The Western Railway (WR) authorities have written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai university over the re-laying of the surface of the university ground. It’s going on on the north-western fringes of Churchgate station.
WR’s engineering department that oversees all its civil works has expressed fear that the re-laying of the ground surface with a fresh coat of mud would increase its height in comparison to the tracks at the entrance of Churchgate station and result in flooding during the monsoon.
WR’s chief public relations officer, Sharat Chandrayan, confirmed that a letter had been sent. It was sent to the chief engineer, storm water drains, BMC, and vice-chancellor, Mumbai University. Officials said they are still waiting for a reply.
“The natural drainage of Churchgate is from east to west and the ground lies on the western side. If the height of the ground’s surface increases as compared to the tracks, it will affect the natural drainage and slow down the water dispersal. Moreover, water accumulated in the ground will also run onto the tracks. This means the threat of floods during heavy rains and high tides at Churchgate station is very real now,” said a senior WR official.
According to officials, water-logging at the mouth of Churchgate would cripple the WR suburban system.
“We have asked the BMC and university the scheme of their work and the measures they are taking to ensure the natural drainage of this area is not disturbed,” said an official.
BMC’s chief engineer, storm water drains, LS Vatkar said he would have to check whether permissions were granted for the resurfacing of the university ground. “I will have to go through the letter and only then will I be able to comment,” he said.
This is not the first time that Churchgate station has faced such a problem. Earlier, during the re-construction of Wankhede stadium at the time of the 2011 cricket World Cup, the storm water drain beneath Churchgate station was diverted under the neighbouring hockey ground.