After the heavy rain in Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar, Nalasopara Station recorded water levels on the tracks reached 200 mm by 8 am, the highest ever at Nalasopara station. According Indian Express reports, nearly 1,500 passengers on stalled long-distance trains and nearly 400 residents of low-lying salt pan lands in Manikpur had to be rescued on boats by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The NDRF was called in after the Ahmedabad-bound Shatabdi Express and the Vadodara Express, stalled some distance from Nalasopara station.
50 km from the heart of Mumbai and along the proposed Rs 1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train route, Mumbai’s satellite townships of Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar were stuck Tuesday after rail and road connections to Mumbai snapped.
Passengers were stuck for four to eight hours. Western Railway suspended services between Virar and Nalasopara stations early Tuesday, bringing matters to a head for the 3.5 lakh daily commuters of the region. While talking to railway Official regarding the situation, they said, “While we terminated other trains at platforms, it was difficult to move these trains as the water level on the tracks was too high.”
Officials of the Western Railway’s Mumbai suburban division were confident that services would not stop despite heavy rains. On Tuesday, Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Mishra said, “Nalasopara was never the vulnerable spot to get flooded in the monsoons. It is not just the tracks but the entire area that is waterlogged. A large amount of water from the roads has flown onto the tracks, adding to water levels.”
Passengers also were suffered from heavy rain also expressed their dissatisfaction with railway service. “Till 11 am, not even an additional bus service was arranged for us. Without trains, we couldn’t go anywhere. I lost a day’s earnings for no fault of mine,” said Sakhid Shaikh, a labourer at a construction site in Dadar and Virar resident.
Shruti Jha, who was on the Vadodara Express, said there was no food until 3 pm. “More than four hours of being stranded in the train, we felt suffocated. The fans went off too,” she said.
After the long discussion between Western Railway General Manager A. K. Gupta and Municipal Commissioner Satish Lokhande of the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation on Monday evening to resolve the water logging on the railway tracks along these stations.
Railway officials said arrangements were made to provide food packets and water to passengers of several long-distance trains stranded beyond Virar. “Help from local NGOs was sought in providing food and water. In all, 16,300 food packets were arranged for passengers on 23 trains held up at different stations. Also, all catering stalls at stations were asked to keep food items stocked,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson for WR.