Western Railway officials consider their local train stabling yard at the southern-end of Bandra station as one of their most problematic. The trains parked there at night are often used by slum dwellers, who live along the fringe of the yard, to sleep in at night, whereas, during the day, kids play between them.
On Sunday, the problem got magnified after miscreants cut the cables beneath several coaches of the two local trains parked there. This left WR with two trains less to run. If this doesn't stop, it's going to be a major problem for commuters, warned WR officials.
Speaking to dna, WR divisional railway manager Shailendra Kumar said, "Miscreant activity of this sort was noticed earlier, but these incidents used to take place at night. This time, it has happened during the day. The Railway Protection Force has been asked to increase surveillance and, hopefully, the culprits will be nabbed soon."
A senior RPF official said prima facie, it looked like an attempt by thieves to extract copper from the cables without realising that those cables do not have any copper in them. "A case has been registered for creating nuisance and damaging railway property," said the official.
The issue once again highlights WR as well as Central Railway's perennial problem of lack of parking space for their trains. "Most of the adjoining stretches of these yards have been taken over by slums and children. Urchins loiter around in the yard looking for small items that could be sold in the flea market. The more dangerous ones are the drug addicts, who are looking for copper and end up cutting cables and damaging the rake itself," said a senior railway official.
Among the problematic train stabling yards for the railways are the ones in Bandra south, where this incident happened, the one on the northern end of Dadar station and the one on the northern tip of Kurla station.