As height barrier remains missing, tall vehicles may damage arch of Vitawa subway

09 October, 2018

Thane: An apparent delay in installing height gauges by the Central Railway at Vitawa underpass on Thane Belapur road is exposing it to possible damages from heavy vehicles passing under it alleged experts.

Activists and traffic officials have been complaining that the railways is delaying installation of height gauges after the existing one at the Digha-Kalwa lane was damaged two months back after a stray container truck rammed into it. The railways had started work on replacing the gauge but it has been nearly two months now that the work is on at a snail’s pace, complain regulars. Subsequently, there is no mechanism for stopping vehicles whose height could clash with the structure.

Last month there was an incident where another Gujarat-bound container rushed inside the subway without any checks and got wedged under a part of the subway. Luckily, the alert driver realised his folly and stopped the truck else it could have damaged major part of the subway ceiling and could have also affected the traffic of trains running above it. The absence of the height barrier has now put the onus on the traffic police who are now extra cautious while allowing heavy vehicles to pass underneath.

“The truck was so badly stuck inside the subway that we had to deflate the tyre and deploy a huge crane to pull it. The incident caused massive traffic snarls,” informed a police official from the area.

There is a notable volume of heavy freight traffic using the Thane Belapur road to cross over from Navi Mumbai and Thane and beyond adding to the congestion here. The height of the subway is 4.44m from the ground and any excess loaded truck can get stuck inside and afeect the road traffic and also possibly damage the subway that has six live railway tracks running above it.

“The traffic at the spot ahead of Vitawa often gets clogged during peak hours when the police have to stop each and every heavy freight vehicle to check that they don’t infringe with the subway structure. We often get stuck in the traffic while reaching Thane by several minutes. The administration should have two levels of safety mechanism now considering that the stretch is often used by heavy vehicles,” complained Rakesh Varma, a GB road resident.

Meanwhile, the Central Railway said they were installing height gauges at the spot and the same should be made operational by this week. “We understand the complexity of the situation and are working on erecting a suitable height barrier ahead of the subway corridor. The work may take some time as it is a very complex job,” said a Central Railway official.

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