Around 2000 passengers of two Mumbai-bound long distance trains that got stuck between Nallasopara and Vasai stations of Western Railway early today due to water-logging of tracks had a harrowing time before they were rescued in a joint operation by the NDRF and police. In a joint operation, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the police and fire brigade personnel have rescued all the 2000 passengers from Mumbai-bound Shatabdi Express and Vadodara Express, a Palghar district official said. The Vadodara Express (12928) which departed Vadodara Junction last night was expected to reach its destination Mumbai Central at 4:45 AM today.
Palghar district residential collector Dr Navnath Jare told PTI that water level between Nallasopara and Vasai stations rose to more than two metres due to heavy rains and a high tide this mornning. “We have called an NDRF team comprising 43 personnel along with six boats to the spot. They are helping personnel of police and fire brigade,” Jare said. He said some passengers were stuck in Vadodara Express since 4 this morning. “As of now we have rescued almost all 2000 passengers from both the trains,” the officer said. Palghar district had received extremely heavy rainfall at 240 mm from 8.30 AM yesterday to 8:30 AM today, which collided with a high tide.
Jare said more than 30 state transport (ST) buses arranged for moving out the stranded passengers broke down due to water-logging in Vasai and neighbouring areas. The NDRF team and local authorities are taking all the rescued passengers to Vasai station from where they are being shifted in local trains, he said, adding that special buses have also been arranged to transport these passengers. Another district official said that more than 400 people who were marooned in various villages in Palghar district due to water-logging have been rescued by personnel of fire brigade, police and local people since yesterday.
Areas like Vasai Mithagar (salt pan), Bhoidapada, Wagralpada, Rajavali were inundated due to incessant rains that pummelled the district in the last two days. Among the rescued people was a pregnant woman who needed urgent medical attention, the official said, adding that the woman was rescued from Mithagar area in a boat and was shifted to hospital by police and fire brigade personnel. Various authorities have rescued 400 people from Mithaghar, 66 from Manickpur area in Vasai town, and around 60 people from Rajavali village today, said the spokesperson of Palghar Police.
“They are shifted in safe shelters like schools, colleges, temples and community centres. Local authorities are providing food to them,” he said. The electrical sub-station in Vasai is under water due to which power supply in the town has been affected. Around three lakh residents are affected due to the power shutdown, a district official said. He said the lack of electricity is hampering rescue operations as authorities cannot operate the equipment that run on power. In a multi-agency operation, authorities of the state disaster control room are tackling coordination.