Maha: Downpour disrupts train traffic in Kasara, Karjat sections of Central Railway

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Mumbai, Jul 22 (PTI) Heavy rains in Mumbai and Konkan region of Maharashtra since Wednesday night led to disruption of services of the Central Railway (CR) and four of its long-distance trains getting stuck in Kasara and Karjat sections, a railway spokesperson said on Thursday evening.

While a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was kept on stand-by at Kasara near Mumbai, the CR's maintenance teams managed to clear the path and brought the four trains to Lonavala and Igatpuri stations on Thursday morning, its spokesperson said.

The 'unprecedented' downpour led to multiple incidents of boulder fall, track washout, mudslide and water logging on Titwala-Igatpuri and Ambernath-Lonavala sections.

The services between Titwala and Igatpuri were restored from Thursday afternoon. Those in the Badlapur-Lonavala and Karjat-Khopoli sections remained suspended after even 18 hours as the track between Badlapur and Karjat was not fully restored, the CR said in a release late Thursday evening.

Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of the CR, said water on the tracks between Badlapur and Vangani receded around 5 pm. After inspection and restoration works, the track was declared safe for operations around 6 pm.

The washed-out portion below tracks near Bhivpuri, about 95 km from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai, was yet to be restored, after which the suburban train traffic till Karjat can resume, Sutar said.

On Wednesday 10.15 pm, the CR suspended the train operations between Titwala-Igatpuri section due to water logging. Around 12.30 am on Thursday it was forced to suspend the traffic on Ambernath-Lonavala, Karjat-Panvel and Karjat-Khopoli sections too.

“The intensity of rainfall from midnight can be gauged as Kasara received 136 mm rainfall in just 4 hours and Karjat received 86.8 mm in one hour,” Sutar said, adding that till Thursday evening Karjat and Lonavala (in Pune district) had recorded 157.7 mm and 178 mm rainfall.

Buses of the MSRTC, the state transport undertaking, were arranged to ferry stranded passengers. As many as 29 buses took 1,290 passengers from Kasara to Kalyan while 75 buses took 4,835 passengers from Igatpuri to Kalyan.

The train traffic between CSMT in south Mumbai and Igatpuri in Nashik district, over 100 km away, resumed on Thursday afternoon, 17 hours after a part of the track was washed away due to torrential rains.

Services between CSMT and Kasara were restored around 3 pm, while the traffic on two lines between Kasara and Igatpuri was restored around 1.30 pm.

The track near Umbermali station in the Titwala-Kasara section which had been washed away was restored about 11 am.

As it rained heavily through the night, incidents of mudslide and boulder fall were reported at five or six locations in the 14 km Ghat (hill) stretch between Kasara and Igatpuri.

Trains for North and East India from Mumbai travel through the Kasara Ghat.

One Poclain excavator, two JCBs, 12 boulder wagons and around 210 workers were deployed along the Ghat since morning to restore the operations, the CR spokesperson said.

Suburban train services of the Central Railway were operated only up to Titwala and Ambernath stations in Thane district from the CSMT in south Mumbai since Wednesday night.

The CR's suburban services on the Harbour, Trans-Harbour and Belapur-Kharkopar lines were running as per schedule.

Local train services on the Western Railway route were also affected due to track changing point failure at Churchgate in south Mumbai early Thursday morning, a spokesperson said. The problem was resolved around 7.30 am and operations were restored. PTI KK GK KRK KRK

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