No waterlogging in city? Is state education minister Vinod Tawde mocking Mumbai?
As the city suffered to stay afloat in 100 mm of rain on Tuesday, state education minister Vinod Tawde said there was no waterlogging; was the minister deliberately mocking Mumbai?
Roads turned into rivers? Check. Areas turned swimming pools? Check. Trains slowed or stopped? Check. Flights delayed? Check. Boats out? Check. This was the Maximum City on Tuesday, as rains lashed relentlessly all through the previous night and day.
There was a major problem between Nalasopara and Virar on the Western Railway, and on the Harbour line of Central Railway near Mankhurd. Rail traffic was stopped at Nalasopara around 7.15 am as the water level on tracks was very high — up to 200 mm to 460 mm. Services of the air-conditioned train were also suspended later in the day. About 150 suburban services were cancelled and approximately 50 were delayed.
"I took a Churchgate Slow from Goregaon in the morning. It was painfully slow, but thankfully, it didn't stop, and I managed to reach Dadar eventually," said Shreya Jaokar, a student.
On CR, services slowed down and were delayed for quite some time due to waterlogging at various stations, including Mankhurd, which was the most affected. About 127 services were cancelled and several delayed. The trans-harbour continued to run with limited services.
Several outstation trains arrived late, with many stranded at intermediate stations. Arrangements were then made to provide food packets/snacks/water to passengers of several long-distance trains. Till 5 pm, more than 16,300 food packets were distributed in 23 trains, with local NGOs joining to support the rescue operations.
Waterlogging resulted in the diversion of BEST buses on several routes. "I boarded a bus from Matunga to Chembur, which got stuck at King's Circle for an hour. Our driver then took another route. It took me two hours to reach home," said Shivani Amin, a student of Ruia college.
Another student, Shreya Chaudhury from the Institute of Hotel Management, said, "I took a bus from Anushakti Nagar to Dadar, but the bus could not move beyond Sumar Nagar. I got off along with the other passengers, as the conductor said there is a lot of water ahead. I managed to get a rickshaw back home."
Children get a 'swimming pool' in Matunga. Pics/BIipin Kokate, Sayyed Sameer Abedi, Atul Kamble
Roads flow away
It was equally bad for road traffic with water accumulating up to knee-level in several places, reminding locals of July 26, 2005. Thane, Hindmata, Kurla, Sion, Dadar, Matunga, Antop Hill and King's Circle, witnessed intense waterlogging, as did Lower Parel, Santacruz, Bandra, Khar, Kandivli, Goregaon, Andheri, Juhu and Dahisar. While the BMC deployed its dewatering pumps, the situation did not normalise for a long time.
According to information from the Disaster Control Room, 43 complaints of tree-fall and 30 of short-circuit were received. Wednesday, however, might bring some relief, as though weather agencies are expecting steady rainfall in the coming days, the intensity is likely to reduce now.
Schools, colleges confused
With State Education Minister Vinod Tawde declaring Tuesday a holiday a little late, schools and colleges were in a state of confusion — his declaration for a holiday for schools and colleges in Thane and Palghar regions, with an additional announcement of telling authorities of institutes in Mumbai to take a call on the holiday, came at 11.55 am.
"Instructed Deputy Director to ensure that the schools in Thane and Palghar district remain closed due to the erratic weather conditions. In Mumbai, the principals of schools are instructed to take the call on school closure, gauging the water logging in the adjacent areas," he tweeted.
Vinod Tawde, State Edu Minister
Several schools, by then, had already decided to not function, as the downpour hadn't stopped. Colleges, too, declared it a holiday later. FYJC admissions that were extended till Tuesday were given another day's extension, as several students could not make it to their centres.
K S Hosalikar,
deputy director general of meteorology, IMD
'It was the third day of widespread monsoon across Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Navi Mumbai. Rainfall has continued to be in three digits so far. However, citizens can rest easy on some hope, as we are expecting a reduction in the intensity'
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