Having identified all major high-tide days expected during this monsoon, Central and Western Railways are busy gearing up for the rains, planning additional staff deployment at flooding-prone spots, desilting nullahs and installing pumps to prevent flooding.
The Railways have identified and alerted commuters of eight days of high tide between June 24 and August 22, as declared by the meteorological department, when Mumbai is likely to receive the heaviest rainfall. Both the railways have said that they have undertaken an analysis of the rainfall pattern across Mumbai and the flood-prone areas, and would accordingly deploy officials on high-tide days.
“Central Railway will have a new system of detecting waterlogging on the tracks. Earlier, the track circuit used to fail due to waterlogging, and due to this, signals too would fail and trains would have to slow down. Now we have installed axle counters at Parel, Kurla, Thane and Kalyan among other stations which are flood-prone. These axle counters will detect waterlogging on the tracks,” divisional railway manager Mukesh Nigam said.
Central Railway has deployed 125 labourers to clean drains over 100 km, and expects to complete cleaning of 68 culverts by May 31. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has paid Rs 1.79 crore to Central Railway and Rs 44 lakh to Western Railway for cleaning nullahs and culverts. The BMC has also undertaken installation of 50 pumps in low-lying areas, and expects to complete the work by May 31.
On Western Railway, authorities have identified places such as Matunga, Mahim, Bandra, Borivali and Kandivali among other areas as low-lying. A total of 58 pumps are being installed in these areas.
“Work of cleaning and desilting of 43 culverts is going on,” said Sarat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, Western Railway. The Railways are also water-proofing all rakes and undertaking special maintenance work on signals and overhead electrical equipment.