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In Video, Cloth Used To “Tie” Damaged Mumbai Track, Railways Clarifies

Mumbai: 

A damaged rail track, kept in place by a piece of rag tied around it. Then a passenger train passes over it. A video, apparently showing a man “fixing” local train tracks in rain-hit Mumbai, alarmed many as it was shared on social media on Tuesday, until a clarification came from the Railways.

The damage was reported between Mumbai’s suburban Govandi and Mankhurd stations on the Harbour Line around 6:30 pm yesterday, when rain had crippled the city’s train traffic. The track was repaired within half an hour, but the video that emerged online provoked shock and anger.

The video showed the cloth being tied firmly around the damaged portion, and a train passing over it. TV channels highlighted the footage, dwelling on the disaster they said was waiting to happen.

When railways officials spotted the video, they immediately put out a clarification.

In a statement, the central railways said the video was not accurate, that the cloth was not to bridge the gap but to “mark” the place for fixes.

“The fish plate was intact with tight bolts. The train passed in presence of permanent way official at restricted speed. Cloth wasn’t put to bridge gap, but to mark for replacement since paint doesn’t stick in rain,” the statement said.

Not everyone is convinced. Samir Jhaveri, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, has demanded an inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

Services on all three lines of the suburban railway in Mumbai — Western, Central and Harbour — were severely hit by torrential rain on Tuesday.

(With inputs from PTI)

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