Monsoon woes in Mumbai: From dry June, downpour in July

Written by Express news service | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 3 2014, 16:57pm hrs
Monsoon in MumbaiA bus under a water logged underpass at Malad during downpour in Mumbai on Wednesday. PTI
Despite tall claims from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation about being rain-ready, heavy rainfall of over 150 mm on Wednesday brought Mumbai to a standstill and exposed its ill-preparedness.

For the suburbs, Santacruz weather observatory recorded around 180.8 mm of rainfall, which is more than double the rain in June. The Colaba observatory for the island city recorded around 10 mm of rainfall Wednesday.

Water-logging complaints poured in from over 21 locations across the island city and suburbs despite the civic bodys pre-monsoon de-silting drive carried out between May and June this year to ensure effective pumping out of storm water into the sea. Even the installation of 244 de-watering pumps at 180 flooding spots and the BMCs reorganisation of its storm water drains department based on catchment areas could not prevent water-logging at usual chronic flooding spots such as Hindmata Junction, Dharavi, Milan subway, Andheri subway and LBS Marg. BEST bus services were hit on Sion Road No. 24, LBS Marg, National College on SV Road, Sainath Subway, Dahisar Subway and Aarey road, among a few other places.

The rainfall was too much. Our drains can flush out storm water at the rate of 40 mm of rainfall per hour. On Wednesday, we received much more rainfall, leading to flooding at many places. This is temporary. Once the sea-tide recedes, the water will be drained out, said Mahesh Narvekar, chief of the civic bodys disaster management cell.

As a result of the heavy inundation, rail services were disrupted. Traffic jams were also seen in various parts of the city.

Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said there was water-logging on four main spots along the Western Express Highway including at Malad, Andheri and Milan Subways. We had installed water pumps along the waterlogging areas with a capacity of 250 watts each to drain out the water, which helped a lot, he said.

About 33 tree-falling incidents were also reported, 14 of them in the eastern suburbs alone. No injuries were reported.

Till Wednesday evening, 1,047 potholes complaints were registered on the civic bodys pothole-tracking website, of which 738 have been closed. The maximum number of pothole complaints were recorded in the P-South ward (91), which includes Goregaon West and East. Of these, 74 complaints have been addressed.

The heavy downpour also brought respite after a hot June. The maximum temperature recorded at Colaba was around 27 degrees Celsius, 3.4 degrees below normal, while at Santacruz, it was 27.5 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal.