Jul 31, 2014

New buses for Metro Rail in Andheri go practically empty

MUMBAI: Over a month after BEST inaugurated a new bus service especially for Metro Rail users in Mumbai, residents have spotted the new route go practically empty, even during peak hour. Mumbai's first Metro Rail project from Versova to Ghatkopar was launched June 8. 

Since June 25, spanking new buses have been plying along two feeder routes named 'Metro Pheri 1' and 'Metro Pheri 2' for passengers who wish to connect with the three Metro Rail stations along J P Road in Andheri (West). 

"Particularly during this week when it has been raining so heavily, all other bus routes in Andheri are packed to capacity, except the Metro Pheri. You will barely see two or three passengers here because this ring route plies a short distance. It is a pity to see shiny new mini-buses operate unnecessarily when they could be pressed into service to ease passenger load on other crowded routes," said Sriram Shetty, a shopkeeper at Veera Desai Road. 

Locals say there was no need to launch a special feeder bus route to the Metro rail stations. Ravi Jiandani, a resident of Lokhandwala Complex, said, "The Metro Rail line is located along the arterial JP Road where several buses already ply. Most passengers utilize routes with better frequency like 266, 249, 251, 252 and 254 to travel to Andheri station, and they alight along the Metro line if they wish. They can hardly be bothered to wait for the Metro Pheri which arrives only after 15-20 minutes." 

He points out that a group of visually challenged youths, who board bus route 266 from Lokhandwala for Andheri station every afternoon, sometimes alight at Indian Oil junction and climb to the D N Nagar Metro station. 

In fact residents of faraway suburbs like Goregaon and Borivli wish that special bus routes were started for them to join the Metro line in Andheri.
Source..times of india

Nashik-Mumbai road, rail links affected

NASHIK: Landslides at two locations on Wednesday morning disrupted rail as well as road connectivity to Mumbai. Although road traffic returned to normal in three hours, rail connectivity was badly affected and many trains were rescheduled or diverted. Trains from Mumbai to the city were delayed significantly. 

A landslide was triggered in Igatpuri which received 234mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending 8.30am on Wednesday. The first landslide was reported at 8am after which trains to Mumbai were stopped at the nearest stations. 

"The landslide affected the Up track (towards Mumbai) as a result of which the movement of trains was diverted to the Down track (towards Nashik) which resulted in congestion on both tracks," railway officials said. "Trains, including the Jan Shatabdi, were terminated at Nashik." 

The area has two tracks and there is a third track in the ghat section which ensured that the movement of the trains in the ghat section was not completely stopped. 

"Some of trains going towards Mumbai returned either from Igatpuri or Nashik. The Janshatabdi to Aurangabad train returned from Lahavit station, The Sewagram returned from Igatpuri and the Manmad-bound Godavari train returned from Deolali station, after they were terminated at those stations respectively. Arrangements were made for people to continue on by bus till Kasara and other areas," the official said. 

Meanwhile, the Mumbai-Agra National Highway witnessed landslides at five different locations on both routes - the new ghat going towards Mumbai and the old ghat coming from Mumbai. There was no damage to property as they were noticed in time and earthmovers and others systems were put in place to clear the roads. 

"A landslide was reported at 8.30am 53km from Nashik in the Kasara Ghat on the old route as well as new routes. The landslide was located at three different locations on the old ghat route and two locations on the new ghat route that affected the movement of traffic in either direction," said officials at the police department. 

Officials of Gammon India, the BOT contractors, said that landslides affected the traffic for some time but normalcy was restored in about three hours when both roads were opened to traffic.
Source..times of india

Downpour blocks road, rail transport in Gujarat

Heavy downpour for two days in Gujarat disrupted normal life and traffic movement on the Mumbai-Delhi highway and Mumbai-Ahmedabad train route and left more than 10,000 trucks stranded on the national highway due to water logging.

Valsad and other areas of south Gujarat received more than 417 mm rain in the last 24 hours, forcing authorities to launch rescue operations as low-lying areas in Valsad, Surat and other towns were flooded.
Bystanders help a family push their stalled motorcycle through floodwaters in Ahmedabad. (AFP photo)

“Traffic remains jammed at several places from Valsad to Bharuch,” said a senior official of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), adding that it would take 24 hours to clear the traffic provided there was no further rain.

According to him, there was 20 km-long traffic jam at the Narmada river bridge in Bharuch on Tuesday night.

The Delhi-Mumbai national highway 8 is the main road for movements of goods on road from the commercial capital to the national capital passing though Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. More than 5,000 trucks and cargo vehicle ply in this road on an average, daily.

The Ahmedabad-Mumbai train traffic was also affected with the western railways cancelling or rescheduling half-a-dozen trains.
A car drives past a man through a flooded road after heavy monsoon rains in Ahmedabad.(Reuters)

As many as 17 villages apart from Valsad town were put on high alert and two teams each of national disaster relief force (NDRF) of the central reserve police force (CRPF) were called in to shift people to safer locations.

Meanwhile, there have been nine rain-related deaths in the state in the last 24 hours.
Source..hindustan times.





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