Heavy rains halt Mumbai; BMC caught unprepared

RSTV Bureau

rainHeavy rains have paralyzed the normal life in the commercial capital Mumbai. With deep water logging and the forecast of heavy showers through the day, the city civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ordered the shutting of schools till the next notice. The local trains too have been cancelled by the authorities leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Rains have also forced the Bombay High Court to shut down for a day.

By the afternoon, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis too visited the control room from where the BMC is trying to manage the situation.

“Took a stock of the situation atBMCcontrol room,had a discussion with CS,BMC Commissioner&top officials,” Fadnavis wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Sounding out high tide warning he further added, “Almost 4m high tide expected around 2pm. Appealing everyone to avoid going near the sea. Please avoid going out of homes. Be safe!”.

Earlier in th day, the Meteorological Department predicted heavy to very heavy monsoon rains in some areas coupled with a possibility of a high tide in the afternoon. BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has now appealed to the residents of Mumbai to not send their wards to school as heavy rains are predicted.

“Very heavy rains are expected today. So I have issued advisory for school children to stay at home,” Mehta told the press.

While on the other front, services on all three local railway lines, Central, Western and Harbour, were cancelled leaving the office going commuters rushing for any other available mode of transport. The rush on the roads has also resulted in heavy jams, especially in the low-lying areas of the city.

Commuters were especially stuck on the busiest line of CST-Thane section with Central Railway cancelling its services on this main line as well as the Harbour line. The Western Railway services which were initially running late by 10 to 15 minutes, were eventually cancelled.

“Thane-Karjat/Kasara and Vasvhi-Panvel Shuttle services and trans-harbour services are running,” PRO Central Railway AK Singh said.

“Our supervising staff are alert and as soon water level recedes, services would be resumed,” he added.

According to information given by the control room of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), water-logging is reported in areas like Kurla, Chembur, Tilak Nagar, Andheri, Parel, Lower Parel, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Dombivili.

“Intermittent rains/shower would occur in the city and suburbs. Heavy to very heavy rains would occur in some areas,” IMD told in its latest forecast for the Friday.

The heavy rains have also set the social media abuzz with the city residents sharing picture of water logging and part submerged vehicles over the internet and micro-blogging sites. The BMC was criticised as well for what the residents felt the “lack of preparation” on the part of city’s civic agency.

However, on its part BMC has claimed of being fully prepared. According to a statement issued by BMC, as many as 120 suction pumps have been pressed into service to drain out water in low-lying areas.

(With inputs from the PTI)