Maximum City turns Venice again

People living adjacent to salt pans near the Vasai Road station were badly affected as flood water entered their houses. PTI

Incessant rain lashed Mumbai and its suburbs on Wednesday and paralysed road and rail traffic with many places being inundated.

In the past 36 hours, parts of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) comprising Mumbai and parts of neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, on an average received 250 to 300 mm rainfall.

The Vasai-Virar township in Palghar district received over 500 mm rainfall in the last 36 hours— resulting in inundation in several places like Evershine City, Diwanman— pushing the majority of people to stay indoors. People were seen wading through waist-deep waters and several villages have been cut off from the main township.

People living adjacent to salt pans near the Vasai Road station were badly affected as flood water entered their houses.  

The rains have started since Saturday— on the eve of the 11-day-long Ganeshutsav— but the intensity increased since Tuesday evening in the entire MMR.

According to weathermen, similar weather conditions are expected to prevail in the next two to three days.

"Rainfall warnings for Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts are 'red' coded. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall, more than 20 cm is expected in these areas in the next 24 hours," according to KS Hosalikar, the deputy director-general of meteorology, IMD.

The Mumbai Police and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has asked people to be on alert and urged them to step out only when necessary.

The chronic spots of Sion, Wadala, Dadar, Parel, King's Circle, Matunga, Chunabhatti and Andheri, Jogeshwari, Santacruz, Malad, Borivali, Mulund, Bhandup, Kanjurmar, Vikhroli, Kurla and surroundings were flooded with one-three feet water.

The flooding resulted in a major road traffic mess.

The major roads - Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, Ghodbunder Road, Sion-Panvel Road reported severe traffic jams.

The two big rivers of Mumbai— Mithi and Dahisar— are overflowing at several places putting people residing near the banks at risk.

In Mumbai, more than 1,500 people were evacuated to safety by rescue and relief agencies including the NDRF.

More than 1,300 people were rescued from Bail Bazaar area of Kurla.

The suburban services of Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), considered the lifeline of Mumbai, were badly affected, with people standing at various stations. A huge crowd was seen at Churchgate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Thane, Bandra, Andheri and Borivli stations.

On WR, the services between Vasai and Virar stands suspended. Besides, because of water-logging in Matunga Road, the services in the slow line between Vasai-Churchgate was shut and trains were running on fast lines.

"The Vasai-Virar area has received about 500 mm rainfall in little more than 36 hour following very heavy rain. Also, there was flush flooding from nearby areas which resulted in heavy waterlogging on tracks at Nallasopara. Services are temporarily suspended between Vasai-Virar," the WR said.

On CR, the services had to be shut between CSMT and Thane on the Mainline, CSMT-Wadala on Harbour line and Belapur-Karkopar on fourth corridor.

A Mumbai airport official said five incoming flights had to go around while other flights were delayed by an average 25 minutes.

As a precautionary measure, the BMC ordered all schools (government and private) in the city to remain shut for the day, said the BMC Disaster Control. "The principals of all (govt and pvt) schools where students had already reached, were been directed to ensure their safe return home," officials said.

A similar step was taken in MMR area. 

Shootings of several films and TV serials had to be cancelled. Veteran actor-filmmaker Sunny Deol postponed the trailer launch of his son Karan's debut film Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.  Water-logging was also reported around Prateeksha, the Juhu bungalow of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. 

The Ganesha festivities were affected because of the rainfall and inundation.

In fact, for a darshan of Lalbaug-cha-Raja that takes several hours for commoners, it was a matter of minutes as very few devotees turned up.

At Andheri-cha-Raja, there was four-feet water outside the pandal. In Nalasopara, the Ganesh idol at Sainath Mitra Mandal had to be lifted up by two feet as floodwaters enter the mandap.

As water gushed inside several Ganesh pandals in the city and suburbs, the BrihanMumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti President Naresh Dahibavkar made an appeal to switch off power lines.

“All Ganeshotsav mandals are requested to check for any water seepage and whether any power lines are touching the water. They must exercise extreme caution and switch off the power supply to the marquees (pandals) to ensure the safety of all,” Dahibavkar said.

Earlier, Mumbai had been brought to its knees on July 2 and 3 and on August 3 and 4 when heavy rains clobbered the city, claiming nearly three dozen lives in various rain-related incidents.

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