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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

BMC's app is a wash-out
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) application (app) for weather updates during the monsoon experienced a super fail yesterday when the city saw its first serious bout of rain.

Called Mumbai Monsoon, the app by Abel Software and Consultants Pvt Ltd claims to have more than 50 automated weather stations placed at strategic locations across Mumbai, connected through high speed dedicated leased lines.

It is aimed at giving Mumbai citizens details of rainfall at their location with precise accuracy, but the app kept crashing, and many users eventually uninstalled it. In addition to having interface problems, some users claimed that the app was slow and caused their phones to hang.

The app was launched about a month ago, to give citizens area-wise details about temperature, humidity, wind speed, high and low tides and traffic diversion details. But like so much else about the municipality, it has failed to live up to its promise.

Harbour Highlights
One heavy downpour is all it took for everything to go haywire. For all the supposed preparation by the municipality, even the delay in the monsoon’s onset didn’t seem to help.

Tired of waiting for the trains to move, commuters simply got down at Tilak Nagar and moved towards Kurla. Pics/Shakti Shetty
Tired of waiting for the trains to move, commuters simply got down at Tilak Nagar and moved towards Kurla. Pics/Shakti Shetty

As has become the norm, the Harbour Line came to a standstill within a short time of the rains setting in yesterday, with trains halting short of Kurla station. As a result, commuters alighted and decided to cover the remaining distance by themselves, wading through the filthy water on the track. After all, using the submerged adjoining road was out of question. Quite a start for the monsoon season ahead!

Two little drenched rats trying to keep themselves above water. Interestingly, none of the commuters tried to harm them
Two little drenched rats trying to keep themselves above water. Interestingly, none of the commuters tried to harm them

Overheard: While balancing on the railway tracks and avoiding rain at the same time, two office-bound gentlemen somehow found humour in the situation. Commuter #1: “Pehli hi baarish mein hawaa nikal gayi Harbour Line ki.” Commuter #2: “Is mein naya kya hai? Ab toh aadat padh gayi hogi.”

Fan fervour
Football fans say that it was because Argentina won over Switzerland, that the rains were unleashed. There are so many Argentina fans in the city, that when they jumped up and down cheering in excitement the rain gods thought they were doing a rain dance.

Bullet-proof ride in the rain
Yesterday's rains caught some Mumbaikars off guard, and the rapidly-flooded streets left them with no option but to get drenched from above as well as from feet upwards.


Representational pic

And while some vehicles got stranded due to rising water on the roads, a scribe who hitched a ride on a Royal Enfield motorcycle found that it made the sturdiest of rides, and was unfazed by the flooded Khar subway during the morning peak hour.

The steady thud-thud of the Bullet went past many an autorickshaw and cab stalled due to the water. Yes, the riders were wet but they reached their destination!

PS: What does a completely drenched Mumbaikar do when caught unawares by unending rain? Walk into a store and buy a new outfit, of course! The store staff even kindly turned the air-conditioning off on seeing the shivering customer, and offered her a towel.

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