The recent spell of monsoon rains in Mumbai caused waterlogging in many parts of the city and suburbs, and disrupted rail and road traffic and flight operations.
Across Mumbai, traffic crawled at a snail’s pace on the major thoroughfares like Eastern Express and Western Express highways, and major north-south roads, delaying office-goers, college and school students.
The Central Railway bore the brunt of the heavy rain, with water stagnating on the tracks, resulting in slowing down of trains. Many train services were even cancelled due to submerged tracks, and the cascading effect hit even the WR and Harbour Line.
Local trains on the Central Line, which connects important parts of the financial capital like the main terminal Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to suburbs like Kurla, saw one-hour delays. Some trains were cancelled.
The rain battered the already worn-out roads further. Huge traffic snarls were reported on pothole-ridden arterial roads in the western suburbs, including the Western Express Highway (WEH) stretch and between SV Road between Andheri and Bandra. The monsoon mayhem at Mumbai’s railway tracks is an eye opener and comes at a time when the Modi government is planning to start work on India’s first bullet train
, touted as a symbol of the country leapfrogging into a new age. The project, a 508 kilometer line costing a total of Rs 97,636 crore, will run at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. It is expected to serve 13 million people initially.
But what are we talking about, really?
If the present condition of the Mumbai’s railway tracks is something to go by, then we have a serious problem in hands.
Moreover, poor urban infrastructure is also adding to the problems. Mumbai’s suburban train network, often described as the city’s lifeline, is considering to be a death trap as at least eight people dying on an average every day between 2005 and 2014 after falling off trains or while crossing the tracks.
By all means, it looks like making Modi government’s dream project a success will be no mean feat.