Mumbai Faces Waterlogging, Traffic Woes Amid Downpour; Maha CM Shinde Takes Stock of Situation

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Mumbai and its adjoining areas were lashed by heavy showers on Tuesday, causing waterlogging at a number of places, including railway tracks, which slowed the movement of trains and vehicles on roads. Normal life was adversely affected in the metropolis and no immediate respite was in sight as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted moderate to heavy rain in Mumbai and its suburbs over the next 24 hours, with a possibility of very heavy showers at isolated places, said civic officials.

Maharashtra’s new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde took stock of the situation and directed state administration officials to take necessary precautions and ensure there was no loss of life or damage to property. The island city (south Mumbai) received an average of 95.81 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ending at 8 am, while the eastern and western suburbs recorded 115.09 mm and 116.73 mm rainfall, respectively, during the same period, they said.

Between 8 am and 11.30 am, the island city received an average of 41 mm rainfall, while the eastern and western suburbs got 85 mm and 55 mm showers, respectively, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said. Suburban train services, considered the lifeline of Mumbai, were affected on the Main and Harbour corridors of the Central Railway (CR) due to water-logging on tracks near Kurla, Railway sources said.

There was also a bunching of trains heading towards the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai on the Mainline, they said. Tracks were inundated in Sion, Kurla, Tilak Nagar and Wadala areas of the Central Railway route, CR’s chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said. Commuters complained of severe water-logging in some subways in Panvel, Khandeshwar and Mansarovar stations on the Harbour line in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, forcing them to wade through ankle-deep water.

The BEST undertaking, which provides public bus services in Mumbai and neighbouring cities, was forced to divert its buses via alternate routes, due to inundation in Sion, Chembur, Bandra, Air India Colony, Kurla and a few other locations, an official said. The vehicular movement was slow at Dadar TT, Parel TT, Sakkar Panchayat Chowk, Wadala in central Mumbai, Tembi bridge in Chembur, and near the Mankhurd railway station due to water rising up to one to two feet, police said.

Traffic police personnel were deployed at various locations to avoid vehicular congestion, an official said. The IMD a heavy rainfall alert for Maharashtra over the next four days, following which Chief Minister Shinde directed state administration officials to take precautions and ensure there was no loss of life or damage to property.

The IMD has issued an ‘orange alert’ for the south Konkan region and Goa and a ‘yellow alert’ for north Konkan, north-central and south-central Maharashtra and Marathwada regions. The MeT department issues four colour-coded predictions based on the prevailing weather systems. The green colour indicates no warning, yellow is to keep a watch, orange is to stay alert, while red means a warning and that action needs to be taken.

The Chief Minister’s Office, in a statement, said Shinde is in touch with collectors of Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. The National Disaster Response Force has also been asked to remain alert. The situation in Mumbai is also being closely monitored, it said.

The Kundalika River in Raigad district, located near Mumbai, has crossed the danger mark, as per an official statement. The water level of Amba, Savitri, Patalganga, Ulhas and Gadhi rivers was hovering just near the danger mark, it said.

“In view of the increasing rains and flood-like situation, Chief Minister Shinde has held discussions with Chief Secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava. Guardian secretaries have been asked to reach their districts and monitor the situation, said the CMO statement said. Instructions have been issued that there should be no loss of life or damage to property in view of the heavy rainfall and flood-like situation. The chief minister is in touch with collectors of all districts in the Konkan region, it said.

Officials of the water resource department have been asked to remain alert and take necessary precautions in view of the heavy rains, it said. Heavy rains lashed parts of popular hill station Mahabaleshwar and neighbouring areas of western Maharashtra and the Konkan region over the last 24 hours, as a result of which the water level of the Koyna dam was rising, officials said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘yellow alert’ for Satara district, where Mahabaleshwar and the Koyna dam are located, predicting heavy rains over the next two days at isolated places in some areas of the Western Ghats.” Mahabaleshwar received 129 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours ” an official from the Satara district administration said.

Boulders fell from a hillock in Thane and a house collapsed in neighbouring Palghar following heavy rains in the two Maharashtra districts, officials said. However, there was no report of any casualty so far in the twin incidents, they said.

Flooding due to heavy showers was reported in parts of the two districts, located adjoining Mumba, and several people were shifted to safer places, the officials said. Thane city received 146 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ended at 8.30 am, as per a release issued by Regional Disaster Management Cell chief Avinash Sawant.

Many low-lying areas in Kalyan and Bhiwandi towns of Thane were flooded and several people from there were shifted to safer places, he said.

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