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Blog Entry# 3509313
Posted: Jun 09 (15:49)

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Rail News
Jun 09 (15:49)   Mumbai local trains: We are ready for the Monsoon test, says Western Railway

Jayashree ❖ Amita*^   41805 news posts
Entry# 3509313   News Entry# 340333         Tags   Past Edits
"We have tried to attend all the problems we faced last year in the best possible way. And this time we have done much better preparations than last year," claims WR.
So does this mean no delays, shutdown of services, waterlogging menace, overcrowding woes? At last those in power our taking Mumbaikars seriously. Remember 23 people lost their lives in the Elphinstone Road station stampede last year. So, is it just a list of monsoon preparations to prove as defence if another tragedy occurs this year? There seems to be a lot of confusion. Lets find out...
preparation for monsoon 2018...
In order to ensure uninterrupted services on WR, the first phase of preparation is over which included cleaning of 43 major culverts under the Mumbai Division. Also, de-silting of drains has been done. In addition to this, track upliftment is done in Khar, Bandra and Mahim among other stations where there are chances of waterlogging. WR began preparations for monsoons in the month of March. In the first phase March-April-May, joint inspections were held with the municipal corporation and then in June the second phase started that included cleaning and de-silting. Many of these steps need to be repeated so there are three to four phases of preparations that will last till September.
“The culverts at major stations like Bandra-Khar, Elphinstone Road Station, Khar, Matunga, Goregaon-Malad, Mumbai Central have been cleaned and joint inspection is done by BMC. We have installed 128 diesel pumps in areas where we faced waterlogging in the previous years including Grant Road, Virar, Nallasopara, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Mumbai Central, Mahim, Bandra, Borivli, Elphinstone and Matunga Road. These are the vulnerable areas where pumps have been installed so that the water can be displaced easily especially if any kind of flooding occurs. In 2017, 83 pumps were installed by WR during monsoons,” informed Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway.
He added, “Also drains have been widened, more number of manholes have been constructed and alignment of certain drains have been changed so there is better clearance."
Special attention is given to maintenance of OHE. This includes cleaning of insulators, checking of protective screens on FOB/ROB, protection of contact and catenary wires and earthing.
The rakes have been attended to so that there is no issue of water sepation. And the cover over platforms have been checked to avoid leakage on the station areas.
Now that the hawkers are back within the 150-mt radius...
"We ensure that no hawkers are there in the area that belongs to Railways. And whenever the hawkers are noticed in the BMC area, it has been advised to take action against the hawkers who are obstructing the path of commuters,” mentioned Bhakar.
The construction at Kandivali FOB is still going on...
"We are trying to complete the construction of crucial Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) at the earliest. The 12 meter wide FOB at Elphinstone is also likely to be commissioned in June itself. Around 5-6 FOBs are in the final stages of commissioning and will be completed soon.”
Delay of trains...
“The preparation level is well in place. The dates of high tide are circulated to our members so that we are well prepared and the staff is deployed in crucial areas where there is possibility of waterlogging. We will request our commuters to follow our official social media handles or media for timely updates on train operations and not believe in rumours.”
The overcrowding at stations...
“Atleast 34 over crowded FOBs are identified and we have deployed additional security forces at these locations. A mock drill was undertaken to regulate the crowd on station area. Our security staff will have better co-ordination with all the staff posted at the station along with the GRP. In addition to this, I would request commuters to show a little patience and even if someone is in hurry, others should help him/her.”
First Monsoons of AC local...
“AC Local started on December 25, and as of now only one rake is there and it is doing well. We do not have much of technical issues with that and people are demanding more and more AC rakes so probably by this year-end we are expecting another rake and from next year onwards regular supply of these rakes will happen so we will have more number of rakes and we will be in a position to induct more AC services.
We are very happy with the way people have accepted AC local. We are getting a very good response, specially from the last three months more than 4 lakh commuters are travelling every month in that particular rake.
“It is operating five days a week with 12 trips so definitely we are getting a very good response. By the next year if we have more rakes, the number of services will definitely increase. Where monsoon preparations are concerned, we have taken same precautions for AC as well as non-AC rakes.”
‘We are much better prepared than 2017...’
“ Whenever commuters are stranded while travelling in locals, it is our prime responsibility to send them safely to their destinations. WR has always tried to excel in such critical situations. Also a lot of equipments are in place including signal failure issues are tackled so that signalling systems keep working, our staff will be alert so that due to minor waterlogging, trains don't come to a halt. We are much better prepared than last year. We have solved all the problems that we faced last year at Matunga Road, so we are confident this time that no hindrance should be there this monsoon.
“The only fear is that if it rains heavily and there is high tide and in case water-logging continuously builds up and it goes above unsafe levels over tracks then one cannot operate the trains. If the water level on track is above 100 mm it becomes unsafe to operate locals and then the motormen pilots the train at safe locations and waits for the water level to come down. If the rake gets submerged in water then a lot of equipments malfunction. All preparations are in place, we are running on time during monsoons sometimes a delay of 10 mins may be there because of equipment failure or technical glitches as same track is used for long distance trains also."

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