Mumbai flooded; 2 killed, BMC's claims about rain-ready city washed away
Incessant rains paralyses normal life in the city, disrupting public transport services; several places water-logged as more heavy showers are expected in the next couple of days
Incessant rains lashing Mumbai since last night disrupted normal life resulting in suspension of train services on the busy Central, Harbour and Western lines due to water-logging on tracks, some flights were cancelled while others were diverted at the Mumbai airport, taxis, autos, buses were unable to ply due to heavy floods in several parts of the city.
The heavy rains that pummelled Mumbai and its suburbs also saw two persons die of electrocution. According to an official of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) disaster management unit, a five-year-old boy and a 60-year-old woman died of electrocution in Wadala in central Mumbai.
The BMC had even inaugurated two new pumping stations, constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 200 crore, but even their catchment areas (areas supposed to be drained out by the pumps) were flooded.
According to the weather bureau, Mumbai has recorded a whopping 283 mm of rain since the past 24 hours, which pushes the total rainfall received so far in the month of June to 537 mm. This is more than the monthly average of 523 mm. Civic authorities described the rainfall in the country's financial capital as "unprecedented", they said 283 mm of rain is normally received in 10 days.
Water-logging near Hindmata Cinema in Lower Parel
"The city has witnessed unprecedented rainfall in the last 24 hours, more than that the city usually receives in 10 days. Mumbai witnessed 283 mm of rain in 24 hours," the city's Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta told reporters.
"Of the total annual average rainfall Mumbai witnesses, 10 percent of it has been received in 24 hours, which usually takes 10 days," he added.
There were reports of tree crashes, road cave-ins, vehicles submerged in rainwaters, power failures, traffic snarls on the Western and Eastern Express Highways, waterlogging at both ends of several flyovers and the Eastern Freeway.
Coastal regions of the state including Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg experienced torrential rains, hitting normal life with flooding in several towns and villages.
Heavy downpour was reported from Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nashik and other cities slowing down normal life.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reached the disaster management room to take stock of situation prevailing in Mumbai following heavy rains and problems related to water logging.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the disaster management room
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and son Aditya Thackeray at the BMC disaster management room
Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit S. Shah declared Friday as a public holiday for all courts in the city due to the excessive rain, which has disrupted normal life.
There was also heavy water-logging near the Railway office quarters in Byculla
Heavy water-logged street near Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Auditorium in Sion (E)
Hassled commuters at Andheri railway station. Pics/mid-day readers
Thousands of commuters, bound for offices and other work places, were caught unaware at suburban stations around Mumbai as railways announced suspension of services.
The BMC had earlier ordered schools in Mumbai to close in view of the heavy rain and problems related to water logging.
Heavy water-logging at a housing society in Sion
While Central line connects Mumbai CST to far-flung areas like Kasara, Badlapur, Ambernath etc., Harbour Line connects CST to Panvel. Western line starts from Churchgate and is recently extended up to Dahanu. In total, around 70-80 lakh people travel daily by local trains across all three lines, which are called as lifeline of Mumbai.
Commuters on the Sion Bridge
There was heavy water-logging in the areas under the Sion Bridge
Dadar railway station
Chunabatti railway station
Railway sources said it is difficult to say by when the services would be resumed. The city has been battered by heavy rains since last night. Meanwhile, rain services on the Western line were also cancelled.
The otherwise crowded CST Railway station bore a deserted look with very few vehicles and pedestrians on the streets
Heavy water-logging was witnessed on the JP road stretch in Andheri West between the Indian Oil junction and four bungalow signal, the area below the Metro corridor on Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road between Saki Naka and Asalfa, High JVPD area, some locations of the Santacruz Chembur Link Road among others.
Flooding at Four Bungalows area in Andheri
Heavy flooding occured on Currey Road station tracks
The train tracks at Matunga Road railway station were also flooded
Sion, Santacruz, Andheri, Parel, Ghatkopar, Matunga and several other suburban areas are reportedly water-logged. Trains at Andheri railway station are said to be running till Bandra and not further. The trains plying on platforms for Churchgate are running till Borivli and Virar.
Flooded street near Podar school at Santacruz West
Commuters boarding a train at Borivali railway station
The railways have advised commuters to avoid travel in view of the situation unless it is very urgent.
"Suburban services are affected due to heavy rains and water-logging in several areas in Mumbai Central and Matunga. It is advised to all that commuters may travel only in case of emergency," Western Railway stated in a release.
Metro and Monorail services resumed
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor and the Wadala-Chembur Monorail corridor resumed, according to schedule with 4-minute headway for Metro and 15-minute headway for Monorail.
Flights affected as well
The operations from Juhu Airport are closed due to water logging on the runway, which was shut from 7am today and is expected to remain closed till 12pm. Though due to rains according to Juhu Airport Officials the flights weren't scheduled for the day, K S L Narsimhan, Joint General Manager of Juhi Airport said, " In normal condition 10 to 15 flights might have taken off up till now."
The Juhu Airport being closed due flooded runway has made the oil rig workers and officers stranded there. "We are trying to pump the water out and hence expect movements to begin from noon," added Narsimhan.
Meanwhile the arrival of flights from Mumbai CSI Airport are delayed by 10 minutes. Passengers are finding it difficult to reach the airport on time due to the limited transport available. The auto rickshaw drivers are charging double than the meter amount to drop ferry
School children advised to stay home, exams cancelled
Due to incessant rains and complaints of water logging coming from all over the city, parents have been advised to not send their children to school. MCGM circulated this message to schools--"As per Deputy Municipal Commissioner's order, due to heavy rain all aided and unaided schools will be closed today. Inform parents and forward this message to all neighboring schools."
Similarly, University of Mumbai too announced, on early Friday morning, that many of its examinations have been cancelled and postponed. "All theory and practical examinations of University of Mumbai on June 19 are postponed due to heavy rains. Further notice will be given on the university website for new dates," Dinesh Bhonde Controller of Examination, MU. He added that some BA, Public policy and some practical exam of Msc have been postponed.
(With inputs from agencies)
An accident on the Eastern Freeway resulted in a bumper to bumper traffic jam at Wadala for commmuters heading towards CST.