Mumbai Rains: Is BMC really ready for the monsoons?
According a report from the BMC, nine places in the city witnessed waterlogging and traffic jams
Just four days after the BMC told the Bombay High Court it was ready for the monsoon, a series of disasters across the city have washed away all the false claims Santacruz recorded 231 mm of rainfall from 8 am on Sunday to 8 am on Monday, whereas Colaba recorded 99 mm. This was followed by 48.3 mm in Santacruz and 43 mm in the island city until 8.30 pm last night. Western suburbs, such as Borivli and Kandivli, saw heavy rainfall.
According a report from the BMC, nine places in the city - Sion Road No.24, Maheshwari Udyan, Samaj Mandir Hall at Pratiksha Nagar, Chembur Phatak area, Morarji Nagar at Filter Pada, Milan Subway, Malad Subway, National College in Bandra and Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon - witnessed waterlogging and traffic jams.
The civic body boasted that it had improved water flow at 120-odd areas. The Corporation deployed 22 de-watering pumps to cut down on flooding. However, a contractor failed to provide the required diesel to keep the pumps operational at Chamdawadi nullah. Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, issued orders to send the contractor a show cause notice seeking explanation on why should BMC not put him on the black list.
Despite all these incidents and several tragic mishaps reported across the city, the BMC claimed that everything was under control. Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the ruling party Shiv Sena, boasted that the rainfall received by Mumbai was even more than Cherrapunji (touted as one of the wettest places on Earth), but there were still no problems.
Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, said, "We have taken all the necessary precautions and working to ensure there is no trouble to citizens. Wherever the waterlogging took place, we have ensured that pumps are in operation and water recedes at a good speed. We did conduct the audit of trees, but it is difficult to assess the condition of the trees. We are taking precautions regarding this as well."
Ongoing work on the ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), coupled with heavy rains, slowed down train services on the Western Railway, between Bhilad and Sanjan. A K Gupta, general manager, monitored the restoration work. Services were disrupted around 7.45 am and restored around 3.55 pm.
Trees and houses collapse
On Monday, Rajkumari Goud, 37, a resident of Andheri was rushed to Cooper hospital in critical condition after a part of her balcony collapsed. The BMC received seven house collapse calls in the city. A vacant building also collapsed at Pydhonie; there were no injuries.
A falling tree stuck five people near Azad Maidan on Sunday. One of them was reported dead soon after, while another 60-year-old died late that night. Three others were injured. On Monday, 48 incidents of trees or branches falling were reported to the disaster management unit. While 13 of the cases were in the island city,12 were in the eastern suburbs, and 23 in the western suburbs. These incidents give strength to allegations that despite the BMC chief's orders, hardly any tree safety audits took place in the city.
8-year-old drowns in pit dug by railways
An eight-year-old enjoying a day off from school ended up drowning in a waterlogged pit in Kalwa, from where his body was dragged for 2 km by a nullah. The boy, identified as Ajay Kisan Pawar, was a resident of Ashok Nagar. On Monday afternoon, due to heavy rains, school was shut, so Ajay and his friends went to play in a pit filled with water. The pit had been dug two days ago for railway work. Ajay was overpowered by the fast flowing monsoon run-off, which pulled him into a nullah. Passers-by couldn't help because the water current was too strong.
Elevator crash injures 4
A few seconds in the lift proved to be nearly fatal for four residents of building number 17 at Shantinagar Society in Ghatkopar East. The incident occurred on Monday evening, when Rupali Gaikar, 23; Sunit Ingale, 28; Komal Dalvi, 18; and Vinayak Dalvi, 43, were on their way downstairs in the lift. Seconds after descending from the fourth floor, the elevator crashed onto the ground. While three escaped with minor injuries, one of the residents suffered a limb fracture.
Rainfall expected: Up to 40-50mm
Intensity: Heavy to very heavy rainfall intermittently in the city and suburbs
*Source: IMD/Skymet Weather
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