First day of monsoon, Mumbai on its knees as trains, traffic hit (Ld)

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Mumbai, June 9 (IANS) The first monsoon rains hit Maharashtra and Mumbai with full fury on Wednesday, disrupting local trains and road traffic, and flooding low-lying areas in the country’s commercial capital, officials said here.

According to IMD Mumbai, the city notched record rain for a day in June — 280.2 mm in the suburbs and 123 mm in the city — in the past 24 hours, with the maximum downpour during the day since 8 a.m.

In the early hours, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad were clobbered with heavy rain, inundating several low-lying areas, barely a fortnight after the city survived the Cyclone Tauktae devastation.

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorms till June 13 in these four coastal districts, besides rain in several other regions of the state.

Rattled by the maiden downpour that virtually left the city immobilized, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and others visited the BMC Disaster Management Centre and discussed the unfolding scenario with Mayor Kishori Pednekar and Municipal Commissioner I. S. Chahal, and other top officials.

Thackeray instructed the concerned departments to ensure that all agencies are kept on high alert in view of the forecast for the next 2-3 days, and also directed that medical care especially for Covid-19 patients should not be affected.

Several roads in Mumbai and its suburbs were flooded, the Central Railway and Western Railway suburban services were hit on the mainline and Harbour lines, causing concern among officialdom as the city will have the crucial BMC elections in early 2022.

Central Railway (CR) Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said that due to water-logging near Chunabhatti station all services on the Harbour Line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Vashi (Navi Mumbai) were suspended in the morning.

Similarly, due to flooded tracks near Kurla, the mainline services between Thane-CSMT were suspended, though the CR operated shuttles between the Thane-Karjat, Thane-Kasara and Vashi-Panvel sectors.

Western Railway (WR) Spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that due to water-logging at Wadala station, all Harbour Line trains on the Andheri-CSMT routes were suspended till further notice, and water pumps were deployed to drain out the excess water from the railway tracks.

Flight operations at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport remained normal but witnessed go-around for 4 flights owing to the inclement weather conditions, said a spokesperson.

As in the past, heavy inundation was witnessed in Dadar, Matunga, Sion, Kings Circle, Wadala, Kalachowky, Kurla, Mankhurd; subways at Andheri, Khar, Malad and Santacruz were flooded and remained shut for traffic.

Stretches of the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, major roads like S. V. Road in the west and LBS Marg in the east besides other roads and lanes were flooded, hampering vehicular movement and resulting in traffic snarls.

Traffic was also hit on the Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai- Nashik and other major routes lashed by heavy rain.

In some parts of Malad, Khar, Sion, Wadala and Kurla, rainwater seeped into building compounds or ground floor flats as rain accompanied by thunder, lightning and strong winds lashed the city.

The Mithi River ran above the danger mark in the Kurla area with the authorities shifting people to safer locations.

BMC officials said that owing to a major high-tide of 4.16 metre in the Arabian Sea this morning the accumulated rainwater could not flow out, hampering traffic and pedestrian movement. The city will experience a higher 4.26 metre high-tide on Thursday at 12.17 p.m, they added.

–IANS
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