for passengers for 23 trains held up at different stations. Also, all catering stalls at stations were asked to keep stock of food items available.
The most affected was Vadodara Express which was stranded in between Virar and Nallasopara stations with no possibility to reach out to them due to high water levels. Lunch packets which were brought from Andheri were provided to the passengers by RPF with assistance from NGOs.
NDRF team was called to help in the evacuation & rescue operation of the passengers of this train. The NDRF team alongwith the RPF staff reached at 13.00 hrs. Thereafter, they started the rescue operations to evacuate the passengers of Vadodara Express and helped them to reach Nallasopara station. Rescue boats were brought in to help the senior citizens. And human chain was formed to direct the passengers to stations.
The passengers of Vadodara Express & Shatabdi Express were ferried in 11 special buses to Naigaon. Some passengers preferred to remain in Shatabdi Express which will be reversed to Mumbai Central once the water level comes down. They were served food in the train. W. Rly also arranged for 6 buses for bringing passengers of regulated UP trains from Surat, Vapi, Billimora & Dahanu Road to Borivali in view of suspension of rail traffic.
More than 1000 passengers were rescued from Vadodara Express. Necessary medical assistance was also provided at Nallasopara & Virar stations for the rescued passengers. About 200 food packets were specially prepared at Mumbai Central base kitchen and dispatched by a special train to Naigaon for providing to the passengers brought to Naigaon by buses from Nallasopara. Around 35 long distance trains were cancelled, 25 were short terminated and 17 trains were diverted. 150 suburban have been cancelled & more than 50 services were delayed.
Communication and information dissemination
The passengers were kept updated with regular information through FM channels and Electronic Media. Extensive use of social media was made and more than 175 tweets and facebook posts were sent. Public address system was continuously updating stranded commuters at stations.