The torrential downpour coursing down on the city may have eased many summer-strained nerves, but for those stuck inside - or wedged out of - public transport, it was pure misery.
The volumes that poured down between June 1 and 16 this year have not only exceeded normal expectations, but are almost incredible. Mumbai suburbs recorded 604.6 mm of rain, which is 335.8% more than the average expected by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in this duration.
The island city, meanwhile, witnessed 540.9 mm rain, which is 631.1% more than the normal. “We consider 180mm of rainfall to be under the normal category, which is expected for Mumbai,” said Ajay Kumar, meteorologist, Regional Meteorological Center, Mumbai. Last year, for the corresponding period of June 1-16, the rainfall received in Santacruz was 40.3 mm and in Colaba 20 mm.
This translates to a 15-fold increase in rains in suburbs and 27-fold increase in city, since the monsoon hit Mumbai on June 6. On Sunday, the city observed 99mm of rainfall whereas the suburbs received 133.2 mm. The met department predicted high tides to be observed at 5.48 am on June 17, churning waves as high as 3.21 m. The IMD also forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds today.
Trains hit hard
Sunday saw streets and train tracks inundated by water at 35 different places in the city. The Central Railway (CR) services were suspended between CST and Dadar from 10.35 am to 2.10 pm. Waterlogging was reported at Masjid, Sandhurst Road and Byculla while Harbour line services were suspended between CST and Kurla from 10.35 am to 2.45 pm. This led to cancellations of over 340 services, along with delays and rescheduling of long-distancing trains.
Officials of Western railway maintained that trains between Grant Road and Mahim were delayed by 10-15 minutes in the afternoon. However, it was observed that commuters were stranded at stations for long durations as trains were running late by 45 minutes.
About 50 services were cancelled, including those for the jumbo block on the rail lines on Sunday. Waterlogging was also seen at spots like Hindmata Cinema junction, Matunga-Gandhi Market, Elphinstone Road, Sion Road no 24, RCF Colony, AC Market at Tardeo, S V Road in Bandra, Chembur, Parel Bridge, Vile Parle, and Mumbai Central near Maratha Mandir.
Cases of wall collapse were reported at Kurla (West), Reay Road (West) station and Sion-Trombay Road. A wall caved in at Turbhe around 1.30 pm, killing two men and injuring 3 others, most of whom were labourers. Moreover, Kalekar building, a four-storey Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) structure at Kumbharwada in South Mumbai, was evacuated at 10.33 am on Sunday as the extended portion of the building fell apart.
Some 18 families vacated the building and are residing in a hall opposite the building as schools re-opened on Monday. Speaking to MiD DAY, MHADA spokesperson Vaishali Wagh said, “The building was not on the list of dilapidated structures, as it was in a good condition. Our engineers found in the survey that the building was safe for accommodation. We will repair the portion on the day there is no rain.”