Torrential rains paralyse Maharashtra, high alert in Mumbai

Mumbai, Aug 29 The Maharashtra government and civic authorities sounded high alert on Tuesday as torrential rains lashed Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and other parts of the state for the fourth consecutive day, severely affecting normal life and paralysing the lifelines — local train and bus services — in the state capital.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that in one hour, Mumbai recorded a staggering 70 mm rainfall, while it touched 100 mm between 8.30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The state government has requisitioned the services of five disaster management teams, including three from Pune, to tackle any eventuality in Mumbai.

The BMC has appealed to people not to step out of their home unless absolutely necessary, while the entire civic force — Mumbai Police, Fire Brigade and other agencies — were on high alert to combat the situation.

Since Tuesday morning, many parts of Mumbai and suburbs were inundated with up to three to four feet of water on the highways, main and arterial roads, bylanes, housing complexes, railway stations and even the Mumbai Airport.

However, barring incidents of scores of trees and half a dozen walls collapsing in different parts of the city, flooding and waterlogging, there has been no report of any casualty so far.

Around 6.30 a.m. the rains triggered a landslide in adjoining Thane district, leading to derailment of 10 coaches of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express but there were no casualties.

The torrential rains are also likely to hit the immersion ceremonies on the fifth day of the Ganeshotsav on Tuesday.

The suburban local trains were massively hit with disruption in services as the rail tracks were flooded at several places on the Central Railway mainline, Harbour Line, Western Railway and Konkan Railway.

Lakhs of commuters including students, were stranded in trains, railway stations or at bus stops. Many failed to reach their destinations and were compelled to return to their homes.

Waterlogging has been reported from Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Santacruz, Bandra, Matunga, Dadar, Elphinstone, Mumbai Central, Mazagaon, Lalbaug, Parel, Sion, Wadala, Bhandup and other areas.

The rains have affected normal operations at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport with flights getting delayed by around 35 minutes mainly on account of low visibility.

Seven incoming flights were made to go around till landing permission was granted while three flights were diverted.

Domestic and international passengers bound for the airport to catch their flights faced huge problems in reaching on time due to massive traffic snarls on the highways and main roads.

Mumbai IMD head K.S. Hosalikar said that in three hours since 8.30 a.m., Mumbai suburbs recorded a whopping 86 mm of rains, while Colaba recorded around 16 mm of rains.

“It’s not a July 26, 2005-type situation as the cloud cover over Mumbai is not that thick. However, we have issued weather warnings to the disaster units of Maharashtra government and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation,” Hosalikar told media persons.

He said the IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rains for at least the next 24 hours all over Maharashtra, especially over coastal North Konkan, Mumbai and other parts of the state.

The IMD warning says “intense precipitation likely to occur over Mumbai city, suburbs, Dahanu and Raigad during the latter part today (Tuesday)”.

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