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Real Mumbai rain arrives, bringing real Mumbai pain

Updated on: 09 July,2024 06:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

Chaos controlled to an extent thanks to schools and colleges shutting and many offices allowing employees to work from home

Real Mumbai rain arrives, bringing real Mumbai pain

A waterlogged road at Nehru Nagar, Kurla on July 8. Pic/Shadab Khan

Mumbai witnessed its first spell of heavy showers on Monday, with the Santacruz observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) recording 267.9 mm of rainfall in 24 hours and weather stations set up by the civic body registering figures higher than 300 mm from 1 am to 7 am. The long-awaited showers lowered the mercury, but waterlogging, overflowing nullahs and traffic jams threw life out of gear for many. But as schools and colleges were shut and many firms allowed employees to work from home, the situation didn’t get too out of hand.

Chaos unfolds at Kurla station due to disruptions on Central Railway on Monday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Chaos unfolds at Kurla station due to disruptions on Central Railway on Monday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Prasad Salvi, a resident of Shahaji Raje Road in Vile Parle East said, “Waterlogging started around 3 am. At one point, the water level was 1.5 feet and rainwater would have entered our house if we hadn’t acted promptly. Since we had no other choice, we opened manholes.”

Sakshi Name, a resident of Shantaram Pada, a slum area near the highway in Malad said, “Water started entering our homes around 3.30 am. The BMC had cleaned the gutters on the main road, but the small ones were choked. When we raised the issue before the monsoon, the contractor told us that it was not his job. It happens every year, but the authorities merely shrug their shoulders.”

Wasim Athaniya, a resident of Aarey Milk Colony said, “On Monday morning while going from Picnic Point towards the Marol police camp, I was shocked to witness the waterlogging in the subway along this road. This is proof that the authorities did not do pre-monsoon work.” Amey Sawant, an Andheri resident, said, “The BMC administration did not clean gutters and nullahs properly as waterlogging was witnessed at JVPD.”

Shreyas Shinde, a King’s Circle local said, “Whenever it rains heavily, our area is among the first to get waterlogged. I don’t know why the BMC never takes any action. Ours is one of the richest municipal corporations, but we still face basic issues. It is frustrating to do this every year.”

Commuters miffed

Mangesh Lolge, a resident of Mansarovar, Navi Mumbai, said, “I travel daily to Chakala, which takes around one and a half hours. On Monday, it took four hours to reach my destination. The train stopped at Vashi. From there, I travelled by bus to Ghatkopar station. Then took the Metro to Chakala.” Harsha Kadam, who travels from Kalyan to Ghatkopar, faced the same issue.

Vehicles struggle through water at Nehru Nagar, Kurla. Pic/Shadab Khan
Vehicles struggle through water at Nehru Nagar, Kurla. Pic/Shadab Khan

She said, “My daily journey spans around one and a half hours. On Monday, it took four and a half hours. My train stopped at Thane. I then took a bus from Thane Highway. It takes around three hours to reach Ghatkopar from Thane. The scene at Thane station was frustrating. I started my journey around 8 am from Kalyan and reached Ghatkopar around 12.30.” About 23 buses were stranded at various locations in the city and several routes were diverted due to waterlogged roads

Waterlogged areas

Almost half of the city was submerged for several hours. Traditional spots such as Gandhi Market and Hindmata were waterlogged as usual. Locations like LBS Road, Powai, Andheri, Vile Parle West, Juhu, SV Road, Malad East, Kandivali East, Tilak Road, Ghatkopar, Shiv Srishti in Kurla, Govandi, Deonar, Wadala station, Asalfa, Nehru Nagar, Kurla Railway Station, Kurla Signal, Govandi station, Shell Colony, Vinoba Bhave Nagar, Gauri Shankar Nagar, Ghatkopar MG Road Junction, Chunabhatti as well as Andheri, Khar,  Air India Colony, Irla Junction, Netaji Palkar Road, Malwani bus depot, and Borivli East in the western suburbs were waterlogged. However, the rivers in the stretch did not overflow.

The BMC spent Rs 250 crore on nullah cleaning this year. The civic body also activated 481 dewatering pumps this season. It spent Rs 1.25 crore on these pumps. However, they proved useless in low-lying areas where drains outflowed. A BMC official said a high tide of 3.83 m was recorded around 1 am, which combined with heavy rainfall, resulted in water accumulation.

Subway situation

The Dahisar, Malad and Andheri subways were under three to four feet of water from midnight to Monday afternoon. A couple was safely rescued after their car was stuck in the waterlogged Sainath subway. The police barricaded the Andheri subway to avoid any untoward incident. Ravi Raja, former leader of Opposition in the BMC, said, “The civic body spent Rs 250 crore on nullah cleaning and promised that this time water would accumulate. Still, the city got waterlogged, and the BMC is making weird excuses.”

Rail operations

While Central Railway (CR) services ran intermittently, Western Railway (WR) operated smoothly on Monday. “Heavy rain from midnight to 6 am on July 8 caused waterlogging at various places on CR’s Mumbai division, resulting in disruption of train services. All mail express trains that were stranded because of heavy rains and waterlogging at various locations early on Monday morning have reached their destinations,” a CR spokesperson said.

The WR spokesperson said, “Due to heavy rains in Mumbai since 2.30 am, there was water on tracks at some places. High-capacity pumps installed at these locations were immediately put in service with staff monitoring the situation.” Shubham Padave, a commuter, said, “The harbour line was closed from 7 am to 1.30 pm. As a result, passengers heading to their offices and returning home after completing the night shift were stuck. Many passengers opted for the C521 on the Wadala-Vashi route while some took the ST bus from Dadar TT to Vashi. The government should have waived fares on the Atal Setu.”

Reliable Metro

Amidst the incessant rains disrupting local train services and causing water-logged roads in Mumbai and its suburban areas, Metro services have proven to be the most reliable travel companions for commuters. With their impeccable punctuality and high ridership, these services have demonstrated their superiority as the best travel modes in any season.

Activist alleges negligence

Despite a complaint by RTI activist Anil Galgali on June 26, 2024, that the Kurla car shed drain had not been cleaned. “CR and the BMC kept on pushing the responsibility of cleaning the drain on each other. Railway services faltered due to water entering the tracks,” Galgali said. Galgali had requested the Railways and BMC to clean the drain near the car shed and warned that failure to do so would lead to waterlogging on tracks. “The CR general manager and municipal commissioner should investigate the matter and action should be taken against those concerned,” the activist stated.

Highest rainfall recorded over past decade

July 2, 2019    375.2
August 30, 2017    331.4
Sept 20, 2017    303.7
Sept 23, 2020     286.4
June 19, 2015    283.4
August 4, 2020    268.6
July 8, 2024     267.9
July 16, 2021    253.3
June 27, 2023    253.1
rainfall in mm

Area-wise break up of rain from 1 am to 7 am on Monday

Govandi    315.6 
Powai     314.6
Dongri    292.2
Chakala     278.2
Aarey     259
Chembur    221.2
Nagar     220.2
LBS Road    189
Sewri Koliwada 185.8
Raoli Camp 176.3 
Dharavi    165.8
rainfall in mm

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