Rains paralyse Mumbai, Maharashtra declares holiday

Mumbai, July 2, 2019-

Receiving the record rainfall, Mumbai was paralysed on Tuesday, with most roads getting clogged and local train services, the financial capitals lifeline, virtually coming to a standstill.

Flight operations at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport were also hit severely due to heavy rains and a SpiceJet aircraft blocking a runway after overshooting it shortly before midnight.

The Maharashtra government declared a precautionary public holiday on Tuesday in Mumbai, with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting people to stay indoors unless they have absolutely important work outside.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared a holiday for all schools and colleges, and the state government expanded it to include other parts of coastal Konkan region.

Mumbai received 375 mm of rainfall on Monday, making it the maximum July downpour that the city has seen over a 24-hour period, breaking the record of 1974.

The Central Railway (CR) suspended services at several spots between Mumbai-Thane and suburban train services were disrupted on the Western Railway due to incessant record rain, officials said.

Long-distance trains from different parts of India, expected to reach Mumbai, have also been stranded at various locations en route, details of which were awaited.

Till Tuesday noon, at least 55 incoming flights were diverted, including 26 international. There were 13 go-arounds, and cancellations of 18 incoming flights including four international and 24 departures including four international, said a spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).

Road traffic also continued to be sluggish for the second consecutive day in the city and the suburbs as many areas were waterlogged and the subways in Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Dahisar flooded.

A road caved in near a construction site in Chandivali and locals claimed that some people may have been washed away in the incident. A few vehicles and autorickshaws were stuck in the cave-in, which was at least 10 feet deep, said a local resident Pradeep Menon.

“In the past 12 hours, the city has received an unprecedented 300 to 400 mm rain, the highest in the past decade. The existing drainage systems are unable to cope with such a heavy downpour, coupled with a high tide this afternoon,” Fadnavis told mediapersons.

The Indian Navy deployed rubber boats and a team of naval divers from INS Tanaji, armed with lifebouys, life-jackets and food packets, rescued around 1,000 people stranded in Kranti Nagar slums of Kurla.

Fadnavis visited the BMC Disaster Cell and those injured in the Malad wall crash tragedy in hospitals.

Since dawn, heavy rain continued to lash the city, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts with the IMD forecasting more rains till Friday, besides continuing downpour in Nashik and parts of Western Maharashtra, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.  (Agency)

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