Keeping the rail tracks in Mumbai free of water logging during monsoon and keep the trains running is a tough task. After the success of high powered 1000-horsepower water draining pumps, this year both Central and Western Railways have increased its numbers. This has proved to be a major help in bringing down the time taken to remove water from rail lines.
For instance, the Western Railway (WR) will be installing about 154 high-power pumps at vulnerable low-lying locations such as Marine Lines, Mumbai Central, Dadar, Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar. Similarly, the Central Railway will be installing 79 high powered pumps plus they have asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to provide them with 27 similar water pumps.
Sources said that as compared to last year, this time around more number of high powered pumps shall be placed. The railways are also identifying the locations on the suburban section where garbage is thrown on rail lines and next to it. “We have told the civic body to levy fines on local residents (staying illegally) next to the tracks for dumping garbage on rail premises. We have identified 19 such locations,” said a CR official on condition of anonymity.
The railways claim that they have cleaning the culverts and drains in a big way. The CR claim that they have cleaned 78 culverts and 113 km of drains have been desilted in Mumbai itself. The two railways together have removed nearly 2 lakh cubic meter of muck and garbage and taken it out of rail premises until now.
The WR authorities have desilted 53 culverts on the Churchgate-Virar suburban section. “Another round of desilting will be done after conducting a joint inspection with civic bodies in June and subsequently in August,” said a WR official. The major culverts including Mithi River, Dharavi nullah, Poisar nullah etc are also being inspected.
Even the WR is raising the height of tracks in low-lying areas like the Mahim rail yard on Harbour lines, Bandra-Khar rail lines where water-logging has been observed in previous years. Lifting of tracks up to 200mm is to be carried out in Vasai-Virar section. The railways used drones for surveying the ghat section from Karjat to Lonavala and Kasara to Igatpuri for vulnerable boulders dropping on to the tracks.