Waterlogging in Goa tunnel disrupts trains on Konkan Railway route, passengers stranded

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Panaji, July 10 (PTI) Train traffic on the Konkan Railway route was paralysed once again on Wednesday morning due to severe water-logging inside a tunnel at Pernem in Goa, leading to the cancellation and diversion of several trains and stranding passengers at various stations.

Goa has been receiving heavy rains for the last three days. Although it witnessed moderate showers since Wednesday morning, the Met Department has issued a red alert predicting exceptionally heavy rainfall for the day.

The train disruption began at 2:35 pm on Tuesday when water began oozing into the Pernem tunnel between the Madure-Pernem section, according to Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) Deputy General Manager Baban Ghatge.

Although the waterlogging was initially cleared and traffic resumed at 10:13 pm on Tuesday, the problem reoccurred at 2:59 am on Wednesday with greater intensity.

As a result, several trains were either cancelled or diverted from the Konkan Railway route. Several trains, including the Vande Bharat express train originating from CSMT Mumbai, were cancelled as the track remained closed for the train traffic.

Cancelled trains include Vande Bharat Express originating from Mumbai CSMT, Mandovi Express (Margao to Mumbai), Margao to Sawantwadi passenger train, Margao to Mumbai Tejas Express, Margao to Mumbai Janashatabdi Express, and Sawantwadi-Diva Express.

The diverted trains included the Tirunelveli-Jamnagar Express, Nagarcoil-Gandhidham Express, Ernakulum-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express, Ernakulum-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express, and the Thiruvananthapuram Central-Lokmanya Tilak Express, the KRCL stated.

The recurring issue has left numerous passengers stranded at various railway stations across Goa, including Margao, Canacona, Karmali, Thivim, and Pernem.

The sudden cancellations led to chaotic scenes, particularly at Margao station in South Goa. A group of 200 travellers from Gujarat, including 60 senior citizens, found themselves stranded when the Goa Samparkranti Express was cancelled just two hours before departure.

"There is a group of 200 people with us, of which at least 60 are senior citizens. We were told two hours in advance that the train was cancelled. What should we do now?" questioned Abdul Walekar, a member of the group on tour to Goa.

The group, destined for Baroda railway station, requested that KRCL officials arrange alternative travel.

"We don't mind waiting here at the railway station, but some arrangement should be made for our travel back. We have a big group with us. Staying back in Goa means incurring huge expenses," another member of the group added.

He said KRCL officials have assured them of making alternative arrangements.

Meanwhile, KRCL Deputy General Manager Baban Ghatge assured passengers that efforts are underway to restore the track at the Pernem tunnel.

However, he could not provide a specific timeline for when the track would be cleared, as water continued to seep into the tunnel.

"We are trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible," Ghatge told PTI.

Trains stranded at different railway stations are being diverted while some trains are cancelled including Vande Bharat Express which was supposed to leave from Mumbai, he added. PTI RPS GK NSK