Rain disrupts life in Mumbai

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PTI

Mumbai

The southwest monsoon set in over Mumbai and its neighbouring areas on Wednesday, the MeT department said, as heavy rains lashed the city and suburbs since early morning on Wednesday, causing water-logging at many places and disrupting local train services.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a ‘red alert’ for Mumbai and neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, warning of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places there.

The first rains of this year’s monsoon season in Mumbai caused water-logging in various parts of the city, prompting the traffic police to shut four subways and forcing motorists to abandon their vehicles on roads.

The heavy downpour also disrupted local train services, which are running only for personnel engaged in health and other essential services, and are out of bound for general commuters in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there were fewer vehicles on the city roads amid the downpour, motorcyclists and other two-wheeler riders were unable to manoeuvre their vehicles at some of the flooded places. The traffic police closed Milan, Khar, Andheri and Malad subways for motorists due to water-logging at these places.

“We have closed the subways due to water-logging of up to two feet at these junctions. However, traffic is smooth on the SV Road, Linking Road and the Western Express Highway. So far, no traffic congestion has been reported,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Western Suburbs, Somnath Gharge told PTI. Heavy rains caused low visibility and increased the risk of accidents; hence, the traffic police personnel are on roads to prevent such incidents, the official said. Cranes were used to clear roads on which motorists had abandoned their vehicles due to water-logging, he added.

The city police appealed to Mumbaikars not to step out of their homes unnecessarily and cautioned them against travelling to some of the inundated areas. Mumbai and its suburbs experienced thunderstorms along with moderate to intense spells of rainfall during the day, it added.

Suburban train services from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji MaharajTerminus (CSMT) to neighbouring Thane and Vashi in Navi Mumbai were suspended due to water-logging on tracks, officials said.

Routes of some BEST buses, run by the city civic body’s transport wing, were diverted to avoid flooded streets, they said. According to the IMD, the western suburb of Santacruz recorded 164.8 mm rain in six hours from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, while Colaba in south Mumbai) recorded 32.2 mm rain during the same period.

“It’s monsoon arrival in Mumbai today,” Dr Jayanta Sarkar, head of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Mumbai office, said in the morning. The IMD said conditions are favourable for onset of the monsoon in remaining parts of Maharashtra in next two to three days.