Mumbai rains update: Public transport slow but steady despite downpour

Sep 20, 2017, 21:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Mumbai's public transport was slow but stayed afloat. While services on all the three lines faced were delayed, but they remained functional with a few disruptions in the morning

 Vehicles wade through a water logged street after heavy rain in Mumbai on Wednesday
Vehicles wade through a waterlogged street after heavy rain in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pic/PTI

Latest update
Mumbai's public transport was slow but stayed afloat. While services on all the three lines faced were delayed, but they remained functional with a few disruptions in the morning. While Ola and Uber had switched off their dynamic pricing since last night and tried to run a few shuttle services from airport to Metro station, the Mumbai Metro recorded its highest weekday ridership.

Services on the Nalasopara-Virar section of the Western Railway were disrupted for a brief period early in the morning around 6am, due to flooding of water above rail level, but restored soon. Till late in the evening, services were running, though there were delays at certain points.  Between 4am and 6pm, about 126 suburban services were cancelled and 115 delayed on WR.

 Trains ran slow during heavy rain showers in Mumbai on September 20, 2017. AFP PHOTO
Trains ran slow during heavy rain showers in Mumbai on September 20, 2017. AFP PHOTO

While the harbour line had been disrupted early in the morning, it kept running throughout the day. On the trans-harbour section of Central Railway, there was a minor train snag at Airoli, but all other services operated, though a few delays occurred. Overall, there were a few services as the government had declared a holiday for schools and colleges, but this ensured that there were no disruptions.

Intercity express trains originating from Central and Western Railway were also affected owing to heavy rains and the railways were putting up hourly updates on suburban and outstation trains on their respective Twitter handles.

"Today only 80 percent of the rakes were put into service due to Maharashtra government declaring holiday for schools and colleges. Moreover, there was no crowd or rush at most of the stations and on trains over Central Railway hence there was no overcrowding at all. We have kept loco and emu inspectors at strategic locations through out to monitor ground situation at every prone area," a CR spokesperson said.

Ola & Uber
While Ola and Uber had switched off their dynamic pricing since last night, Ola ran free shuttle services from the airport to the nearest Metro station. Uber requested customers to pool in and share rides for Mumbaikars travelling in same direction and also said they were working on getting more cars on the road.  

Mumbai rains
A bus plies through a waterlogged street in Hindmata, Dadar. Pic/Satej Shinde

BEST buses
BEST officials said on Wednesday of the scheduled turnout of 3,401 buses, about 3,193 buses were actually turned out. Water logging led to several BEST buses getting stranded. According to BEST officials, 82 buses broke down, out of which 13 were stranded in the flood on Tuesday. The BEST staff worked through the night to move the buses. Due to water logging, seven bus routes were also diverted. One bus was trapped in about 6 feet water in Malad subway and had to be towed out. Luckily there were no passengers in it.

The Santa Cruz Observatory recorded very hefty rains to the tune of 304 mm which is the highest rainfall ever recorded in the last ten years in the month of September. On the other hand, the Colaba Observatory too witnessed 210 mm of torrential showers.

Heavy rains pounded Mumbai and suburbs for the second day today, disrupting flight operations at the Mumbai airport and delaying suburban train services in the financial capital.

According to an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster management cell, no untoward incident was reported after the incessant Mumbai rains.

"Several parts of the metropolis, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall. However, no untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the city," he said.

Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray has refuted rumours of a cyclone warning being issued in Mumbai. He also tweeted that the Bandra-Worli Sea Link has not been closed for traffic.

Mumbai Police, too, confirmed that Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Pedder Road and Sion Bridge are open with smooth traffic movement.

Mumbai rains
A man carries his child home from school on a motorcycle amid a downpour. Pic/PTI

Hide tide and low tide timing
Amid Mumbai rains, the police warned of a high tide at 12.03 pm and low tide at 6.04 pm today.

A 4.54-metre high tide warning was issued for noon at 12.03 pm. 

Schools and colleges shut
Because of Mumbai rains, schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been instructed to remain closed today.

Mumbai rains
Vehicles wade through a flooded road after heavy rains in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. PTI Photo

Rainfall levels
From 8.30 am yesterday to 5.30 am today, the Colaba observatory recorded 210 mm rain, while the Santacruz observatory recorded 303.7 mm rain in the period, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the deep sea because of heavy Mumbai rains, an IMD official said.

An IMD official said that the Santacruz observatory recorded 225.3 mm rain from 8.30 am to 11.30 pm last night. This quantity falls under the weather category of 'extremely heavy rain' (204.5 mm and above), he said. The observatory recorded over 100 mm in just three hours (5.30-8.30pm), the official added. Mumbai recorded its second highest September rain in a span of 12 hours yesterday, BMC officials said. The rainfall recorded at BMC's automatic weather stations between 8 am and 10 pm included Nariman Point (88mm), Worli (110mm), Chembur (112mm), Mulund (94mm), Andheri (208mm), Bandra (128mm) and Borivli (204mm).


Buses stuck in water logged street during heavy rain at Hindmata, Dadar. Pic/Satej Shinde
Buses stuck in waterlogged street during heavy rain at Hindmata, Dadar. Pic/Satej Shinde

SpiceJet incident
The skidding of a SpiceJet aircraft on the main runway (09/27) last night because of Mumbai rains compounded the problem further as it forced the private airport operator to shift operations to the secondary runway, which can carry out limited operations.

The SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 183 people overshot a wet runway while landing at the airport due to Mumbai rains and got stuck in the mud, officials said yesterday, adding that all passengers were safely evacuated.

Air Traffic
Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were affected due to heavy Mumbai rains and low visibility.

As many as 56 flights were diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continued to be out of use due to the SpiceJet aircraft stuck there, an airport official said.

Six international flights have been diverted from Mumbai to Delhi as the main runway at Mumbai airport is closed.

The main runway at the Mumbai airport is unlikely to be functional before this evening as the SpiceJet aircraft remained stuck on it. The Mumbai airport operator has been given NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the main runway till 2 pm, which means the flight operations cannot be carried out on it till that time, a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said today. The clearing of the main runway may take a longer time than expected and the operations there are unlikely to resume before evening, the official said. Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to passengers. The Mumbai airport, the country's second busiest airport, handles 930 flights per day with an average of 48 movements per hour.

Only the runway No. 14 and 32 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are operational for now. 


People walk through street during heavy rain at Dadar railway station. Pic/Satej Shinde
People walk through street during heavy rain at Dadar railway station. Pic/Satej Shinde

Train Services

Western Railway suburban trains are running normal between Churchgate-Virat-Dahanu Road except some cases of minor delay as at 04.15 pm.

Central Railway is doing is pretty well despite the continuous rains. Trains on slow line are running just 10 minutes late. 

In Harbour line, no cancellations or significant delays have been reported. Trains in Trans harbour are delayed by 10-15 minutes.

Suburban train services were running late by 10 to 15 minutes, an official said.

The trains witnessed lesser crowd today as many people proffered to remain indoors due to the heavy rain forecast.

According to Mumbai Police, the Harbour Line train services came to a halt for a brief period in the early hours today but later resumed.

Central Railway's chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi said a few short-destination local trains had to be cancelled yesterday night to streamline the services.

"Since 10 pm yesterday, our services on the main and the harbour lines are running at regular intervals with lesser frequency and restricted speed in water-logging prone areas. Our field staff and supervisors have been deployed to keep a tab on the water level," Udasi said.

Senior railway officers were keeping a watch on the situation and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel were roped-in to manage any crowds at the stations, he said.

The trains on the Western Line were also running late by 10 to 15 minutes, according to an official of the Western Railway (WR).

The long distance trains which were regulated and stranded at various locations due to heavy water-logging at Nallasopara, Virar have been cleared, WR said in a statement.

Some intercity trains like Manmad-Mumbai Express, Gujarat Express, Saurashtra Express, Bandra-Terminus Surat Intercity Express and Mumbai Central-Ahmadabad Shatabdi Express have been cancelled, as per the officials of the Central Railway and the Western Railway.


Road traffic

Some parts of Thane has low visibility due to heavy downpour. Western Express Highway is relatively smoother on both ways. If you are travelling towards Ghodbunder from Vasai, be ready for a lot of traffic.

Waterlogged roads
Slight water logging at Andheri subway. Traffic normal at D N Nagar.
No water logging or traffic diversions in Worli including smooth traffic on Sea Link.
No water logging & traffic normal at BKC, Dahisar, Dadar, Parel, Matunga and Tardeo.

Vehicles were moving, though a bit slowly, on the city's two major roads - the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway, the BMC official said. Buses were running normal and there were no diversions in the routes, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) spokesperson Hanumant Gofane said. 

Mumbai rains
A waterlogged street in Mumbai. Pic/Satej Shinde

'Dabbawalas' cancel service
The 'dabbawalas' of Mumbai today cancelled their delivery of over two lakh tiffins to office-goers in the city in view of the disruption of suburban rail services after heavy rains. The tiffin delivery men use suburban trains to ensure lunch boxes reach their destination on time.

What next
The MeT department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall till tomorrow. All the agencies concerned have been put on high alert to deal with any eventuality.

IMD scientist Ajay Kumar said the situation will improve from now onwards.


Mumbai Rain Updates

Photos: Second heavy downpour in September drowns Mumbai yet again
Photos: Second heavy downpour in September drowns Mumbai yet again

Mumbai Rains: Heavy showers continue, flight services hit

Mumbai Rains: 'Dabbawala' service cancelled today in rain-hit city

Mumbai schools, colleges to remain closed today, says Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde

Spicejet flight skids at Mumbai airport runway, stuck in mud

Mumbai Rains: Wall collapses in Amboli, no casualties

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