That sinking feeling again: Mumbai struggles 3 days after rain

31 Aug 2017


For the third day since heavy rains lashed the city, Mumbai's harried commuters continued to face a tough time today while travelling in local trains on all the three suburban sections – Central, Harbour, and Western – with trains running well behind schedule.

While the authorities trotted out the time-worn excuses and played the usual blame games, it is nothing short of shocking that a single day's rain continues to bring the country's financial capital to a standstill, and nothing has changed over the decades. Since most of Mumbai lives in the suburbs, the impact of the man-hours lost can only be guessed.

On Wednesday, the train services were 30 minutes late on average. This morning, the Central and Harbour line trains were reported running 20 minutes late, while Western Railway trains were also running 10-15 minutes late.

The services on the Central railway line were the worst hit because of the cascading effect of the derailment of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duranto Express near Titwala station on Tuesday followed by heavy rainfall and flooding of tracks at many railway stations.

Due to the derailment, the Central Railway restored only the north-bound (Down) track between Vashind and Asangaon stations. They were still working to bring the south bound (Up) railway line into proper functioning. Express trains coming from down line were running with restricted speed disrupting the railway timetable, hence causing a delay in train services.

"We tried to start services at 7:30 am, and they were fine till Kurla. But beyond Kurla towards CST, there were problems as trains got stranded due to waterlogging. About three trains were marooned on the harbour line and four on the main line. This made it difficult for us to begin train operations," chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi said on Wednesday. The main line services resumed around 3:30 pm as the stranded trains were moved to yards. The Harbour line between CST and Panvel was opened around 5:48pm.

Western Railway said that their services resumed early in the morning and that they were running consistently. "There were no untoward incidents, but services were delayed for some time. However they were smooth for the larger part of the day," WR chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said.

But according to Hindustan Times, the government railway police control confirmed that trains on all lines were running late and ''Railway has not given any deadline for full restoration at the derailment site.''

Commuters complained that some services have been cancelled, leading to huge rush on trains and at stations. The floods on Tuesday also claimed several lives.

The railway tracks were filled with water at many stations. All the three railway lines became non-functional on Tuesday till next morning. Matunga, Sion, Mulund, Bandra, Currey Road and many other railway stations had water flowing through the tracks. Many people were stranded in trains for long hours.

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