The Southwest Monsoon picked up momentum in Mumbai, bringing heavy showers claiming three lives in the city and adjoining Thane, officials said today.
Heavy rains lashed the city and Thane district throughout the night and continued this morning, causing water-logging at several places and slowing the movement of suburban trains.
Two people were killed last evening when a tree fell on them near the Metro Cinema in south Mumbai, an official from the disaster management unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
A 13-year-old boy was killed and his parents were injured when a wall collapsed on their house at Wadol village in Thane around 2.15 am today, the district civic body’s regional Disaster Management Cell Chief Santosh Kadam said.
In another incident, a 65-feet compound wall of a housing complex in Thane city collapsed today, crushing two cars and another vehicle, he said.
A BMC statement said seven cases of house and wall collapses were reported but there were no reports of casualties in any of these cases.
Mumbai received 231.4 mm rain in the last 24 hours, an IMD official said here.
“The Santacruz weather station recorded 231.4 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. So much rainfall is categorised as extremely heavy showers,” IMD Mumbai Director Ajay Kumar told PTI.
“This is the first extremely heavy rainfall recorded in Mumbai in the current season,” he said.
The rain intensity has gone up since last afternoon and is expected to continue further, Kumar said.
Thane received 229.81 mm rain in the last 24 hours, Kadam added.
The IMD has predicted heavy-to-very heavy rain in the city in the next 24 to 48 hours.
“These heavy showers are due to a cyclonic circulation over north Konkan and adjoining south Gujarat, and another circulation in the Bay of Bengal. We expect the rain activity to increase in the coming week, with scattered heavy to very heavy rain on June 27 and 28 in parts of north Konkan, including Mumbai,” an IMD official said.
In Mumbai, a huge part of a compound adjacent to Lloyd Building in Wadala caved in, burying dozens of cars.
Vijay Singhal, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC, said a stop work notice had been issued to the builder, and added that an inquiry had been initiated.
“People from the affected building have been evacuated and we are awaiting a report regarding the tenacity of the building,” Singhal added.
Singhal claimed that the civic body had handled the situation rising out of the incessant rains well and added that the city functioned normally.
“We admit that there was water logging at a few places. Borivili witnessed the highest rainfall of 237 mm, while Santacruz received 231 mm, Prabodhankar Thackeray Auditorium (Borivali West) 229 mm, Kandivali 228 mm and Dahisar 215 mm in the last 24 hours,” he said.
“Despite incessant rains, our measures to drain out water and micro manage flood prone areas worked well and people were not inconvenienced. Water-receding arrangements have got better,” Singhal said, adding that three batches of the National Disaster Response Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard were on alert mode.
“We have kept 142 BMC schools ready in case stranded people have to be provided shelter,” Singhal told reporters.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, whose party rules the BMC, reviewed the situation today.
Thackeray said measures to ensure water was drained out from flooded areas had improved considerably.
The Sena chief said Mumbai saw more rainfall than Cherrapunji (a town in Meghalaya which holds two Guinness rainfall records).
Owing to the heavy showers, several parts of the city like Dharavi, Sion, Matunga, Hindmata, Malad, Kurla, Andheri subway, Bhandup, Worli and Lower Parel were flooded with water up to three feet, and vehicles stuck in some places.
“Traffic was diverted from Sion, King’s Circle, National College in Bandra, Siddharth Hospital in Goregaon, Chembur Phatak, Pratiksha Nagar in Sion, Milan Subway in Santacruz and Powai area of the city,” a BMC statement said.
A container broke down on a bridge at suburban Vikhroli near the Eastern Express Highway today, because of which vehicular movement was slow, police said.
Local train services of the Central Railway (CR), Western Railway (WR) and on the Harbour Line corridor were running late by 5 to 10 minutes, officials said.
“There is some water accumulation at Sion due to the rain but trains are running on all three lines of the CR (main line, harbour and trans-harbour) with a slight delay of 5 to 7 minutes,” CR Chief Public Relations Officer Sunil Udasi said.
The Western Railway in a tweet said, “WR Suburban trains are running with no disruption. There is slight delay due to low visibility in some areas due to rains.”
Certain diversions were made due to water-logging on few routes of bus services of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), an official said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who visited the site of the cave-in at Wadala, hit out at the BMC and demanded action against corrupt officials of the civic
body’s Building Proposals department.
“This incident exposes the unholy nexus between builders, BMC commissioner (Ajoy Mehta) and engineers of the BMC’s Building Proposals department. In Mehta’s regime, a per square rate is fixed (as bribe) to allow illegal construction. All should be sacked immediately,” Nirupam alleged.