A major landslide blocked tracks in a section of the Konkan Railway Tuesday, hitting services between Mumbai and the southern states and leaving thousands of people who were going home for the Ganeshotsav festival stranded. There were no casualties.
A retaining wall, around 20 metres long, came crashing on the railway tracks near Pomendi, Ratnagiri district, around 225 km south of Mumbai, at 8.15 a.m., a Konkan Railway spokesperson said.
All trains from Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and beyond to Gujarat and New Delhi have been held up at various points on the route till the tracks are cleared at Pomendi and the adjoining sections.
"Our team of engineers has rushed there with the required equipment. Work has started on a war-footing to restore services," the official told IANS.
Despite torrential rains which continued for the fifth consecutive day in the coastal Konkan region and the Western Ghats, he expressed optimism that services would be restored by afternoon.
Thousands of Mumbaikars rushing to their native villages and towns in the Konkan districts have been stranded due to the train disruptions.
Many preferred to choose the road to ensure they reach on time for the 10-day Ganeshotsav festival starting Thursday.
This is the third time in the current monsoon that landslides have disrupted services on the Konkan Railway network in the Pomendi ghat section.
The official attributed it to heavy rains, loose soil conditions, falling rocks and stones which damaged or blocked the railway tracks.
He said the Konkan Railway is implementing remedial measures in a phased manner to arrest the problems by next monsoon.
Meanwhile, intermittent showers and heavy rains continued to lash Mumbai and its surrounding areas throughout Monday night. But there were no reports of waterlogging from any part of the city.