Normal life in Mumbai was affected as incessant rains pounded the megapolis and its suburbs for the second day , while five people were killed in rain- related incidents in Palghar district. The rains affected air services as 108 flights were cancelled and suburban train services were delayed by about 15-20 minutes. The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which had last evening given a heavy to very heavy rainfall warning in parts of Mumbai region for Wednesday, in its forecast issued this afternoon, said the city would receive intermittent rains.
Schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region were instructed to remain closed today in view of heavy rains. “Several parts of the metropolis, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall. However, no untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the city,” BMC officials said. In its forecast issued at 2.30 pm, the Mumbai unit of the IMD predicted intermittent rains in the city and the suburbs for today. It also predicted that heavy rainfall may hit a couple of places in the city. On Tuesday evening, the IMD had issued a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Mumbai region. There have been incessant showers since last evening.
From 8.30 am yesterday to 5.30 am today, the Colaba observatory recorded 210 mm rain, while the Santacruz observatory recorded 303.7 mm rain in the period, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). “The effect of water logging due to high tide got over by the afternoon and water slowly started receding in many areas,” disaster management cell officials said. Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the deep sea, an IMD official said. Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were hit badly as 108 flights were cancelled and another 51 diverted to nearby airports till this morning due to heavy rains and non- operation of main runway (09/27) following the skidding of a SpiceJet aircraft last night, a Mumbai airport official said.
With the aircraft still stuck on the runway, it remains out of bound for operations and efforts are on to remove the plane from the runway and make it functional. The SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 183 people overshot a wet runway while landing at the airport in rain-hit Mumbai and got stuck in the mud, officials said yesterday, adding that all passengers were safely evacuated. Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to passengers.
The trains witnessed lesser crowd today as many people preferred to remain indoors due to the heavy rain forecast. Central Railway’s chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi said few short-destination local trains had to be cancelled yesterday night to streamline the services. “Since 10 pm yesterday, our services on the main and the harbour lines are running at regular intervals with lesser frequency and restricted speed in water-logging prone areas. Our field staff and supervisors have been deployed to keep a tab on the water level,” Udasi said. The trains on the Western Line were also running late by 10 to 15 minutes, according to an official of the Western Railway (WR).
The long distance trains which were regulated and stranded at various locations due to heavy water-logging at Nallasopara, Virar have been cleared, WR said in a statement. Some intercity trains like Manmad-Mumbai Express, Gujarat Express, Saurashtra Express, Bandra-Terminus Surat Intercity Express and Mumbai Central-Ahmadabad Shatabdi Express have been cancelled, as per the officials of the Central Railway and the Western Railway.
Vehicles were moving, though a bit slowly, on the city’s two major roads – the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway, the BMC official said. “The traffic situation in the city is normal as of now. All the roads, including the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL), Pedder Road, Sion Bridge are open and traffic movement is smooth. However, Aarey Colony Bridge has been closed for operations and traffic has been diverted,” Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said.
Due to the water logging at S V Road in western suburbs, the traffic has been diverted via Linking Road, he said. The ‘dabbawalas’ of Mumbai today cancelled their delivery of over two lakh tiffins to office-goers in view of the disruption of suburban rail services after heavy rains. Besides, the heavy rains, the civic body had to tackle with the menace of wrong messages sent by rumour mongers throughout the day. The civic administration has decided to take action against such elements as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005. The civic body has written a letter to the joint police commissioner (Law and Order) of the Mumbai police in this regard. It also appealed to the people not to believe in such rumours.
“Civic chief Ajoy Mehta has written a letter to the joint police commissioner (Law and Order) of the Mumbai police Deven Bharti to weed out the rumour mongers who, by their misleading social media messages created a sense of fear among the people,” a senior civic official said.
Amid rains, a message of a cyclone scheduled to hit the island city today and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link being shut due to it, made rounds on social media and messaging apps, warning people to stay indoors and not take the route. The civic body held a press conference to deny the contents of the message that were making rounds on social media. Even the Disaster Management Cell of the civic body tweeted clarifying that no such warning has been issued by the weather department and appealed to the Mumbaikars not to believe in such rumours. “As informed by IMD there is no cyclone warning for Mumbai. Citizens r requested not to spread & trust rumour,” the BMC’s Disaster Management cell tweeted. “On behalf of BMC commissioner, we urge the people of the city not to believe and spread rumours of a cyclone warning for the megapolis. There is no element of truth in such messages which are spread to create unnecessary fear among the people,” Sudhir Naik, deputy municipal commissioner of BMC’s (GAD) told reporters here. “If people have any query or problems, they are free to contact us on our number 1916,” added Naik. He said that city recorded over 300 mm rainfall in a single day from yesterday, which is almost equal to entire September month’s average rainfall of 320 mm.
Owing to heavy rainfall, BEST buses plying through Kohinoor city Vidyavihar, Shell Colony in Chembur and National College in Bandra had to be diverted due to water-logging, said officials. Water-logging was reported at several places like Hindmata, Sion, Veera Desai Road, Air India Colony, Milan Subway, Andheri Subway, Bandra, Dahisar, Chembur, Mankhurd where pumping machines were pressed into services, the BMC said. It said 168 cases of tree/branches falling were recorded, 21 incidents of short-circuits and five cases of wall or parts of wall collapse have been reported with the disaster management cell in last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, police said traffic in the city by and large remained normal, expect on few routes. “Traffic is currently by & large normal except trafficdiversion at Aarey Colony Bridge to Rd no 3 & thru linking rd for SV Road,” it tweeted. Central Railway and Western Railway ran lesser services.
“Local trains ran seamlessly throughout the day, though they were running 10-15 minutes behind the schedule,” seperate statements issued by the Central Railway and Western Railway said. Meanwhile, in Palghar five persons, drowned in nullahs and rivers in separate incidents, a senior district administration officer said, but did not elaborate. The deceased have been identified as Sandeep Jadhav (42), Rajesh Bhosle (32) Aksah Rai (22), Sandeep Tandel (56) and Rabiulla Aliraja Shah (16), he said, adding Rs four lakh assistance will be provided to their kin. In Dahanu at least 50 houses were damaged due to the rains and the occupants were shifted to different camps.